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LGBTQ Pride artwork vandalised on UNSW campus

by Elle Bodeep

Less than 24 hours into UNSW’s Respect Week, the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’, an art installation that advocates for LGBTQ+ Pride, has been vandalised at Quad.

At 8AM this morning (Tuesday), it was reported that 3 out of 5 strands of the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ art installation had been cut down.

Event organiser Angela Griffin said “Upon inspection, we can tell that they have been cut not ripped in the wind.”

The installation is a reiteration of the ‘Rainbow Roof’ artwork which featured in Artsweek 2017 on Quad. Rainbow Roof coincided with the height of the marriage equality debate in Australia, and the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ brings colour to the Quadrangle amidst Respect Week and the international Pride month of June.

The original ‘Rainbow Waterfalll’ installation before the work was vandalised

Griffin expressed her dismay “It’s incredibly disappointing that someone would attempt to destroy this simple little installation. They symbolism of it being attacked shows there is still work to be done to combat homophobia on campus.”

Strands cut from the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ installation

Hosted by Arc and supported by UNSW Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Respect Week is an extension of the ongoing ‘Be a Better Human’ campaign that encourages all members of the UNSW community to strive to be better allies. The festival features panels, debate, workshops, speed-dating, free food and heaps more.

“We want everyone to stand in solidarity with disenfranchised groups, to amplify their voices and reflect on how we can be the best we can be.”

Check out the event here.

The vandalism has been reported to Campus Security.

Readers may find this event distressing. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to the following helplines:

  • QLife (counselling and referral service for LGBTI people): 1800 184 527 or chat online
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue (for anyone feeling depressed or anxious): call 1300 22 4636 or chat online