After noticing a lack of Queer STEM representation at UNSW we wanted to provide a safe space for students within the LGBTQIA+ community to study together and engage with industry. As STEM students, we have a unique experience and perspective, and through QSIS, we have aimed to provide a safe environment for like-minded students to grow both socially and professionally. We aim to develop a comprehensive network of LGBTQIA+ identifying STEM students and faculty members at UNSW, as well as connecting queer students with industry partners that have a proven record of supporting EDI initiatives and their queer employees.

Re-starting a society after multiple lockdowns and minimal on-campus activity for two years was definitely a challenge! From Term 1 this year, with the support of both the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering, we focused on providing casual social events to welcome students back on to campus and begin building a much-needed community.

For our first ever event we held a BBQ with pancakes and lawn games, giving everyone the opportunity to get to know each other in a fun and delicious way! Our anxiety that people wouldn’t show was quickly squashed as students soon enough flooded the area keen to learn about what we do and get involved.

Other social events we’ve run over the two terms include meetups at Roundhouse to celebrate Mardi Gras, a board games and pizza Gaymes night at the MCIC UNSW, a picnic with MATSOC during Flexi-Week and a Bouldering event with CSESoc during Wellness Week! 

After all our efforts to develop community in Term 1, our next big hurdle was to pave the way for industry and professional relationships and development. A key milestone, our inaugural networking event, brought together four other science student societies, Women in Science Society (WISSOC), Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science Society (BABSOC) and Oceans and Atmospheric Systems Integrated Society (OASIS), to hold the Pride in Science Panel & Networking Night in June of this year.


A panel discussion with industry members and academics, started the night off, allowing panelists to speak about their experience as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Discussion centered around topics including how to navigate the workplace being visibly queer and how to find the right company that will respect and support you. Following this, open-floor networking along with canapes and beverages allowed students, staff and industry representatives to mingle, discuss their experiences and exchange advice in a more personal setting. We were proud to receive a lot of positive feedback from both students and industry and are excited to bring you more industry events in the future. It’s really important to be able to hear from diverse voices about many important topics regarding equity, diversity and inclusion and this is something we will be championing going forward!

At the end of this term, we additionally collaborated with Engineering EDI to host a Lunch and Learn workshop in line with Wear it Purple Day, focusing on how we can support queer students and create inclusive environments at UNSW. This event once again played an important role in establishing community across the university and engaging allies in supporting LGBTQIA+ environments.

These are only some of the events that we’ve run so far, with many more to come including another ‘Gaymes’ night, a diversity themed ‘Amazing Race’ in collaboration with WIESoc and an engineering centered pride industry event in collaboration with CEVSOC, CSESoc, MTRNSOC, ELSOC and RESOC.

If you’re a student who is looking to get involved with us, we’re looking to elect a new executive team for 2023 and we always welcome new members.

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