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Qtopia partnership promotes diversity

Helping workplaces to embrace and celebrate diversity is the goal behind a newly established partnership between Ara Institute of Canterbury and Qtopia.

The two organisations have joined forces to promote, host and deliver workshops on diversity and inclusion. The aim is to provide a deeper understanding of these issues and assist businesses and organisations to develop ethical values about equality of opportunity, freedom of expression and self-determination for all people in the workplace. 


Qtopia is a social support network for young LGBTQI+ people in Canterbury. It also works to encourage the wider community to become leaders in inclusivity.  

“Our mission is to create a more inclusive New Zealand,” says Qtopia’s Alice Anderson, who will present the two-hour workshop. 

Anderson says Rainbow young people have some of the poorest health and wellbeing outcomes across the youth sector. The fees from the workshops will go towards enabling Qtopia to support the 500+ families that come to Qtopia every year seeking help. 


Jan Connelly, Ara’s Business Development Team manager, says Ara was keen to partner with Qtopia to help other organisations to better understand diversity and inclusion, having itself benefited from doing so.

An Ara staff member, a transgender woman, gave a similar workshop to Institute staff, which got the ball rolling. 

“Workplaces are diverse places,” Connelly says. “It’s important that each individuals’ uniqueness is embraced and that everyone feels safe and respected at work.” 

Qtopia's informative and engaging workshop is the only one of its kind in the Canterbury region. Designed for groups of up to 25 people, it centres around facilitated group discussion and individual reflection. 

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