RMIT celebrates first virtual Pride Week

RMIT celebrates first virtual Pride Week

RMIT’s annual Pride Week has been reimagined as a virtual event, to bring together and celebrate the University’s diverse community.

RMIT's Pride Week trivia event

Pride Week is a celebration of the contributions of RMIT’s diverse genders, sexes and sexualities (DGSS) community, with the aim of promoting a sense of belonging and continuing to raise awareness of important issues around inclusion.

Brought together by the RMIT students, staff and alumni who share a commitment to the inclusion of the DGSS community, this year’s program of events and resources was delivered through online platforms for the first time.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE joined Monday’s opening event – a virtual morning tea – where he reaffirmed the importance of inclusion in a message to staff and students.

“At RMIT, our value of inclusion is strong and I’m proud to come together through our digital platforms to celebrate and honour our diversity,” he said.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE speaking at Monday's virtual Pride Week morning tea.

RUSU Queer officer Kingston Goh, who moved to Australia from Malaysia as an international student in 2017, also joined the event, sharing his personal story.

He said the first time in his life he felt he could be truly accepted was when he started his first year of university at RMIT and came out as gay.

“I still remember my first Pride Week organised by RUSU and how it took me five minutes to gather up my courage to walk towards the Queer Department stall,” he said.

“Then and there, I got my first rainbow pin, and, as funny as it sounds, I was so happy over a pin. A small rainbow pin meant so much to me - it meant that we were being heard, that we were being seen, and that we exist.

“At that moment, I realised that I belong.”

RUSU Queer Officer Kingston Goh sharing his personal story speaking at the Pride Week virtual morning tea.

It was the beginning of a series of events that led Kingston to becoming the RUSU Queer Officer, driven by a motivation to give back to the queer community.

“It’s amazing to see how my journey unravelled, from being an international student who knew almost nothing about the queer community, to becoming the Queer Officer of the Student Union,” he said.

“As I stand here today, I am still driven by my conviction to provide that sense of belonging and community to other students that I once hoped for.”

The opening event was part of a digital morning tea series that ran throughout the week, focusing on different daily themes, including an LGBTIQ+ research discussion.

Other activities included ‘Queer Cheer’ with the RMIT Cheerleading club, Rainbow storytime with RMIT librarian and postgraduate student Madison Kelly, and interactive session on Diversity and Inclusion in the modern workplace facilitated by Consultant in Deloitte’s Human Capital Practice, Ashley Samson.

 

Story: Jasmijn van Houten

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.