A group on bikes and on foot waving rainbow flags

On Sunday 2nd February, a perfect 24-degree day, a group of staff from VU’s Ally Network gathered in St Kilda to celebrate Midsumma Pride March 2020.

As the Allies arrived, they were greeted with a sea of colour, flags, sparkles and beaming faces – over 10,000 people ready to march.

VU advocates for inclusion

VU Staff hold pride banner

Victoria University is a strong advocate for inclusion, and the march was a great way for the Ally Network to show support for LGBTIQA+ staff, students and their families. Leading up to Pride March, a banner-making activity was organised at VU’s Footscray Park Campus for staff and students to contribute messages of support. The banner was brought along to the march, with VU’s messages of acceptance, alliance and love echoed on the day.

“I went along to show that VU supports our LGBTIQ community, and that we want to enact social change and have good policies – as well as to enjoy a fun day watching the wonderful groups in the parade!”
- Lou Connell, Business College Librarian

Pride March a vibrant celebration

VU staff with pride t-shirts

The march kicked off at 11am, with the roar of Dykes on Bikes, leading Rainbow Aboriginal Pride, who opened the march with a smoking ceremony, and a convoy of Aboriginal performers and dancers. More than 200 groups marched through Fitzroy Street, with music, drums and dancers.

The march highlighted subjects of health and wellbeing, diversity and intersectionality with groups such as Headspace, Pride Cup (promoting pride in sport), Pride Vic Disability Group, Rainbow Family Pacific Islands, and Alice’s Garage, a group supporting LGBTIQA+ seniors and advocating and addressing ageism and LGBTIQA+ phobia. The inclusiveness and comradery felt on the day was powerful.

Attending the march was significant to VU Library Officer, Gabe Thomson: “I chose to attend the Pride March to send a message of solidarity and support to all LGBTIQ+ students and staff at VU. I was particularly inspired by the rainbow Aboriginal float led by Boon Wurrung elders, who organised a beautiful Welcome to Country on the St Kilda foreshore.”

Overall, the 2020 Midsumma Pride March celebrated the diversity of Melbourne’s LGBTIQA+ community in spectacular form. It was an absolute joy to attend and share the experience with friends, family and over 45,000 other people who celebrated the day.

Contact VU's LGBTIQA+ networks

VU has a Queer Collective, with events and information supporting LGBTIQA+ students. More information can be found at VU Queer Collective, or contact VU Student Union Queer Officer Mickey Deppeler, email: [email protected].

If you are a VU staff member and would like to find out more about VU’s Ally Network, including joining, please email [email protected].

VU Staff at pride march