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Humans of RMIT: Amy Love – Senior Inclusion Manager

Amy Love, Senior Inclusion Manager, Staff

I have been involved in equity work throughout my career. I have always been drawn to this space. Both my parents were academics, and that helped me to be curious and question the world. Being born with hearing impairment has supplied me with many experiences of translating and navigating the world differently.

There are systemic workplace and societal barriers that limit participation and advancement. A  key driver for me is maximising people’s contribution.

For me, inclusion means facing into and calling out continued barriers that limit many to fully participate. The work we do needs to be for staff and students and our contribution to society is centered around us continuously predicting needs and supporting universal design in our physical technology and cultural practices – rather than just a reaction.

Inclusion means that no one feels like an afterthought and can safely express without the erosive impact of ‘covering’ our identities, discrimination, or harassment. It also means respecting the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We are all guests on this land and I ask to be included fundamentally in indigenous knowledges.

What inspires me every day is our people. One person can make a difference, a team of people can make a difference. As a University, we have such a key role to play. And I have seen absolute bravery in many, to continue to advocate. We are committed to an ambitious equity, diversity, and inclusion agenda, led by our Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean.

Our goals for the future must include pushing the boundaries to role model to our students what is possible in an educational institution – a future that is fairer, equitable and respectful. If a student has skills to be confident, to express their identities, have greater expectations relating to social responsibility and be curious about the world, we will all be better because of that.

The impacts of COVID-19 on our people are complex. RMIT will and need to continue to review the differential impacts on our staff and student community and proactively acknowledge and mitigate that impact.

Over the next five years, RMIT must be representative of the community that it serves at all levels. This is an outstanding and primary challenge.

Overcoming cultural biases and barriers that persist requires a long-term broad approach that cannot be solved by the University alone. RMIT needs to influence and shape public discourse on these issues and build aspiration and promote possibility.

We do not want to be part of perpetuating inequality, we can be better than that. If we continue to reinforce an environment where we can excel, we will benefit from the fantastic diversity of the student and staff community attracted to and contributing to RMIT’s social responsibility identity.