Jacqui: On my first day at UNSW, when I walked through the quadrangle and saw the rainbow stairs I knew that the UNSW community would embrace me for who I am. Two years later I am the co-founder of Engiqueers and now, a little over a year from Engiqueers conception, we are deep in preparation for the 2019 Mardi Gras Parade.
This year marks the second year Engiqueers have flown the flag for the LGBTIAQ+ community within UNSW Engineering at the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and with the help of departments and faculties across UNSW I know it will be our biggest yet.
Every year Sydney comes together to celebrate queer people who dared to stand up for queer rights and each time it becomes clearer how important it is that we participate as a society and as a university. Mardi Gras gives us the platform to not only show off the engineering skills of queer students who put hours into designing, prototyping and building the float, but it also sends a loud and clear message that UNSW supports queer students.
This year I am a part of the organisation team for the float and will be marching with UNSW students and staff as a way to give back to my community and let other queer students know they should embrace this very special part of themselves. In the design phase of our Mardi Gras float we held an open invitation meeting to talk through different ideas for costumes, construction and music. We collectively chose the best idea and settled on a geometric lion head that pays homage to Clancy the lion whilst adding a futuristic twist.
Charlie Bradford is a member of our fabrication team and has been putting many hours in at the James N. Kirby Makerspace building our float in preparation for March 2nd.
Charlie: As a software engineering student I don’t often get opportunities to get into a workshop and build, so It’s been exciting to get to work in a team that has come from so many different parts of UNSW to create something that we can all be proud of.
We’ve been working hard to fulfill everyone’s vision for the float, learning along the way that building off each other's strengths not only brings us closer as a team but will help us create UNSW and Engiqueers fiercest float yet. Building the float with the other marchers has helped develop relationships with students and faculty alike as well as appreciate the resources and support available to us.
The float is almost finished now and the next week will be filled with rehearsals and practices to make the 2019 UNSW Engineering and Engiqueers float a highlight in this year’s parade!