The Carey Pride Group is a welcoming, supportive and safe environment for students and staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual or other sexualities and genders (LGBTQIA+). The Group is also for student and staff allies who recognise why Pride is an important symbol for supporting Carey Middle and Senior School students. Over the past three years, the Carey Pride Group has flourished and this year’s Pride Week certainly provided opportunities for our students across the Middle and Senior School to participate and enjoy a number of significant events and presentations. This year was the first year we combined our Pride Week with Wear it Purple Day, which was celebrated across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in a number of workplaces and schools.
Last week’s focus on being proud and expanding the Pride message was highlighted through the events at Carey across the week. Badge-making kicked off Pride Week in the Library on Monday with students involved in making rainbow badges and enjoying creativity. This was followed by an insightful presentation from queer writer Jordi Kerr on Tuesday, who highlighted the need to have LGBTQIA+ representation and role models in the writing community to share positive stories and insights for young people in their personal development.
Wednesday’s guest speakers, Geoffrey Britto and Sabrina Frederick, captured the essence of our Carey Pride message: equality is the right of all of us and diversity is one of the key elements to our lives that authentically links our communities. Both speakers gave personal insight into their journey through education systems of the past which did not condone or support LGBTQIA+ students and later through their advocacy within their employment areas. Geoffrey highlighted the need for understanding gender and sexuality diverse people in the construction and engineering industries and Sabrina through sport and her role in the AFL. We also heard Mr Grutzner speak at our assemblies about his experiences and his support of our Pride and Equality platforms within our school.
On Wednesday evening, many of the Pride Group attended our school production in the IWA to see The Laramie Project. The play is based on the events of the hate crime associated with Matthew Sheppard’s death in a small mid-western town in the US – such a poignant theatre production during Pride Week. The play was truly moving and brought tears to many in the audience. We should be very proud of our Senior School students who were involved in the production.
Our Pride barbecue on Thursday raised $364.00 for our two nominated charities – Minus 18 and Wear it Purple and in the evening we celebrated our Pride friends and family film night in the IWA, with students enjoying the Disney production of Mulan.
On Friday, the week concluded with Wear it Purple Day through splashes of purple around the school and a staff morning tea to celebrate the week. The Wear it Purple Day event on Friday night in the CBD saw a beautiful display of rainbow across Flinders Street Station, with many Pride Groups from around Melbourne attending. It was a wonderful celebration to finish a successful week.
A huge thank you to many staff who attended and assisted in the supervision of events and all students who participated in the week.
Pride Group Teacher Co-ordinator and Leader of Learning – Art and Design