Charles Sturt to host documentary screening for Transgender Awareness Week

12 NOVEMBER 2019

Charles Sturt to host documentary screening for Transgender Awareness Week

Charles Sturt to host documentary screening and question-and-answer session in Wagga Wagga with Ms Holly Conroy to support Transgender Awareness Week.

  • Charles Sturt to host event in Wagga Wagga for Transgender Awareness Week
  • Event includes a screening of Untold Story – Country Pride and question-and-answer session featuring Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras organiser Ms Holly Conroy
  • Charles Sturt is a major sponsor of the Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras

Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) will host a documentary screening and question-and-answer session to support Transgender Awareness Week.

A screening of the SBS documentary Untold Story – Country Pride, featuring Ms Holly Conroy, will be held at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga before a question-and-answer session with Ms Conroy.

Transgender Awareness Week, from Tuesday 12 to Tuesday 19 November, is when members of the transgender community, and allies, share stories and engage the wider public with a view of fostering education, inclusivity and awareness.

Co-convenor of Charles Sturt’s Ally Network and Director of the Centre for Law and Justice Associate Professor Alison Gerard said acknowledging and celebrating Transgender Awareness Week is a critical part of the University’s values.

“Universities have a strong role to play in promoting diversity and in realising the social, cultural and economic benefits attached to valuing inclusivity in our communities.

“This week we celebrate the contribution and leadership of transgender people in the University and our regional footprint,” she said.

“This week is about privileging transgender voices in the Charles Sturt University community, to listen and learn from resilient and vibrant leaders.”

Professor Gerard said Charles Sturt is proud of its diverse staff and student community and is dedicated to supporting cultural safety and inclusion.

“Empathy makes us all better people, it’s what we cultivate in our graduates and what we want in our workplace,” Professor Gerard said.

Project manager of equity and diversity in the Charles Sturt Division of Human Resources Mr Nicholas Steepe said through events such as this, the general community can become more aware of the prejudice and discrimination which transgender and gender diverse individuals face in society, however they are much more than that.

“Events such as these are a chance for the whole community to celebrate the amazing transgender and gender diverse community, and educate ourselves in the many ways we can be an ally to the community,” he said.

Nicholas Steepe“It is also a reminder for people that inclusion does not happen once a year at an event like the Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras, as successful as it is, but it is an ongoing journey for us all.

“I hope people really take away how important it is to be an ally all year round.”

Mr Steepe praised Ms Conroy for sharing her story through the documentary and described her as a “trailblazer” in regional Australia.

Ms Conroy was recently name Community Hero at the ACON Honour Awards 2019 as recognition for being founder and organiser of the Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras, of which Charles Sturt is a major sponsor.

She said the documentary has inspired an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, especially from individuals who are transitioning and their families.

Ms Conroy hopes that by screening the documentary in a public forum it prompts people to ask questions.

“Education is the key message for this week,” she said.

“To people that aren’t transgender, if you don’t know, educate yourself. Ask questions but ask them respectfully.”

Charles Sturt’s documentary screening of Untold Story – Country Pride for Transgender Awareness Week will be from 6pm on Wednesday 13 November at the Charles Sturt Convention Centre in Wagga Wagga, building 230.

RSVP to the free event online via the University shop.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or news@csu.edu.au

Photo captions: (Main image) Ms Holly Conroy will answer questions at the Charles Sturt event. Picture by Jackie Cooper at Jack of Hearts Studio. (Second image) Mr Nicholas Steepe

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