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17 June 2024

Celebrating Pride Month: a Q&A with Daniel Bourke, SAE lecturer & LGBTQIA+ advocate

June is International Pride Month, a time for the LGBTQIA+ community and Allies to come together in celebration, solidarity and support of all LGBTQIA+ people around the world!

Pride gives us the opportunity to not only celebrate queer communities, but more importantly to continue a commitment to learning and respect for others.

Daniel Bourke is the Student Convenor at SAE Sydney and a Lecturer in Film Production and Post-Production who has been working at SAE for more than three years. He is also an active member of our DEI committee. As a queer person, Daniel feels very passionately about diversity and equality. In his own creative company, dbMedia, he’s had the privilege to work alongside various community organisations and develop Australia-wide campaigns on sexual health and mental health issues that face the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I have a strong background in understanding the diverse requirements for marginalised communities and create resources that help them self-advocate while also educating the wider community,” said Daniel. “Part of this work also includes creating training materials to educate people outside of these communities.”

Daniel’s work with dbMedia reflects the type of impact he wants to see in the world. It provides him with opportunities to contribute to positive change, which motivates and drives all his work – both with students and faculty, and within his own creative practice and community.

We spoke to Daniel to find out more about his work, and what Pride Month means to him!


Can you tell us more about your production company dbMedia, and share some examples of your work?

My production company dbMedia operates under many different creative outputs. Mainly video and animation work, but my clients fall into many different categories such as corporate, learning, not-for-profit, events, fundraising, sexual health promotion, campaigns, advocacy work, shopper advertising and so on. Some of my clients include: Delta Goodrem, St Vincent’s Hospital, ACON, Lego, Woolworths, NSW Government. My work focuses on diversity and story telling at it’s core. A lot of my work has fortunately landed in a intersectionality of my own passions: creative work and advocacy. You’ll see some examples of my work below that demonstrate this, and are relevant viewing for Pride!

Courtney Act: How to be an Ally for people living with HIV

TransHub Talks: Why We Love Our Trans Allies

St Vincent's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Float

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride to me is a time to self-reflect on the momentous achievements, milestones and hardships that generations before us accomplished in order for us to be more visible, accepted and celebrated. For me, the things that I reflect on are: the courage and bravery of every single person who fought in the first mardi gras protest in 1978, the advocacy of all the individuals who made up multiple law reform advocacy groups over the last few decades (such the fearless founders of Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP)), and lastly (probably the most important to me), Pride is a reminder of the work that still needs to take place. To honour the long sense of community, advocacy, legacy and to show respect for where we are today, by continuing to make forward progress.

Why is it important to recognise and raise awareness around Pride?

It’s important to raise awareness around Pride as visibility matters. As the ACT UP movement in New York so brutally put it in 1987, “silence = death”. And whilst this may sound grim, it does ring true and proves itself as to why it is such a powerful message. It’s original intention was to protest the United States government silence of the AIDS epidemic. Fortunately modern medicine has enabled people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives with treatment, but this original sentiment still rings true – visibility is important so that people can find there tribes and a place of safety. My hope for the future is that people don’t need to battle with internalised stigma or shame, and that the world can be a more accepting place where people are free to be their true authentic selves – unapologetically.

“I believe through awareness celebrations such as Pride, it is a chance to be visible, and feel seen!”

How can we make our colleges and offices more inclusive for members for the LGBTQIA+ community?

My biggest piece of advice is to just learn more, and be open to others perspectives. You may not agree or wish for those things yourself – but respect the autonomy of others to live and exist how they want too.

How will you be celebrating Pride this year?

I’ll be celebrating Pride by joining in some local community events in Sydney and checking out Qtopia!

Lastly, do you have a favourite Pride song or queer anthem?

Can’t go wrong with Born This Way by Lady Gaga!

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