Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Progress celebrated at Uni pride launch

Mon 25 Aug 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

“We’ve come a long way” was the message from Auckland University’s Queer Rights Officer as he helped launched the institution’s first-ever Pride Week this afternoon. “When I first came here in 2011 the idea of a University of Auckland-sponsored Pride Week would have been probably laughed at,” Levi Joule told the group gathered at an on-campus gallery for the event. “There was no Queer Rights Officer on AUSA, there was no Queerspace, there was no lgbti students and staff network.” Joule says in just two years, by working together with the University, “we’ve come a long way.” He says they now have a route for direct feedback to the central university structure, and have been able to pursue things like unisex toilets and create a ‘Queerspace’. The facility above the Quad near the entrance to Shadows is designed to provide a safe space for students who identify as lgbti. “We’ve come so far and I am so proud of all the work that we did, because we did it together.” He said there was still work to do, “and we are going to carry on with that work.” Director of Student Equity Dr Terry O'Neill said there was “reason to celebrate a number of things,” also listing the strides that have been made at Auckland University over the past two years. “And … I think we’re about to reach the point where every faculty has its own rainbow group, which is a pretty key achievement really, across the university.” He says while celebrating Pride Week, it’s also a time to celebrate the successes, “which have been numerous”, adding “that is not to say we are resting on our laurels. We acknowledge that there is much to do yet.” Trans students being able to use names they wish in classes and on university forms were outstanding issues he cited, along with unisex toilets. Labour MP Louisa Wall was a guest at the launch and said Pride Week was something to be proud of and a great chance to increase visibility. “A fully inclusive society means we all should be proud, and we should be able to display who we are and be who we are, and do that with honour and dignity. We have a lot to contribute.” Wall, an openly-lesbian former New Zealand rugby and netball representative, will be part of a panel discussing homophobia in sport tomorrow night. Find out more about the Auckland Uni Pride events here – all are open to the public     

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 25th August 2014 - 5:32pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us