Returning for the fourth consecutive year, Diversity Fest embraces the diversity of our community and ignites broader conversations about how we can foster a more inclusive society.

For the first time since the inaugural event in 2019, the festival was back on campus, with a range of in-person, hybrid and online events taking place throughout the last week of October 2022.

The program contained over 40 free events, including performances, workshops, panel discussions, hackathons and film screenings, covering topics such as, cultural and linguistic diversity, disability inclusion, gender diversity, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, mental health and more.


Monday 24 October

Presentation & Discussion | Monday 24 October | 11.00am - 12.00pm

In Australia, there is a dearth of research on Muslim university students’ experiences in higher degree education institutions. The prevailing approach has been to focus on inclusion, diversity, accommodation of religious and cultural practices. While such studies are important in critiquing institutional barriers and policies, they often ignore the interplay between educational inequities and racial power structures.

Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University, Sydney where she researches Islamophobia, race, Arab and Muslim social justice movements and activism. Her talk drew upon the interviews and workshops with university students to explore the comparative experiences of Muslim and non-Muslim students’ experiences in universities in Sydney.

Organised by NeuRA.

Sydney World Pride Brainstorm | Monday 24 October |12-1pm

UNSW community was encouraged to share their ideas for events and activations and get involved to mark what became an historic and unforgettable Sydney World Pride 2023.  

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion.

Interactive Workshop | Monday 24 October | 12.00 - 1.00pm

An interactive workshop for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities, and the organisations that represent them, to come together, discuss and influence UNSW’s plans for the future of health and local health systems, including its transformational Health Translation Hub in Randwick.

This opportunity linked the CaLD community directly to the university leaders driving health precinct invitiatives to explore ways these projects could better respond to community diversity: cultural, lingusitic, and ethnic amongst others. 

Organised by the Faculties of Arts, Design & Architecture and Medicine & Health.

Keynote Presentation | Monday 24 October | 1.00 - 2.00pm

Jahin Tanvir was born in Bangladesh, and moved to Australia in 2003. Despite facing extensive racism and discrimination, he firmly believes in the power of words to inspire and that overcoming hardship to achieve your goals is possible.

At 21-years-old, Jahin is an award-winning keynote and three-time TEDx speaker, board director, multicultural youth advocate. and Founder & CEO of Breathe., an EdTech social enterprise providing public speaking education to young people, and marginalised communities around Australia.

He shared some of the lessons he has learnt, and the way he has leveraged his experiences to inspire others to feel both capable and empowered as a result of their diversity.

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. 

Panel Discussion & Networking | Monday 24 October | 3.00 - 5.00pm

Sex and gender bias in health and medicine: does it exist and what can we do about it?

This Panel brings together researchers and clinicians as well as experts in gender and health, human rights, philosophy and ethics to discuss:

  • what we know about sex and gender differences and their impact on the burden of disease in Australia;
  • the roadblocks to greater sex and gender equity in research and its translation into health care;
  • opportunities to move forward.

Attendees were invited to share perspectives and explore ways to address sex and gender inequity in health and medicine with the panel. The event concluded with refreshments and an opportunity for researchers and students to network and make connections across the University and its research partners.

It was expected that students and staff attending the event would develop skills in identifying and responding to sex and gender bias in health and medicine and the research upon which it is based.

Facilitator: Angela Hehir, Program Manager Global Women’s Health Program (Australia), The George Institute for Global Health


  • Dr Cheryl Carcel, The George Institute for Global Health & Faculty of Medicine, UNSW
  • Laura Hallam: Research Assistant & PhD Candidate, The George Institute for Global Health
  • Keziah Bennet-Brook: Program Lead, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Program, The George Institute for Global Health
  • Scientia Professor Louise Chappell: Director, Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW
  • Professor Christy Newman: Centre for Social Research in Health, Arts, Design and Architecture, UNSW
  • Professor Timothy O’Leary: UNSW Diversity Champion for Gender Equity & Head of School of Humanities & Languages
  • Arc Women’s Officer : to be announced

This event is a collaboration between The George Institute, the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, the Australian Human Rights Institute UNSW, UNSW Women’s Wellbeing Academy, and Arc.

Painting class | Monday 24 October | 4:30-6:30pm

Walama Muru presented a free Aboriginal painting and cultural awareness class led by artist Peta Joy Williams a Wiradjuri woman, born in Sydney.

Peta shared her culture, her language, and the history of Aboriginal Art. The painting class promoting working together as a group on a large canvas to bring together individual stories and create an artwork that is reflective of all. 

Tuesday 25 October

Showcase | Tuesday 25 October | 9.00 - 11.00am

Inclusive Education comprises practices that make teaching and learning more accessible to all students. It is framed by the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and educator-student co-production, to increase the accessibility of tertiary education to a wider population of students.

UNSW educators who teach inclusively presented their work at the showcase, followed by a Q&A. The showcase was an unique opportunity for the UNSW learning and teaching community to learn about different inclusive education practices and how to incorporate them into their teaching and learning to increase co- production and make courses and the university experience more accessible.

Organised by the UNSW Disability Innovation Institute. 

Panel Discussion | Tuesday 25 October | 11.00am - 12.00pm

This live event discussed the experiences of women in research that identify as members of multiple minority groups or have diverse backgrounds that have led to compounding exposure to discrimination (intersectionality). By focusing on how their experiences as women, specifically those centred in research, are multidimensional and affected by many aspects of their social identity we raised awareness of this component of diversity and of the different barriers women from diverse backgrounds might encounter.

Hosted by the Women in Research Network (WiRN)

Drop-In Conversation | Tuesday 25 October | 12.00 - 2.00pm

EDI in the Classroom: Barriers to Implementation for Educators (Session 1)

Most educators want to do what’s best for their students, to support them in their learning. However, many face barriers to implementing change and accommodations in their teaching practice such as time, capacity and knowledge gaps.

Through a series of drop-in style conversations, the Education Focussed (EF) Team gathered feedback on key questions that aim to highlight some of the barriers that educators currently face when implementing more inclusive and equitable teaching practices. Through these conversations the EF Team and EF academics gained a better understanding and insight into how they might support our educators to implement effective change, leading to a more inclusive learning and teaching experience for our diverse student community at UNSW.

Conversations centered around the theme of Classroom Practice. Participants were guided by visual and verbal prompts that encouraged them to think about barriers to equity and inclusion in their own teaching and learning experiences. 

Organised by the UNSW Education Focussed Team.

Tuesday 25 October 9am-1pm

A treasure hunt of art by women artists around the UNSW Sydney campus - following the clues, exploring works of art in the UNSW Art Collection, and win a prize!

The treasure hunt encouraged team participation of up to five people and needed the use of mobile phones to connect with the clues and celebrate women and their creativity. 

Organised by UNSW Culture

Workshop | Tuesday 25 October | 1.00 - 2.00pm

People joined Arc's Food Hub program to have a bite of some cultural snacks and participate in a speed friending event.

Organised by Arc.

Workshop | Tuesday 25 October | 3.00 - 4.30pm

Back by popular demand this Aslan workshop taught participants how to communicate with Deaf people and people who are hard of hearing. All UNSW students and staff were invited to learn the basics of Auslan and much more!

Organised by Arc.

Showcase | Tuesday 25 October | 4.00 - 5.00pm

Penpals with GenEx: Bridging the Inter-Generational Gap

Penpals with GenEx: Bridging the Intergenerational Gap, one of the student-run social enterprises from Enactus UNSW, addressed the issused caused by generational gaps in our society. 

Organised by Enactus.

Film Screening & Panel Discussion | Tuesday 25 October | 6.00 - 8.30pm

A screening of the critically acclaimed documentary film 'The Leadership', following Australian CEO and "dreamer" Fabian Dattner, as she leads an international group of 76 women scientists on an Antarctic voyage designed to transform them into the sort of leaders they want to be. 

Following the screening of the documentary an honest panel discussion and Q&A on Women's Leadership was conducted. 

Event run by The Transforming Women's Leadership Pathways program, an international initiative lead by the PLuS Alliance (Arizona State University, King's College London and UNSW Sydney).

Wednesday 26 October

VR experience  | Wednesday 26 October | 10.00am - 5.00pm

Australia has 4.4 million people living with disability, which is 17.7% of the population (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018). However, people with disability are hugely under-represented in our society’s cultural narratives.

This event showcased Virtual Reality (VR) videos of a girl called Amy who is living with disability. Through the power of VR, participants got to experience what it's like for Amy when she goes to a café for lunch with her friend. 

The VR videos were co-created with people with disability and celebrate the diversity of people with disability and advocate for better treatment for them by society. 

Organised by UNSW Business School.

Stalls in the Scientia Foyer | Wednesday 26 October | 11.30 - 3.30pm

Ethical Market Stall suppliers celebrate women, culture, small-business and sustainability. The stalls had products like Dolls for a Cause by Adinkra Designs, beeswax wraps by Amber's Food Wraps, and textile jewellery by WEFTShop, where every piece had a unique story. 

Organised by UNSW Business School.

Keynote and Diversity Debate | Wednesday 26 October | 11:30am - 2pm

A keynote from visiting scholar and leading EDI advocate, Professor Karen Hauer (University of California) was delivered. 

This was followed by a diversity debate hosted by UNSW Medicine and Health on the topic of whether medical and healthcare practitioners should be trained to use more heart (emotional intelligence) or hand (skills and expertise).

Organised by UNSW Medicine and Health.

Seminar with Q&A | Wednesday 26 October | 12.00 - 1.30pm

Too Hot to Handle – Revisiting the Population, Environment and Gender Nexus

We joined Professor Wendy Harcourt from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam for a seminar that raised critical questions about environmental justice from a feminist political ecology perspective. Wendy explored what this meant for the poor, racialised and marginalised communities around the world. The seminar was accompanied with a Q and A session at the end. 

Professor Wendy Harcourt is an activist scholar with decades of engagement in feminist debates. 

Organised by UNSW Business School.

Giveaway | Wednesday 26 October | 12.00 - 2.00pm

Arc hosted a FREE cultural food giveaway at the Quad and engaged in a conversation about why food and culture are so intrinsically intertwined with each other. 

Organised by Arc.

Research Webinar | Wednesday 26 October | 2.00-3.00pm

A Past Still Present: disability memorialisation and commemoration webinar

‘Does the Nazi persecution and murder of people with disability in the mid-twentieth century continue to echo in the present day?’

The Nazi killing of around 300,000 people with disability or chronic illness was rooted in a longer history of eugenic ideas. Today, there is debate about whether, or to what extent, these ideas were dismissed after the end of World War II or alternatively still influence attitudes to people with disability, including in the form of a covert (and sometimes overt) reluctance to recognise the human rights of people with disability.

This is a complex and controversial topic. In this webinar, part of a larger series, we aimed to stimulate some thinking, without necessarily assuming the answer to the question above. The presentations and discussion aimed to place disability rights in dialogue with the past and present of eugenic thinking.

Organised by the UNSW Disability Innovation Institute. 

Panel discussion | Wednesday 26 October | 3.00- 4.00pm

Speak Out: Intersex & LGBTIQ+ identities 

The intersex community represents individuals born with physical or biological sex characteristics that are more diverse than standard definitions for male or female bodies, and people born with intersex variations often risk stigmatisation, violence and coercive medical interventions, designed to make their bodies more typically female or male. 

Intersex Awareness Day (26 October) focusses on advocacy for individual rights to bodily integrity, physical autonomy and self-determination across the globe. 

To support this important day, we spoke to Alissia Marsh, queer intersex comic and advocate & Gabriel Filpi, intersex and transgender advocate to hear their stories, learn more and understand how we can all be better allies. 

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion as part of the Be A Better Human campaign with Arc @ UNSW. 

Practical Workshop | Wednesday 26 October | 2.30 - 4.30pm

This session was a mentoring opportunity for BIPOC or Minority identifying students at UNSW to work with Where are you from? founder, writer and curator, Sabina McKenna on their own creative pursuits.

Often minorities are underrepresented in creative industries, despite the fact that they are often the foundation of many stories and discussions explored in the field. Mentorship is integral to breaking through that barrier, and to create space for aspiring creatives to gain tools, build their confidence or simply just get their creative ideas flowing.

In this session students shared ideas, learned basic writing and editing conventions, and workshopped projects in a supportive group environment.

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. 

Industry Networking Event | Wednesday 26 October | 6.00 - 9.00pm

A networking evening which brought together students and the industry to hear and share their stories on diversity, inclusion and growth. Four guest speakers presented their short stories throughout the evening, with food and networking in between. 

Participants were encouraged to share their experiences on navigating diversity and how diversity wins in their career/industry in conversations. 

Many joined us in celebrating diversity with guests from diversity groups (e.g., Aboriginal, CALD, Pride, Women) from industry, including financial and professional services, technology, retail, etc.

Proudly presented by the AGSM Student Association (ASA).

Thursday 27 October

Training | Thursday 27 October | 10.00am - 12.00pm

This training session provided participants with the knowledge, skills and tools to be able to confidently communicate with employees, students and other stakeholders with disability.

Participants developed a greater awareness of what disability is; and developed confidence to use the right language and understand the value of inclusive behaviours and attitudes.

The interactive delivery style provided skills and knowledge to confidently communicate with people with disability, while providing an understanding of accessibility and inclusion in the workplace and learning environment. 

This session was open to all UNSW students and staff.

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. 

Creative Workshop | Thursday 27 October | 12.00 - 1.15pm

Creativity as tool for understanding and expressing identity

Sabina McKenna's second workshop at Diversity Fest 2022 was a creative session where students connected with others and explored their own personal stories.

One of the most validating things about sharing your experience is the people (like you) that it connects you with. In discussion with Where are you from? founder, writer and curator, Sabina Mckenna, students learned about her career and journey to accepting her own identity - which eventually lead her to starting the Where are you from? Project which was featured in the UNSW library in early 2022.

The group discovered art makers and creatives throughout history, who harnessed their creativity via exploring and documenting their experiences of identity, and explored their own personal stories during a group lead exercise.

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. 

Drop-In Conversation | Thursday 27 October | 12.00 - 2.00pm

EDI in the Classroom: Barriers to Implementation for Educators (Session 2)

Most educators want to do what’s best for their students, to support them in their learning. However, many face barriers in implementing change and accommodations in their teaching practice such as time, capacity and knowledge gaps.

Through a series of drop-in style conversations, the Education Focussed (EF) Team gathered feedback on key questions that aimed to highlight some of the barriers that educators currently face in implementing more inclusive and equitable teaching practices. Through these conversations the EF Team and EF academics aimed to gain a better understanding and insight into how they might support the educators in implementing effective change, leading to a more inclusive learning and teaching experience for the diverse student community at UNSW.

Conversations centered around the theme of Classroom Practice. Participants were guided by visual and verbal prompts that encouraged them to think about barriers to equity and inclusion in their own teaching and learning experiences. The EF Team enabled participants to contribute to the conversation openly by providing a diverse range of methods for participation including butchers paper, white boards, online forms, and verbal discussions with EF Team members and EF academics, amongst others.

Organised by the UNSW Education Focussed Team.

Workshop | Thursday 27 October | 12 - 1pm | Pioneer International Theatre (AGSM Building)

At UNSW Kensington, we learn and work on unceded Bidjigal land.

The Uluru Statement From the Heart is the largest consensus of First Nations peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australian history. It clearly states that First Nations people were the first people on this land and calls for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about the history of this country.

Here at UNSW, Professor Megan Davis, Professor of Law and our Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, is also the co-chair of the Uluru Statement. As such, UNSW is the site of much of this important activism. As UNSW students and staff, we had the opportunity to be involved in this movement from the ground up.

UNSW students and staff were invited to learn about the Uluru Statement from the Heart in this session, which was facilitated by students and alumni involved in the Uluru Youth Network.

Organised by Arc.

Webinar & Panel Discussion | Thursday 27 October | 1.00 - 2.00pm

The power to welcome: Supporting refugee students in our midst

The challenges for uni students who have experienced displacement can be invisible and surprising, so we heard from refugees and others about their uni life and how others can show support and solidarity. This free event was a chance to help lead a culture of welcome at UNSW.

Organised by the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Launch | Thursday 27 October | 4pm | UNSW Bookshop

The UNSWeetened team has been hard at work bringing the 2022 edition of the UNSWeetened Literary Journal, and they were looking forward to sharing the works of diverse UNSW students at the launch!

UNSWeetened is UNSW's longest running literary journal head to the Bookshop to celebrate the creativity and passion of UNSW students!

Organised by UNSWeetened at Arc.

Film Screening with Q&A | Thursday 27 October | 5.30pm

This was a special screening of Smoke Between Trees followed by a Q&A with Director/Cinematographer Michael Joy and proud Gamillaroi actor Elly Chatfield. 

Set amongst the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Mountains, Michael Joy's Smoke Between Trees is an uplifting and moving story about family and identity.

Organised by the UNSW Business School.

Food shops | Thursday 27 October | All day

Join Arc Canberra for their Diversity Day celebrations on Thursday 27 October. 

Get a taste of jalebi, mochi, baklava and so many more sweets from around the world.  Arc Canberra hosted food shops accompanied by games and a mirror photo booth for everyone to enjoy.  

Hosted by Arc Canberra

Friday 28 October

Discussion Workshop | Friday 28 October | 10-11:15am

Conversations about race are notoriously uncomfortable, but they don’t have to be.

If you’ve ever had to smile and nod as someone says something problematic in front of you, or been on the receiving end of such a comment you’ll probably agree that it’s never easy to call things out. But when we do have the strength to say something we should - so how can we get the message across safely?

In a group discussion with Where are you from? founder, writer and curator, Sabina McKenna come together to unpack experiences of racism, and how to respond. Learn why it’s great to have these conversations when you can, but also that it’s up to you to decide when and how often you do, with resources and examples for you to reference. Vent, share stories and support each other by sharing perspectives.

Organsied by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion

Film Screening | Friday 28 October | 12.00 - 1.30pm

Defiant Lives tells the story of the rise and triumph of the disability rights movement and introduces the most impressive activists you've never heard of. The film uses exclusive interviews with elders (some now deceased) who have lead the movement over the past five decades, and combines this with rarely seen archival footage sourced from Australia, the United States, and Britain.

Organised by the UNSW Disability Innovation Institute.

Workshop | Friday 28 October | 12-1pm

The workshop was led by Maali Lowe, Dharawal Language and Culture Educator and Gamay Dancer. The participants were taught a familiar song in Dharawal language in a fun and interactive environment. 

Organised by UNSW Culture and the Gujaga Foundation.

Bridge Climb | Friday 28 October | 12pm

PGC, Arc, and EDI at UNSW joined forces to support domestic and international students with ADHD or had ADHD during their childhood to raise awareness about ADHD by climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Students were invited on the day to share their ADHD experiences to contribute to an educational video for the broader awareness campaign.

This event was for UNSW Students with ADHD. 

Organised by the UNSW Postgraduate Council.

Conversation Program | Friday 28 October | 5.00 - 6.00pm

Presented over four weeks at key design institutions across Warrang/Sydney, 'Barangga' is a yarning series that celebrates culture and community in First Nations design and making practices across Australia. The program connects leading First Nations designers and creatives working in graphics, digital design, object, tool making, weaving, sculpture, painting, and more, with renowned First Nations curators and producers to discuss the power of creative practice.

Travis De Vries is a Gamilaroi man and award-winning artist and creative working across digital art, graphic design, painting, sculpture, and photography, as well as dance and performance. He is the founder and director of Awesome Black, a creative social enterprise developing original First Nations talent and unique storytelling content across a variety of mediums. Storytelling is at the heart of Travis' practice which explores personal and universal themes of Indigeneity, violence, destruction, politics, love, death, and relationships. Travis’ practice has taken him from performing on stage with Bangarra Dance Theatre, to exhibiting widely in Australia and the UK, and producing bespoke arts programs for Indigenous community.

Dakota Dixon is is a proud Dharawal-Dhungatti woman from the La Perouse area and a descendant of the traditional owners of Sydney Harbour. She is currently First Nations Creative Programs Producer at the Australian Design Centre. Dakota has worked on several projects at Barangaroo including a Welcome to Country film 'Wellema' and has worked with Lendlease on outdoor public art sculptures in the Barangaroo area. She aims to work with local community to highlight the talent of Indigenous designers and makers. She has a background in graphic design and enjoys painting in her spare time.

Presented by UNSW Art & Design and UNSW Galleries, and held at the Australian Design Centre

Showcase | Friday 28 October | 6.00 - 8.00pm

This event brought creatives from the UNSW community and beyond who identify as a woman to showcase their creative ventures and art with other creatives and people interested in their work. The showcase was accompanied with live music and pieces that sparked creativity and conversations surrounding intersectionality and the personal growth of creatives.

Organised by the UNSW Women's Collective.

Webinar | Friday 28 October | 6.00 - 8.00pm

An Irish Sports Club Perspective: Lessons Learned from Winning a Mental Health and LGBTQIA+ Grant 

This webinar event provided an insight into how a Sydney sports team called Central Coast GAA, won $30,000 worth of funding for Mental Health Initiatives. The panel consisted of the club’s (i) grants advisor, (ii) secretary, (iii) sports coach, and (iv) mental health ambassador.

Dr Mairead O’ Connor led the lessons learned from winning the NSW Government funding. Central Coast GAA club discussed their strategy, and their planned Mental Health and LGBTQIA+ initiatives. This event was not just for sports teams, but for any club who wanted to make Mental health and/or LGBTQIA+ a top priority.

There were two main themes of discussion during the webinar, namely Mental Health and LGBTQIA+. The Central Coast GAA Club explained their strategy, which was based on the premise that wellbeing drives connectedness, engagement and a high-performance culture. This, in turn, results in better player retention, emotionally intelligent members, leading to better outcomes for their people, their supporters and the communities in which they play. They discussed their aim to be a sporting organisation that wins championships but also has pride in their inclusion of athletes, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Sunday 30 October

Walking, musical and storytelling event | Sunday 30 October | 1-2:30pm

Stories on Sunday

We joined Tasmania-based musicians Dr Sarah Jane Moore & Oliver Gathercole for a unique opportunity to walk, gather, listen and share in the Royal National Park. 

Monday 31 October

Hackathon | Monday 31 October | 9.00am - 6.30pm

The Student Diversity Hackathon invited UNSW students to come together to contribute to making positive, lasting change in the UNSW student community.

During this 1-day hackathon students worked in diverse teams, supported by experts, decision makers, creative problem solving and innovation experts from the UNSW community to generate ideas with the potential to make the UNSW student community more inclusive, from policy and technology interventions to communication and training initiatives.

Organised by the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion, Arc & the UNSW Founders.