Monash supports marriage equality

Australian Marriage Equality

Monash has joined over 690 organisations and numerous Australian individuals showing their support through Australian Marriage Equality, and is one of the first of the Group of Eight (Go8) coalition of Australian universities to do so.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner, said the University has long been a supporter of equity and diversity, with a focus on inclusion a key element of its new strategic plan.

“Since it was founded, Monash has stood for the principles of fairness, tolerance and diversity. Support for marriage equality is consistent with these values and our commitment to championing those values,” Professor Gardner said.

Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Associate Professor Paula Gerber, welcomed the University’s public move to embrace marriage equality.

“I am proud to be working in a university that is one of the first to publicly support marriage equality in Australia,” Dr Gerber said.

“Such initiatives, along with the establishment of the Ally Network and the recent launch of the Monash Queer Mentoring Scheme, send a clear message to all LGBTIQ staff and students, that they are welcome and respected at Monash.”

“This has a very real and positive impact on the health and well-being of people of diverse genders and sexualities.”

In 2012, Monash established an Ally Network to provide support, information and referral to LGBTIQ members of the university community. There are now over 100 trained and published Allies across all Australian campuses.

In March 2015, Monash became a member of Pride in Diversity, a national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTIQ workplace inclusion and the developers of the Australian Workplace Equality Index and the Australian National LGBTI Recruitment Guide. As part of its membership Monash has engaged Pride in Diversity to provide LGBTIQ Awareness sessions for staff to complement the Ally Network and Queer 101 training for Monash students.

The Monash Equal Opportunity Policy and Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures articulate Monash’s commitment to equality and non-discrimination. The Social Justice Plan: Diverse Genders and Sexualities 2015-2017 helps give effect to these commitments for LGBTIQ staff and students.

Monash launched its Queer Mentoring initiative on 1 September, designed to equip LGBTIQ students to move seamlessly into the workplace. Rowena Allen, Victoria’s new Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, was part of the Panel launching the Program, which was facilitated by Associate Professor Gerber.

Joining the growing list of Australian organisations publicly declaring their support for marriage equality was the natural next step in Monash’s steadfast commitment to social justice and non-discrimination and demonstrates Monash’s commitment to inclusion of its LGBTIQ staff and students in all facets of life.