The realisation that she was often the only woman in the room was one that forced UNSW Canberra alumna Dinda Timperon to think about how she could become a changemaker in the area of equity.

“I'm a qualified Aerospace Engineer, a professional performing artist, of mixed Indonesian and European background, and also Muslim. I’ve served in the Royal Australian Air Force with roles ranging from being in charge of 80 troops through to attending National Test Pilot School in the USA, and now I'm in the civilian world. Through all this I've realised that I was often the only woman in the room, also often the only person of colour," she explained. 

“I’m very passionate about championing diversity.”

Dinda’s story is one of nine that are being featured at a new exhibition called Facing Equality - which was launched at UNSW Canberra last night.

The portrait series – run in partnership with the Australian Defence Force Academy - aims to showcase members of UNSW Canberra’s alumni community who have overcome discrimination due to their diverse backgrounds.

Alongside Dinda, eight other alumni have chosen to get involved and have their stories heard. The portraits and stories of each participant were showcased to a crowd of UNSW staff and alumni on opening night.

The participants represent diversity across gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability and personal background. One thing they have in common is a passion to ensure that future generations don’t face the discrimination that they have had to.

UNSW Canberra Rector, Professor Michael Frater, says the exhibition is inspiring current students at the University. 

“The Facing Equality Portrait Series will provide positive examples to our students of the possibilities open to them,” he said.

Professor Frater also believes the exhibition is just another step in allowing UNSW to achieve the objectives of their 2025 strategy which commits to providing a diverse and inclusive environment for staff and students.

“We want to be an international exemplar in equity, diversity, and inclusion. We want all our staff and students to realise their potential regardless of their background,” he said.

The Facing Equality banners will remain in Adams Auditorium until the end of the year, with the portraits and stories available to view in the Academy Library until the end of September.