In summary

  • Swinburne Pride Week 2023 will be celebrated from 28 August to 1 September
  • This year’s theme is Queer Intersections, honouring and celebrating the many facets of modern queer identities and lived experiences
  • All are welcome to attend and engage with the Pride Week 2023 events taking place at Swinburne

Swinburne’s annual Pride Week celebrates the connection and community offered on campus, reflecting our ‘One Swinburne’ environment where every student, staff, alum and partner is welcome.

Our goal is to explore ongoing themes that impact LGBTQIA+ life and create a safe space for all to gather in acknowledgement, reflection and discussion.

This year, Swinburne Pride Week will be celebrated from 28 August to 1 September. The theme is Queer Intersections, honouring and celebrating the many facets of modern queer identities and lived experiences.

The week will feature an Ally Network Morning tea, a co-design workshop and panel discussion on this year’s theme as well as the annual Swinburne Pride March at our Hawthorn campus. 

Read on and mark your calendars for this year’s Pride Week celebrations. 

Ally Network Morning Tea

Monday 28 August 2023 10.30am – 11.30am
Co-Ground Café Swinburne
Located in the Arts Building, Hawthorn VIC 3122

Members of Swinburne’s Ally Network, Accessibility Network and Staff Club are invited to meet over morning tea to strengthen connections and discuss the role of an LGTBQIA+ ally during Pride Week. If you have any queries regarding access and inclusion for this event, please email

Register now.

Swinburne Pride Week 2023 Launch + Campus Parade 

Tuesday 29 August 11.30am – 12.30pm
Meet at the Atrium

Browse the Queer Makers’ market stalls, information booths and food trucks, which will run from 11am to 2pm at George Square (corner of Wakefield and John Streets). 

The Swinburne Pride Week Launch and campus parade will take place from 11.30am to 12.30pm, hosted by Swinburne Chief Operating Officer and LGBTQIA+ Executive Champion, Nancy Collins (she/her), with keynote speaker Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Ro Allen (they/them). 

With 25 years of experience in community services, governance and social justice, Ro Allen has a deep commitment to equality and a broad experience in strategic advocacy. As Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Ro works to uphold Victorians’ rights, promote accountability and to build a fairer, safer and more inclusive community. 

Register now.

Co-design workshop: Queer Intersections 

Wednesday 30 August 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Innovation Studio @ The Fire Station
68 William St, Hawthorn (enter via McLeod Lane)

Be part of a think tank to explore queer intersectional issues at Swinburne. Applying a design thinking approach, the workshop will be facilitated by Swinburne lecturers, Linus Tan (he/him), Matthew Jones (he/him) and Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Jacqui Olney (she/her).

Swinburne Vice-President, Innovation and Enterprise, Dr Werner van der Merwe (he/him) will introduce the workshop. The outcomes of this workshop will inform a more effective and innovative approach to addressing inequity and amplifying the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

We recognise that people’s lives are multi-dimensional and complex. To reflect the diversity of lived experience at Swinburne, we are seeking expressions of interest from students, academic and professional staff. There are 30 places available on this workshop.

Find out more.

Queer Intersections: A panel discussion

Thursday 31 August 1.30pm – 3.00pm
AMDC 301 Lecture Theatre
453 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn (enter via Burwood Rd or McLeod Ln)

Join a diverse line up of queer panellists as they reflect on their intersectional identities, how it shaped their lives, offer insight into the unique challenges they faced and how they overcame adversity in modern Australian society. 

The panel discussion will be hosted by Senior Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at the Department of Transport and Planning, media presenter and transgender employment advocate, Michelle Sheppard, more affectionately known as Mama Mish. As a transgender woman, she appreciates the difficulties within the grey created by the gender divide, traverses them herself and willingly takes others on the ride with her. Michelle brings her lived experience as a trans woman into her work, running diversity, equity and inclusion training, mentoring colleagues and providing support to anyone transitioning or affirming their gender. 

Joining the panel discussion are:

  • James Parr, Melbourne-based Wiradjuri triathlete, model, disability advocate and writer
    Being queer and a First Nations triathlete, Swinburne alum James likes to challenge notions of femininity and masculinity. He is passionate about sharing his story and lived experience as a below-the- knee amputee to champion inclusion and representation for the disabled community within mainstream media and fashion industries.

  • Gemma Chandan, Chaplain at Swinburne’s Multi Faith Centre
    Gemma is a senior finance professional who has worked in various industries and multicultural environments. Gemma is a qualified Mindfulness Meditation teacher and self- identifies as queer and a person of colour. She aspires to create a container of courage, care and resilience for all communities.

  • Booker Schwab, Swinburne student
    Games and Interactivity student Booker is a trans man and committee member of Gender Agenda. He strives to create a safe and comfortable environment for students to be themselves and express who they are.

  • Dr Mohammad Taha, STEMM professional and Queers in Science member
    Dr Taha is a multidisciplinary researcher in Materials Science, sustainability and Electronic Engineering and a staunch advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. Dr Taha is a proud member of Queers in Science, a cross-institutional organisation that aims to build community and improve support for LGBTQIA+ people in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). Their commitment to inclusivity and diversity extends beyond the lab, creating a positive impact on their academic environment and society as a whole.  

Register now.

Queer Prom

Friday 1 September 6.00pm – 9.00pm
AMDC Sky Lounge (Level 3)
453 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn (enter via Burwood Rd or McLeod Ln)

Celebrate the end of Pride Week with the Queer Prom, organised by Gender Agenda. Your ticket is inclusive of entry, food, drinks and entertainment for the night, so grab your partner, friend, or plus one and come along. 

Register now.

Other ways to engage with Pride

At Swinburne, our Safer Community team aims to ensure our campuses are safe and respectful spaces for our students and staff. 

Watch the Inclusive Language Webinar recording, where you’ll hear from the Safer Community team and guest speakers from the Moondani Toombadool Centre, AccessAbility service and Transgender Victoria. Don’t forget to access all of Safer Community’s resources through Canvas (staff and student login required).

Additional resources on LGBTQIA+ inclusion are available on the staff intranet. This information includes guidance on pronouns, gender affirmation protocols and other useful resources.

Staff and students who wish to actively and visibly support LGBTQIA+ inclusion at Swinburne are welcome to join the Swinburne Ally Network. The network hosts events and provides ally training. To find out more about the network and to join, email

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