Students from Manea Senior College in Bunbury rallied together on Wear it Purple Day to support sexually diverse peers and raise money for UnitingCare West’s True Colours program. Wear it Purple Day was held on Friday 29 August, building awareness around issues that many young sexually diverse people might face.
The College became a sea of purple as students were invited to dress up for the occasion. They also held a presentation at lunchtime including information on the concept behind the event, performances, a best dressed competition and berry smoothies made by the college’s Health Committee throughout the day.
Lauren Baxter, youth worker at the college, said that the year 12 Student Executive Team wanted to be proactive on the issue and run the event to highlight to the community that they offer an inclusive environment.
“It was student led and it just makes it more relevant to the students,” Lauren said. “We’re aware that there are going to be students that are sexually diverse and we want the students to know that we are supportive and there are services in Bunbury that they can go to.”
The UnitingCare West True Colours program is one such service, that has been partnering with Manea Senior College on this issue. True Colours aims to build community support and engagement to young people in the Bunbury region who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) or who are questioning their sexuality. Through school programs, a support group and community engagement and education, they hope to create a safe environment for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Misty Farquhar, acting executive manager for Community Inclusion at UnitingCare West said that the program offers a way to create safer schools.
“The Wear it Purple Day is about showing support for young LGBTI people, particularly in schools, as a way to combat bullying,” she said.
Misty had a lot of praise for Manea Senior College, who raised over $300 for the True Colours program.
“They’re an incredible school,” she said. “They’ve been doing a lot of work with us.”