Green Apple Issue 4 - Page 11

Louise has been a highly engaged and passionate advocate for international students throughout her career, working to create safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for all those choosing to study in South East Queensland, with a particular focus on members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Through her work supporting LGBTIQ+ students at Navitas, Louise is inspired by stories of courage and determination in students overcoming challenges in their home environments, and finding in Brisbane a place of new opportunity to explore and express identity.

After a successful pitch to a twelve member panel convened by Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), Louise founded the Rainbow Hub in early 2018, with initial funding from a consortium including English Australia, Navitas, Open Doors, Study Brisbane and Study Queensland.

Operating out of space in the CBD by accommodation provider Student One, the Rainbow Hub offers an empowering and comfortable place for LGBTIQ+ international students and their allies to be themselves, connect, and access support from each other and the wider community.

As well as drop in sessions, former international student and marketing manager for Rainbow hub, Claudio Correa, runs a dedicated team of Rainbow Hub volunteers to provide information services, organise discussions and workshops, arrange social outings, and participate in industry and community events.

The Rainbow Hub is Queensland’s only support group for international LGBTQI+ students, running out of Brisbane, and recently Cairns. The Rainbow Hub provides the opportunity to meet like-minded people, create friendships, and assist by going through this somewhat intimidating experience that is living abroad. International LGBTQI student’s home countries have varying attitudes ranging from tolerance through societal disapproval to judicial or extrajudicial threats to life and liberty.

The group provides workshops and activities, discussion groups, LGBTQI+ resources and educational materials for well-being, and support. Rainbow Hub offers international LGBTQI students a safe, supportive environment to celebrate their identity and diversity without discrimination or judgement.

Claudio powers the team’s engagement with highly impactful media content for use in print, on TV, internet and social networks, featuring the hashtag #prideinfriendship and showcasing Brisbane as a safe, welcoming and inclusive destination for LGBTIQ+ students. The most recent major production, "We are the Future", has been viewed 7.3k times on Facebook.