So, Pride Week is at UoN this week, from Monday 11 September to Friday 15 September 2017 during week 8 of semester. While LGBTQIA+ acceptance still has such a long way to go, this week will be an opportunity to celebrate, learn and discuss queer community and culture. Many students at the university identify as LGBTQIA+ so this week will be dear to many.

The week begins with a historic moment: the raising of the Pride flag for the first time ever at the University of Newcastle. This will happen on Monday 11 September at midday, at the Great Hall (Callaghan Campus). This day marks the start of the week’s activities.

According to Ollie Cook, the driving force behind the week, the flag raising “is a really important step in the university making inclusive steps for queer students. It’s time to celebrate queer staff and students but also recognise and reflect on what still needs to be done”.

The rest of the week is jam packed with education and entertainment. On Tuesday 12 September, from 11am to 2pm, the Carnival will take place at Park on the Hill. There will be jumping castles, fairy floss, screen printing, and if we’re lucky enough, we might just spot a gay-hound or two, thanks to Friends of the Hound. Look out for the amazing and talented queer bands playing during the Carnival as well.

Wednesday 13 September showcases local queer artists in the innovation lab, which will be open to all. Be sure to come and support our budding artists. During the exhibition, there will also be a Mythbusters Panel. It is an opportunity to listen and learn about your fellow LGBTQIA+ students, and what it means to be queer.

In the evening, Gayby Baby will screen from 5:30pm in Gp101, which explores what it means to be raised by LGBTQIA+ parents.

On Thursday 14 September, the Queer Collective will have stall from 11am to 1pm at Park on the Hill. This will take place along with the NUSA bbq, so come on down to talk to your friendly neighbourhood Queer Collective and have a free feed.

During this time, AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON) will be running a 101 on HIV from 11am to 12pm in the NUSA building. ACON advocate for, and work towards ending HIV transmission. They support members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Come along to refresh your knowledge or understand the basics of HIV and prevention.

From 1pm to 2:30pm, there will be a Gender Diversity workshop in the NUSA meeting room, which is open to trans and non-trans individuals.

To top off Thursday, there will be a Postgraduate Queer Research Evening at 6pm at the Hop Factory on Darby Street. It will be an opportunity to see a showcase of LGBTQIA+ research by honours and postgrad students, and is open to all. It will be a wonderfully informative event.

On Friday 15 September, the Pride Party will be at Customs House from 7pm. After a big week, it will be a nice way to let go.

The week is, first and foremost, an opportunity to engage with the knowledge and education about being queer that is being offered. We hope everyone has a wholesome week, filled with rainbows.

Find the Facebook event page here