Congratulations to Danielle Harvey, runner-up in the UQ Ally Awards

26 May 2022

Danielle looking at the camera and smilingWe are excited to share that our Senior Team Leader, Engagement and Training, Danielle Harvey, has been recognised for her work in ensuring the Art Museum is a welcoming place for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Danielle was one of two runners up at the 2022 UQ Ally Awards for the design and implementation of pronoun badges worn by Visitor Engagement staff at the Art Museum. The UQ Ally Awards recognise exceptional efforts from staff in the UQ community that are actively contributing to creating a welcoming and safe environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Danielle is passionate about making the Art Museum a welcome space for the whole UQ community. “Everyone is welcome, and we’re always looking for ways to show that – to make our allyship visible,” she said. “By sharing parts of our identity through simple tools like badges, we ask people not to make assumptions about who we are while inviting staff members and visitors to the Art Museum to bring their whole, true selves when they’re with us.”

Visible allyship at UQ Art Museum

Visible allyship is something that holds the art museum accountable to make sure we are not only talking the talk but walking the walk. Being a visible ally is something that needs to be practiced every day and small gestures such as pronoun badges actively do this.

We introduced pronoun badges for the Visitor Engagement team so they are asking people not to make assumptions about their identity, but also inviting other people to share parts of their identity that might be invisible,” Danielle said. “When we share those parts of our identity it can encourage other people to feel safe and be open.”

The pronoun badges represent just a small part of the work that Danielle has done to ensure the UQ Art Museum is a welcoming space to all visitors. She has also developed a resource library for the Visitor Engagement team that is full of podcasts, books and key LGBTQIA+ stats and figures to engage with on social media. The opportunity for further learning addresses the need to embed these voices in our everyday language and processes.

“Diversity and inclusion need to be considered an ongoing learning journey in both our personal and professional lives,” Danielle said.

Putting the visitor experience first

Danielle’s team is focused on considering issues from the visitor’s perspective. “Our visitor engagement team are the ones that are engaging with visitors every day and so they are in a really powerful position to genuinely create the safe spaces museums aim to be,” she said. “Often museums are really great when it comes to diversity and inclusion in their programming, but I think what’s missing from the industry is a lack of understanding how powerful your public-facing teams can be.”

As a result, the Art Museum is actively investing resources and time into the Visitor Engagement team to empower them to think about the importance of diverse visibility. Danielle has been instrumental in implementing progressive training and learning opportunities for the rest of the team that introduce awareness into our everyday work and allow us to better empathise with the life experiences of our visitors and how this might influence the way they relate to viewing art.

Keep an eye out for the pronoun badges next time you visit us!