The University of Sydney has announced the first recipient of the 78ers Legacy Fund Scholarship which supports LGBTQI students working to advance equality, inclusion and diversity in the field of sexuality.

Star Observer is proud to say congratulations to Hayden Moon, who has tirelessly volunteered and campaigned to help improve the lives of transgender, gender diverse and First Nations communities – all while balancing the demands of studying at USYD.

A passionate advocate for minority communities, Hayden is a Wiradjuri Brother-Boy, legally blind Irish-dancer and outstanding youth-activist whose currently studying a Doctorate of Philosophy.

While Hayden plans to continue working to change lives for the better, they admit that activism comes at a price.

“I love every minute of it, but it comes with long hours of hard work, no pay and very little recognition,” they said.

“I live on nearly nothing and struggle to make ends meet each week.

“I know that this scholarship will help me more than financially, though. It’s made me realise that my activism in the community makes a positive difference to people, and it’s inspired me to continue the work I’m doing.”

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The new scholarship, named after the activists who protested in the first Mardi Gras in 1978, was established by a community of alumni, friends and staff at USYD.

Supported by more than 50 donors, the 78ers Legacy Fund also involved the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Annmarie Jagose in championing the enterprise.

“It’s an honour to give thanks for everything the 78ers have done,” Professor Jagose said. “We’ve achieved an enormous amount in those 40 years, but of course this is not the end. There are many inequities and injustices that still need to be addressed.”

Hayden is officially one of the first recipients of the scholarship, after campaigning to end issues of homelessness, suicide and police brutality. Hayden also graduated this year with first-class honours, despite starting their honours year in 2019 when they were still displaced and couch-surfing.

While the scholarship had some immediate, positive effects, it has also allowed Hayden the financial support and freedom to successfully apply for a PhD this year without fear of losing their housing.

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 “It’s meant I’ve been able to buy new shoes,” they said.

“My previous ones all had holes in them.

“It’s also given me a huge confidence boost and the headspace to focus more on my uni work and activism without the constant financial stress.

“I’d like to say the biggest thank you to all the donors for their support.”

Congratulations Hayden, on behalf of The Star, and our community!

 

 

 

 

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