One of the things I really like about working in higher education is the relatively relaxed work environment. I’m lucky to work with a great bunch of people who work hard, care about their contribution to higher education, and who also enjoy a bit of fun and banter in the office. A lot of us are using a sense of humour to help us cope with the current uncertainties facing the sector and our lives.
We tell jokes and we make fun of each other in a gentle, collegiate way.
Today, 28 August, is the 10th anniversary of Wear It Purple Day.
Wear It Purple started in 2010 as an initiative to show support to at-risk LGBTQIA youth. Ten years ago, Australia’s attitudes towards the LGBTQIA (or Queer) community were very different. Since then a number of laws have been changed that make Australian society safer for Queer people.
If you’re paying attention to the diversity and inclusion space, you’re likely hearing a lot about ‘allies’. For example, ANU has an LGBTQIA+ Ally Network, which works to increase visibility, support, and community for LGBTQIA+ staff and students.
Given allyship is a crucial part of building a diverse and inclusive environment, it’s worth taking some time to unpack what precisely an ally is and what allies do.
This week is a guest post by College superstar PhD student, Ellen Lynch. On 13 July Ellen co-facilitated a session on inclusive teaching practices, led by the ANU Centre for Learning and Teaching, a wonderful unit dedicated to supporting innovative education at ANU. This post is Ellen’s reflection on the session, which was attended by more than 70 ANU College of Engienering and Computer Science (CECS) educators.
Racism has been front and centre of the news lately.
If you consume any kind of mainstream or social media, you will have seen the mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the USA, and related protests against Indigenous deaths in custody here in Australia.
Conventional wisdom tells us that there are boys and girls. Boys and girls then invariably grow into men and women. Very simple.
Nope, sorry! Sex and gender is way more complicated than that. Let’s unpack it a bit.
At the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, all of our research and education activities are geared around building technology of some kind. The sciencey bits of tech are awesome. I love hearing from students and researchers about clever AI and ever-improving renewable energy tech.
Tech is fun. Tech is tinkering and finding and fixing and breaking and building. It’s playing with things and finding out how stuff works and then finding out how to get stuff to work better.
Privilege has become a bit of a lightning rod recently. I’ve seen ‘privileged’ used as an insult. I’ve seen ‘check your privilege’ thrown at people genuinely trying to engage in conversations in online spaces. You can even take a (very problematic) Buzzfeed Quiz that will tell you how privileged you are, in a score out of 100 points!