Equity and Diversity

Equity and Diversity

The Department of Physics and Astronomy maintains an active gender-balanced Equity and Diversity committee with representation from all academic levels, professional staff and research students.

Workplace culture

A draft Workplace Culture statement for the Department will be voted on for formal adoption shortly:

The Department of Physics and Astronomy pays respect to the original custodians of the land on which Macquarie University resides and to indigenous staff and students who study and work among us.

We embrace Macquarie University's commitment to principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We recognise these principles as core to our mission of fostering excellence and increasing impact in our research, teaching and community engagement.

We aim to be welcoming and supportive of all staff and students regardless of gender and sexual identity, ethnic and cultural background, disability, age, family/carer responsibilities, political affiliation, and religious belief. This commitment underlies our approach to recruitment, mentoring, promotion and celebration of success, and extends to all Department members: academic staff, professional staff, students and visitors.

We commit to an ongoing culture of improvement, measuring and reflecting on our progress, active pursuit of internal feedback and external assessment, and promotion of these values within our Department, to the University and in our wider academic community.

Following from this statement we make the following commitments:

  • The Department will take reports of workplace concerns and misbehaviour seriously and will support individuals in dealing with the University's equity and complaint processes.
  • We will institute training resources for staff and postgraduate students in unconscious bias and positive workplace environments.
  • We will develop a Person of Contact system for reporting concerns.
  • We will develop a statement of mutual expectations for our undergraduate students.
  • We will monitor our web pages, social media and seminar series for gender balance and diversity.
  • We will remain informed about best practice in equity and diversity from physical sciences schools and institutions around the world and evolve our processes in response.

Marriage Equality

On September 11, 2017, The Department officially adopted a position in favour of marriage equality in Australia endorsing the following statement:Australia Marriage Equality logo

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University supports equality under the law in all circumstances. This includes the right of any adult and their consenting adult partner to have their relationship recognized equally under Australian law, regardless of gender.


The Department has been awarded Bronze status in the Pleiades Awards which recognise workplaces in Australian astronomy and physics encouraging full participation of women at all levels of professional life through the implementation of gender-friendly practices.

Our 2016 application is available here.

Upcoming Events

IDEA workshop 2017

The Department and Macquarie University is hosting the 2017 Diversity in Astronomy Workshop on behalf of the  Astronomical Society of Australia's Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Astronomy Chapter from 28-29 September, 2017.


Head of Department: Professor Michael Steel, Tel. 9850 8916, Email: michael.steel@mq.edu.au

Equity and Diversity committee chairs:

Ms Emma Hastings: Department Manager, Tel. 9850 8911, Email: emma.hastings@mq.edu.au 
Associate Professor Daniel Zucker :Tel. 9850 4442, Email: Daniel.zucker@mq.edu.au

Macquarie University Ally Network members 

The Ally network supports a positive and safe workplace for LGBTIQ+ staff and students: 

Lynne Cousins
Orsola De Marco
Richard McDermid
Michael Steel
Daniel Zucker

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