Pride in Action Stories gives you a chance to meet some of the amazing people who are a part of this Network!
These short interviews with a staff member or a student provide insights into their experiences in or work with the LGBTIA+ community.
Whether it's academic research, service provision, community projects, or navigating student life as a queer person, each video provides a brief introduction to what they do and who they are.
We hope that you enjoy these stories! And please use "I saw your interview" as an excuse to make new connections and support each other across the university.
If you would like to interview someone for Pride in Action Stories, or if you know someone that you would love to see interviewed, let us know by emailing the Pride in Action Network.
Dr Mohammad Taha
Dr Mohammad Taha is a Non-Binary Queer Person of Colour under the trans umbrella. They are a Research Engineer from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Melbourne School of Engineering, University of Melbourne. In 2019, Dr Taha was recognised as one of the top innovative engineers in Australia for their work in novel phase-changing materials and their role in smart-surfaces and the future of climate control. Dr Taha is an enthusiastic reader, writer, soon to be filmmaker and an advocate for the queer rights generally and people of colour specifically. They are here to share their experience as a queer person of colour studying and working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), their LGBTQIA+ Advocacy works and advice to everyone, especially queer students looking to start a career in STEM.
Jessie Ferrari is a Trans, Genderfluid, Bisexual person from the Yorta Yorta nation. Jessie is currently majoring in Ecology and is the Indigenous committee member with Queers in Science. Jessie speaks with Dr Ligia (Licho) Lopez Lopez about their experience as a LGBTQIA+ Indigenous person at the University of Melbourne, as well as their work around Indigenous science knowledge and decolonisation.
To hear more from Jessie about Indigenous science knowledge, you can watch Cosmic Creatures: Linking animals to the stars in Australian Aboriginal astronomy.
Content Warning: Racism, eugenics, colonisation and queerphobia are discussed in the video.
Cultural Warning: Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the name of a deceased person is mentioned in the video. We apologise for any distress that may occur.
Jack Ganbaartar (he/him) is an International Student lead on the Pride in Action Network, doing his masters at the University of Melbourne through the Australian Awards program. Jack talks to our Student Co-Chair, Caitlyn Pryse, on his experiences in Australian and how he has been actively engaged in LGBTQIA+ activism in Mongolia.
Mx Tonié Field (Faculty of Victorian College of Fine Arts and Music) is a Queer, Feminist, Gender Creative Multi-Disciplinary Performer (Non-binary Decolonising Performance Activism) and Co-producer with Janelle Da SIlva for ReVulvalution productions. Pay the Rent. is a recent talk that conveys one of ReVulvalution productions central messages about how we as Australians can make reparations for colonial genocide inflicted upon our first nations people.
ReVulvalution believe the performing arts has a significant role in dismantling white supremacy and heteronormative privilege. They support, collaborate and work with indigenous, POC and BIPOCartists and use a decolonised anti-captialist method of working with marginalised artists that accounts for privilege, "social location" and decentering whiteness. They also conduct training and workshops for "diversity and inclusion" that changes the narrative for decolonising and decentering whiteness.
Tonié discusses Joan Roughgarden’s book Evolution’s Rainbow in this interview.
Alex Affleck (he/him) is the Fitness Services Manager at Melbourne University Sport, and talks to our Staff Co-Representative Chris Bunting about his experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community at the University and in sport.
Gioconda Di Lorenzo
Gioconda Di Lorenzo (she/her) is University Secretary at the University of Melbourne. Gioconda has been working on updating policies to ensure that they promote diversity and inclusion, in line with the University Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. The University Governance team is responsible for the University’s regulatory and policy framework, and provides governance support and advice to the University Council, the Academic Board and relevant sub-committees.
Megan Sharp (she/her) is Staff Co-Chair of the Pride in Action Network, and a researcher currently working with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. As the faculty research fellow for diversity and inclusion, Megan’s research explores institutional practices of exclusion based on gender and sexuality as well as the affective and dynamic practices of resilience and solidarity found in marginalised groups. Her position as Co-Chair Staff sees her managing the day to day running of the committee, facilitating collaboration across the university, priority setting and translating knowledge into practical outcomes for LGBTIQA+ communities.