From 'Face of UQ' to champion of diversity

Hello readers! My name is Louisa Parkinson and I’m a Research Officer in the QAAFI Centre for Horticultural Science.

I’ve been a member of the QAAFI workplace community for six years. I started out as a PhD student in 2013 and continued doing plant pathology research for the avocado industry with QAAFI after graduating in 2017.

This is a blog about my experience as a Filipino-Australian woman in research - detailing how affirmative action in relation to workplace diversity and inclusion has been important in helping shape my career.

My experience as a mixed-race individual in the workplace

My Filipino heritage has always been an interesting topic of conversation.

When I meet people, often I’m asked where I’m from because I don’t quite look Caucasian or Asian.

Louisa has been featured prominently as a UQ exemplar.

Louisa has been featured prominently as a UQ exemplar.

Although I understand there’s almost always no harm intended (and I often chuckle and say: “Mate, I’m from Brisbane!”), it can be difficult to navigate at times, as it can be alienating and it serves as a small reminder that I don’t quite belong.

I empathise with members of culturally diverse groups, as this is a question many of us receive. The general advice from UQ’s Discrimination and Harassment policy is not to ask such questions.

For more information, there is helpful workplace cultural competency training available for all UQ staff.

Read the full blog here 

Last updated:
24 September 2019