SEA News

WAVE Education Series: Pride Month

11 June 2021

The WAVE (We All Value Equality) Educational Series kicked off yesterday with the International Pride Month Panel Discussion event featuring guest speakers Alyce Schotte and Dr Duc Dau.

Dr Duc, a bisexual activist and a researcher at UWA discussed with us the importance of including the Bi experience in Pride events, discussions, and LGBTQ+ spaces. As a coordinator of UWA BTW (Bi the Way), the first peer-run Bi+ social group in the Australian university sector, she is a front runner in creating inclusive spaces for those within the Bi+ community. Having been published widely in peer-reviewed outlets, from literature and theology to gender and sexuality, including the intersections between religious and queer experience, she was able to share accurate statistics of how those within the LGBTQ+ community and specifically the Bi+ community are affected within education and the workforce. Her candid summaries and humorous personal anecdotes made for a lively, educational and engaging discussion.

Alyce is the Pride in Diversity WA/SA/NT Relationship Manager, she gave a valuable insight into the importance of creating an open and safe workplace for everyone within the LGBTQ+ banner. Referring to her own past working within the ATO, she highlighted the importance of how a workplace can surpass expectations in creating diversity. Focusing a lot of her discussion on how community and communications have changed during the COVID crisis, Alyce highlighted that the number of people “out” in the workplace has been dropping drastically since 2019 indicating a clear need for diversity initiatives to expand within organisations regardless of our increased working from home requirements.

Both Dr Duc and Alyce placed a particular emphasis on how allies can help, starting with simple acts. They explained that the first step to becoming a good ally is doing your own research to remove the emotional labour that those within the community experience when constantly explaining their experience. The second step is to be vigilant in keeping an open mind and take in new knowledge. Dr Duc recommended to start by looking up three things about a part of the LGBTQ+ that you’re least familiar with, and then keep learning about others in order to get a well-rounded understanding. Thirdly, maintain and grow your support for change and equality, as Alyce explained “People in the LGBTQ+ community don’t want to take the whole pie from you, we just want a piece of the pie, we just want the equality”.

The event was a huge success for the WAVE Education Series and a brilliantly informative session for all in attendance.  Thank you to our event sponsor Baker Hughes and the panel speakers! Following some very exciting outreach initiatives around NAIDOC Week, the next WAVE Educational Event will focus on Intersectionality with Tasha Broomhall, renowned author and public speaker.