Sydney awarded Gold at the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards

31 May 2021

Committed to creating a more inclusive place to work

The University of Sydney has been named as a 'gold employer' at the Australian LGBTQ Awards, which recognises Australia's top organisations for inclusion based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).  

Representatives from the University stand ina group with two central members holding the AWEI Gold Award

Matt Pye, Christie Adamson and colleagues celebrate being awarded Gold Accreditation

The University of Sydney has achieved Gold accreditation and was a finalist for Employer of the Year at the AWEI 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

This recognition means the University is now counted as one of the most inclusive employers in Australia for the LGBTQ+ community.  

The Pride Network, a network supporting LGBTQ+ members of our community led by Co-Chairs Dr Matt Pye, Academic Fellow in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Christie Adamson, School Manager, Sydney Nursing School, has played a vital role in championing LGBTQ+ inclusion across the University.

“Dr Pye and I are so proud of all the work the Pride Network achieved in the face of 2020. We quickly moved events online so our members still felt connected with us, we started our monthly newsletter, created the OUT for Now Canvas site for students and also set up LGBTQ student liaison officers in almost every faculty. It was fantastic to continue momentum during a tough year for the University and our staff,” said Christie.

The Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards is an annual event that recognises efforts made within organisations toward LGBTQ inclusion. Awards are allocated based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) survey, a national benchmark that looks at all aspects of inclusion for people of diverse sexualities or genders.  

Congratulations to all colleagues involved in making our workplace inclusive for the LGBTIQ+ community. This is a phenomenal result and reflects the efforts of so many colleagues to make our workplace even more inclusive within a challenging environment
Vice-Chancellor Stephen Garton
AWEI Gold Award

Step up to gold

Gold recognition is given to employers that have obtained the highest scores (top ten percent) on the AWEI and provided evidence to show they are working at an advanced level when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Submissions are marked according to a set of stringent criteria and given a total score out of 200. In 2020, the University received 132 points and this year we received 192 (increasing our score by 60 points). The scores required to achieve each level have gone up year on year, making it harder to achieve the same level – a reflection of the strides being made in this area by organisations across Australia.

We received points for supporting a range of LBGTQ+ inclusion initiatives and activities including:

  • promoting best-practice inclusive language guidelines across the University
  • education initiatives and development of online training modules to support new staff
  • LGBTQ+ inclusive updates to our recruitment, parental leave and leave policies and procedures
  • support for community events such as Mardi Gras and University events exploring themes such as intersectionality and intersex awareness
  • initiatives to support LGBTIQ+ students including the OUT for Now series

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Garton, who is executive sponsor of the Pride Network, said the results reflected remarkable efforts of University colleagues towards inclusion.

Celebrating outstanding staff

As well as the University receiving recognition, two of our staff were celebrated for their individual contributions to the LGBTQ+ community during 2020.

Daniele Gianotti - Out Role Model of the Year finalist

Daniele Gianotti, Deputy Chair of the University’s Pride Network, was recognised for providing a voice for non-binary members of our University community, and for efforts representing the University through activities such as Mardi Gras, fundraisers and student make-up tutorials.

Dr Vanessa Lee - Sapphire award finalist

Dr Vanessa Lee was nominated for her social activism and standing up for equality not only for the LGBTQ community but also for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, people living with disability and women through policy development, research, panel participation and her role on the board of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). She is also an active contributor to the UN Women Gender Coordination Group, representing ILGA.