If Hayden has a spare moment between studies, you can guarantee that it’s spent volunteering and campaigning to improve the lives of minority communities.
A passionate advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community, Hayden dreams of one day working for an organisation that changes lives for the better.
But being an activist comes at a price.
“I love every minute of it, but it comes with long hours of hard work, no pay and very little recognition,” says Hayden, who is currently studying a Doctor of Philosophy.
“I live on nearly nothing and struggle to make ends meet each week.”
Then a friend sent Hayden details of the 78ers Legacy Fund Scholarship, and they jumped at the chance to apply. The new scholarship, named after the activists who took part in the first Mardi Gras in 1978, was established by a community of alumni, friends and staff at the University.
I know that this scholarship will help me more than financially though. It’s made me realise that my activism in the community makes a positive difference to people and it’s inspired me to continue the work I'm doing.
Supported by more than 50 generous donors, the 78ers Legacy Fund assists students working to advance equality, inclusion and diversity in the field of sexuality.
Along with a group of 78ers, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Annamarie Jagose, was instrumental in championing this initiative.
"It's an honour to give thanks for everything the 78ers have done," said Professor Jagose. "We’ve achieved an enormous amount in those 40 years, but of course this is not the end. There are many inequities and injustices that still need to be addressed."
Hayden is one of the first recipients of the scholarship, and it has had some immediate and very positive effects, “It’s meant I’ve been able to buy new shoes,” they say. “My previous ones all had holes in them.
“It’s also given me a huge confidence boost and the headspace to focus more on my uni work and activism without the constant financial stress.”
“I know that this scholarship will help me more than financially though. It’s made me realise that my activism in the LGBTIQ+ community makes a positive difference to people and it’s inspired me to continue the work I'm doing.”
“I'd like to say the biggest thank you to all the donors for their support.”
Find out more about supporting the 78ers Legacy Fund and make a tax-deductible donation.