Celebrate ANU Pride Week! 21st-25th September



Come out and celebrate ANU Pride Week with all the glitter, karaoke and fabulous costumes you can imagine! ANU Pride Week is about embracing your identity and being proud of who you are! It’s also about supporting your fellow students to feel proud on campus.
We’ll have BBQ’s, singing, panels, workshops and to finish it all off we’ll end with Queer Ball!


SUN 20th
Inter-University Queer Picnic: https://www.facebook.com/events/1491817624444667/

MON 21st
Champagne Breakfast Pride Week Launch:

TUES 22nd
Hannah Gadsby:

WEDS 23rd
No Pride in Stopping the Boats Panel: https://www.facebook.com/events/1189952821031309/

All About the B! – Bisexuality Panel: https://www.facebook.com/events/1651447855095449/

THURS 24th
Marriage Equality Rally: https://www.facebook.com/events/1632145387067904/

FRI 25th
Intro to intersex:

Queer Ball: https://www.facebook.com/events/770159186428825/

This week is for ALL to participate in, whether you’re queer or an ally!

Hosted by the ANU Queer* Department

Welcome to Semester 2!


10922607_10205557608761624_5443709999056939476_n-1I’d just like to start by welcoming everyone, both old and new, to the ANU Queer* Department for Semester 2! This semester should be super fun and exciting as we have a lot planned. We’re well on our way to Queer* Domination!! Just kidding. 😛

New Members!

Firstly, if you’re new to the department, I’d really recommend checking out our website. You can find a copy of the constitution there as well as our meeting minutes from first semester. Here’s the link: http://anuqueerdepartment.com. You should also join our Facebook group as we do most of our events through there.(Please be aware it is a closed group so people may be able to see you in the group.).

If you identify as Queer* and you would like access to the Queer* Space please fill in this form to get 24/7 access (we have tea, friendly peeps and a Wii!).


My contact hours are from 11am-1pm on Tuesdays in the Queer* Space this semester. I’m always happy to chat so just pop in and say hi!

We’ve got a few little projects from last semester happening already. There’s the Trans and Intersex policy for ANU we’ve been working on since first semester. There’s also the Gender Neutral Bathrooms project.

If you’re in need of a binder, the Queer* Dep has approved money to sponsor individuals to buy a binder. If you’re interested in the Queer Dep buying one for you fill in this form here.

I would also like to alert members and users of the Queer* Space that we have a cleaning roster for the space. I would really appreciate if it people could put their name down for a day this semester to contribute back and help keep it tidy. 🙂 Here’s the link.

Finally, congratulations to our new Queer* Department Deputies. They’re always happy to chat as well so give them or myself a bell if you have any questions or need anything. 🙂

Event Reminders

First Meeting of Semester 2 + Brainstorming!

Thursday 30th July
Queer* SpaceCome to the Queer* Space for our first meeting of Semester 2! We’ll be passing the budget and discussing Pride Week!Agenda.

We’ll be having a quick Brainstorming session straight after the meeting so we can get some ideas for semester 2 ready. If you have some ideas but can’t make it to the meeting I’ve done a form for you to input you’re ideas. 🙂 Please brainstorm away! Here’s the form.

FB Event

Queer* Coffee

Friday 31th July
As You Like It CafeMeet us at the Street Theatre Cafe for a nice coffee, brunch and chats.

FB Event

Ace and Aro Tea

Friday 31st July
ANU Queer* Space (Back Room)This is a meet-up for asexual-spectrum and aromantic-spectrum people to talk about their ace and/or aro feels and drink tea!FB Event

ISGD Afternoons in the Space

Monday 3rd August
Queer* Space (back room)

ISGD = Intersex, Sex and Gender Diverse

ISGD afternoons is an autonomous pastoral care group for those who identify as ISGD. If you’re hurting in the genders or need some advice then you’re come then welcome to come chat about it with the group.

Tea drinking and clothes bin perusals in the Queer* Space back room will also happen.

FB Event

Thanks dears! Have a great week everyone!

Kat xx

Queer* Department’s ANU O’Week!

ANUSA’s O’Week is fast approaching and the ANU Queer* Department is more than prepared! We’ve got many exciting social events (some include free food!) so make sure you check us out! Come find us at a stall at Market Day on Weds 11th Feb in Union Court (look out for our Queer* Dep banner) to grab a free truly awesome Queer* Dep. show bag (complete with lollies and other cool stuff). Below are the deets for the events as well as Facebook event links.

Q. Dep O’Week Schedule

MON 9th Feb

Gender-Free Speed Dating 


2pm – 4pm

Head on down to ANU Bar for this O-Week tradition for a chance to get to know some great people and make new friends!

Participants will be rotated so you’ll get a chance to meet everyone. Afterwards you can give out contact details to stay in touch with your new friends, or maybe something more. 😉

All welcome (18+)

TUES 10th Feb

Champagne Breakfast 

Fellows Amphitheatre BBQ

11am – 2pm

The Queer* Department’s traditional Champagne Breakfast from 11am in the Fellows Amphitheatre BBQ (near Hancock Library).

There will be plenty of food, including options for those with dietary requirements (if you have any questions contact Kat at sa.queer@anu.edu.au or post in the event.)

There will also be finger paints and a mural to get the creative juices flowing!

Everyone welcome, invite your friends! 🙂
18+ event

WEDS 11th Feb

Market Day 

Union Court

9am – 5pm

Come find us at Market Day to grab a show bag and sign up to the mailing list!

Queery – The Many Ways of Coming Out

John Dedman Lawns


What does coming out mean to you? Do you come out once, or many times? Why is there so much pressure to come out, and why is it still so confronting? Should we have to come out at all? Come along to our Queery and discuss this broad and interesting topic with others from the Department and maybe we can find some answers!

Meet at Union Court at 4:45 to walk over if you’re not sure where the lawns are.

THURS 12th Feb

The Very Snazzy Dinner Party

5pm – 9pm

Food Co-Op

Partied out? Hungry? Want to relax and get to know people in a quieter environment? Come along to our dinner party!

We’ll make our own food, then sit and chat and maybe play some board games (thanks to Games Capital ACT). Feel free to bring your own games and entertainment if there’s something particular you’d like to play.


If you’re new to ANU, then make sure you check out our FB group (just search “ANU Queer Department) so you can get involved and make sure to like our page ANUPride. You should also subscribe to the mailing list (updates every week!) if you’re not Facebook inclined. Lastly, you can email the Queer* Officer (Kat Reed) at sa.queer@anu.edu.au for absolutely anything you need a hand with.

Autonomy and the Need for the Queer Space

BY STUART FERRIE, Originally published by Woroni on March 25, 2013.

So, a number of people over the years have raised concerns that the Queer* Department doesn’t involve straight people and that there isn’t a Straight Space.

These concerns all boil down to autonomy. Autonomy in the context of the Queer*, Women’s, Disabilities, Indigenous and International Student Departments refers to the fact that all of these departments of ANUSA are that minority exclusively. The membership is identifying or registering as that minority and being a member of ANUSA. There’s no prerogative to engage with the departments you are a member of nor does it mean that they run exclusively autonomous events, but that they do organise autonomously.

I, as well as many active members of each of these departments, agree that autonomous organising is important, as we are the ones affected by the day-to-day struggles associated with being in a minority. The lived experience is of real importance here. That isn’t to say that the role of allies isn’t important: they’re extremely important, however the ability to autonomously organise is also extremely important.

Not to be prescriptive, but I believe one of the best things an ally can do is listen. To be supportive, you do need to know what you’re supporting. Take for example, equal marriage, it’s great that there are so many supportive straight people, but it’s by no means the only, nor the biggest concern in queer communities. Police violence against queer people has again become a big concern after there were a number of incidents of excessive force used against people after the Mardi Gras parade and the intense policing surrounding the after party. People who don’t present themselves as unambiguously male or female feel unsafe on our campus and after some of the reports I hear, they’re justified in it. Mental illness is still disturbingly common amongst queer people, with a much higher frequency than in straight people. This is just a sample of some of the many problems queer people still face on a day-to-day basis. These necessitate a queer-only space to be free of these issues, as the entire wider world is a straight space.

One sure-fire way to get people on the defensive is to flat out condemn the Queer* Department for not letting straight people be members. The departments are not simply social clubs nor interest groups. The idea is to get people together and work together when you all know from experience what you’re facing. As I’ve explained, you’re not a member unless you’re part of that minority and unless you decide that you’re queer, you can’t become a member. Being able to intellectualise the issues surrounding it is important for understanding, however it cannot replace the lived experience. For example, I am not a woman, so I do not have the lived experience to join the Women’s Collective, but I do identify as a feminist and provide support when it’s asked for, not try to push my own beliefs about what women want onto them.

However, there are other avenues to engage with queer politics around the ANU and Canberra. Ally@ANU runs training sessions which you can register for. The Diversity Learning Community run a number of events with the collectives. These events are non-autonomous, which you are perfectly welcome to go to. The AIDS Action Council always want more volunteers to help out with safe-sex packs. These non-autonomous bodies are incredibly valuable and a way for people who are not queer to help out the queer cause.

Now, to address the issue of the Queer Space. The Queer Space has existed on campus for much of the Queer* Department’s nineteen year long history but the reasoning why the Queer Space exists still hasn’t changed.

The Queer Space is a safe space for queer-identifying students on campus to escape the homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism of the wider world. Homophobia is a concept most people are familiar with, while transphobia is active discrimination against people who identify or present as trans. Heterosexism is a much subtler form of these: the assumption that everyone is straight and the privilege that comes with that. Heterosexism is the biggest barrier for equality for queer people. The wider world is very much a heterosexist space, so this is why a Queer Space exists.

Despite the way it may seem sometimes, I can’t think of a single queer person who has no interaction with straight people. The Queer Space is only a tiny little room on a very large campus. We have to leave sometimes. There’s always bread there, but I can’t eat bread as I’m coeliac, so I have to leave to eat. Throughout its long history, queer students have never been seriously isolated from the rest of the wider community solely via the Queer Space and Queer* Department.

In all honesty, it’d be an interesting world where there was no heterosexism or straight privilege. There’d be no need for a queer space really, although I think it’d still be nice to have one, but by no means necessary. It’d probably be a retreat for queer people to only associate with other queer people rather than have to be out there in the wider community, where they’d be totally accepted. Unfortunately, queer people aren’t totally accepted. As I’ve alluded to, there are still structures in place that enforce the gender binary and heterosexism onto all of us.

In response to“Positive Discrimination Going Undetected in ANU Societies” [an old Woroni article from 2013], I’d disagree that it’s “morally repellent and ultimately a huge step in the wrong direction, away from equality.” Going back all the way to the Stonewall Riots, which were one of the founding moments of the queer movements and closer to home, the first Mardi Gras in Sydney thirty-five years ago this year, the organising was autonomous against a rather homophobic world. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, but there’s still a very long way to go.

I will concede however that there probably haven’t been as many non-autonomous events as we could run, but it’s the kind of thing that isn’t my decision as we operate under a collective model of organising. It will definitely be seriously discussed though. Our event for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on the 17th of May will definitely be open to all, but there will be further details to come.

Ultimately what I hope comes out of all of this is that people gain a bit more of an appreciation of why there are Queer and Women’s spaces on campus and why the Departments organise autonomously. We don’t hate straight people, most of them are great in fact. We don’t want them to not exist. We just want a bit of space sometimes.

Queer* Department meetings are held at 5pm on Thursdays on even numbered weeks in the Queer* Space. For more details, contact sa.queer@anu.edu.au.


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