Macquarie University has become a key partner in the Australian Pride in Sport program, committing to further develop and enhance LGBTIQ participation across all its Campus Life sport and recreation departments.
Run by ACON, an organisation that supports LGBTIQ health in Australia, Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender-diverse sporting inclusion program. It is specifically designed to assist sport and recreation organisations at all levels with the inclusion of LGBTIQ employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators.
This initiative supports Macquarie University’s whole-of-community approach to diversity and inclusion, and its ongoing commitment to creating a positive and supportive campus environment for all its students and staff.
The University is a long-standing member of Pride in Diversity, a national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTIQ inclusion, and was recognised as a Silver Tier Employer in the 2018 and 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index, the national benchmark for LGBTIQ inclusion in the workplace.
Being a Pride in Sport member means changing practices and working towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders.
“Macquarie is dedicated to providing inclusive, welcoming and safe programs for our communities,” says Sophie Curtis, Manager of Sport Development and Partnerships at Macquarie. “Sport and recreation is an integral part of the student experience, and through greater education and awareness we’re committed to delivering meaningful change. We’re excited about this opportunity to work alongside the team at Pride in Sport, and look forward to the journey ahead.
“We are proud of our achievements to date and will continue to do all that we can to foster a culture where our LGBTIQ students and staff feel accepted for who they are, can study and work in an environment free from bullying, discrimination or harassment, and can fully participate in the life of the University and the community more broadly.”
Data from the Out on the Fields study showed that 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event.
Data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance also shows that LGBTIQ young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly 11 times more likely.
Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTIQ people has never been more important.
“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, Campus Life at Macquarie is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, members and students,” Newell said.
“Congratulations to Macquarie for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”