Campus art celebrates diversity at Griffith University

Griffith University has demonstrated its commitment to LGBTIQ+ inclusion by creating a colourful Progress Pride Flag crossing at Nathan campus. 

The eye-catching artwork was installed at the Arrivals Plaza as part of Pride Month and features a QR code that links to more information about Griffith’s LGBTIQ+ community. 

Originally designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, the iconic rainbow flag has long been a symbol of the gay rights movement and a potent reminder of the ongoing fight for LGBTIQ+ equality and freedom around the world. 

The Progress Pride Flag was created in 2018 by designer Daniel Quasar, who added a five-colored chevron to represent marginalised LGBTIQ+ people of colour and the transgender community. 

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans

Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the new Progress Pride Crossing was an important symbol of the University’s commitment to equality and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) students, staff and other stakeholders.  

“We are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment on campus,” Professor Evans said. 

“The Progress Pride Flag crossing at Nathan is a colourful and very visible symbol of LGBTIQ+ inclusion at Griffith.” 

Griffith Pride Committee Chair Dr Elise Stephenson said the Nathan campus rainbow crossing joined others around the world, from Sydney to London and San Francisco.

Pride Committee Chair Dr Elise Stephenson

“The Pride Crossing project is a mark of solidarity. I’ve been to many places around the world that have them, and it’s very welcoming,” she said. 

“This is about creating a campus where people feel safe to be who they are and are celebrated for it. 

“I think there’s a beautiful symbolism to it being a crossing that marks the path from the outside world onto campus. 

“It represents some of the other steps that we’re taking as a university towards LGBTIQ+ inclusion and allows us to reflect on progress made and highlight where we still need to make change.” 

Dr Stephenson said for the second year running Griffith University had received Bronze Tier status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) at the 2021 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

“The Pride Committee and our ally network are doing a lot of tangible work, from helping staff make their research and learning and teaching more inclusive and reviewing our use of pronouns and preferred names,” she said. 

“I was a student at Griffith University and have worked here for more than a decade. It’s been a personal journey, trying to find my place, and be supportive to others too. 

“Students come here with really diverse experiences of life, and sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference – someone using the correct pronouns when they’re talking to you, having the right resources available, seeing a rainbow a pin on someone or the Pride Crossing. 

“It’s the little things that signify to our students and staff that it’s okay to be who they are, and you can’t put a value on that.” 

Griffith University Senior Lead (Diversity & Inclusion) Marnie King said the QR code on the crossing would allow visitors to access resources about LGBTIQ+ inclusion. 

Marnie King

“We want this to be a powerful symbol and increase the visibility of our LGBTIQ+ community, but it’s also a practical way to draw people’s attention to the work we do through the Pride Committee and our ally network,” she said. 

Students from the Queensland College of Art (QCA) will now create a series of murals around Nathan campus alongside large-scale work by QCA First Nations alumni. 

“It’s important that our spaces encourage a sense of belonging, inclusivity and inspiration,” Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) and Head of Nathan Campus, Professor David Grantsaid. 

“The Pride Crossing is the first of several public art projects that will be launched at Nathan this year, and I’m delighted that it embodies our mission and values.”