Students and staff have returned to the University of Wollongong for autumn semester to find the steps of the law, humanities and arts building covered in multi-coloured panels of aluminium in solidarity with the LGBTQI+ community.
The idea was brought forward by the university's workplace diversity officer Kate Lindenau at a regular diversity briefing, and received support from Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings and executive management.
The stairs will now become a permanent fixture of the campus.
"I really want people to see that we are inclusive, and we celebrate diversity and this is a safe space for everybody to work here and study," Ms Lindenau said.
"And that everyone belongs," she added.
UOW's equity, diversity and inclusion manager Lisa Ucles added: "This is a high traffic area, so that's the other reason that it was chosen. It's one of the larger staircases at UOW, so it really has that impact."
"It's one of the larger staircases at UOW, so it really has that impact," she added.
The steps were completed not long before the academic year began, and will be officially launched in April with the Ally Network.
Ms Lindenau told the Mercury that every April, UOW takes part in the drawing of chalk rainbows on campus grounds with the their Ally Network as part of the Chalk Rainbow movement, to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
"(The chalk) only lasts a few hours, now we have a permanent rainbow which we can use every year to coincide with the Chalk Rainbow event," she explained.
The launch of the stairs will coincide with the event.
Despite being recently completed, the stairs have already received positive feedback.
"I had a thank you from someone," Ms Lindenau said.
"They were getting a photo, and came over and asked me what it was," she explained.
"And I explained it all, and they said "That's wonderful, thank you so much"."
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