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Otago Polytechnic wins Rainbow Award

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Otago Polytechnic has won the Simpson Grierson Impact Award at the inaugural Rainbow Excellence Awards.

We were also finalists in a range of categories at the awards, which were held in Auckland on Friday 17 May.

Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive Phil Ker was a finalist for the Leadership Award, Proud@OP Facilitator Stuart Terry was a finalist for the Ambassador Award, and Otago Polytechnic was nominated for the Supreme Award.

The judges said: "Since receiving the Rainbow Tick, Otago Polytechnic has made significant strides across their organisation when it comes to Rainbow Inclusion … demonstrating that the policy, programmes, and systems Otago Polytechnic have put in place are making an impact to Rainbow Inclusion every day."

The judges also noted that Otago Polytechnic was the first New Zealand polytechnic, and one of the first organisations in the South Island, to receive the Rainbow Tick.

Stuart says he is delighted that Otago Polytechnic has been honoured with an award.

"Our message of diversity and inclusiveness goes beyond our staff to our 8800 students, whānau and the wider community."

Gender diverse option

Otago Polytechnic is also proud to announce that students are able to indicate "gender diverse" on their application and enrolment forms.

Chief Executive Phil Ker says Otago Polytechnic petitioned the Tertiary Education Commission in an effort to get consistency across Government agencies.

"It has been possible to use a third gender option, ‘X’, on passports since December 2012. Yet students enrolling in tertiary institutions have not been legally entitled to state a third gender option until April 2019, due to issues with the National Student Index number.

"The April 2019 Single Data Return (SDR) to the Tertiary Education Commission enables the reporting of a third gender option - ‘D’ for gender diverse. "This is significant for Otago Polytechnic as it means students can legitimately state that they are gender diverse on application and enrolment forms."

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