Everyone belongs: How will you tackle racism?


A short stroll down Wally’s Walk on a busy weekday is enough to give you an appreciation of how diverse the Macquarie University community is.

There are 170 countries represented among our student body, with 35 per cent of Macquarie students coming from non-English speaking backgrounds. Forty-five per cent of staff were born overseas1, speaking a total of 84 languages, while 1.2 per cent are from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background2.

And while we pride ourselves on the diversity of our perspectives and experiences, the flipside is that there are staff members and students within the Macquarie community who experience racism, bias or discrimination because of their racial or cultural background.

Tuesday 21 March was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, marked in Australia by Harmony Week. It was a time to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of the Macquarie community, but also an opportunity to ask ourselves what we are doing – as individuals, teams and as an organisation – to ensure everyone within our community feels a sense of safety, belonging and respect.

The Wallumattagal Campus celebrated Harmony Week with a series of events in the Central Courtyard. A DJ played world music, free gelato and Belgian cookies were served, the rhythms of the world resonated through a drumming demonstration and food stalls served cultural cuisines. There were also art workshops and Indigenous games workshops hosted by Walanga Muru.

A video filmed by students of other students sharing how to say hello in their mother tongue was posted to social media and received almost 150,000 views, making it Macquarie’s highest-ever performing video on Instagram.

Here are some of the ways you can help foster inclusion at Macquarie:

  • If you are not among the more than 1300 staff who have already completed the Manawari Cultural Safety training, register now and help create an environment for our Aboriginal students and staff that is conducive to their success and free of racism and discrimination.
  • Express your interest in joining a new University network that will bring together and empower staff from all cultural backgrounds to inform and progress diversity initiatives at Macquarie. Everyone is welcome to attend an initial meeting in April, where the network’s role and priorities will be determined. Register your interest by emailing workplacediversityinclusion@mq.edu.au.
  • Contribute to a University-wide ‘word cloud’ artwork that is being developed as part of the launch of the University’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy later this year. Answer these questions to share what belonging at Macquarie means to you.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Sharepoint offers great tools for you and your team to make your ways of working more inclusive, with guides for inclusive recruitment, addressing bias in decision making, assessing achievement relative to opportunity and collecting diversity demographic data. 

Macquarie University does not tolerate racist behaviour. Here’s how to respond to racism as a Macquarie staff member or student, including available support.

12022 Inclusion@Work Survey

2Macquarie University HR system







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