Queer officer

Roby Michelangelo Vota

As the Queer Officer, I represent all the queer Monash postgraduates within the MPAEC and the broader university. By the word ‘queer’, I want to include all the people whose identity diverges from dominant sexes, genders, sexualities and/or romantic expressions.

Through MPA Queer, I aim to create a rich, lively, thriving community made of queer postgraduate students and our precious allies. I do this by organising periodic social, cultural, professional and educational events and by mobilising relevant resources from Monash and Melbourne.


I’m an openly gay guy, and I’ve known this since I was around 21. Even though at that time I was living in a very religious country like Italy, my process of self-discovery and coming-out to the world was very smooth and serene: I had a group of trusted friends and supportive parents. Since then, I’ve lived my queerness with candidness, freedom and some bravery, anywhere I went. My studies brought me to several cities in Italy as well as in the liberal Netherlands, where, for the first time, I experienced what being queer in a foreign country feels like. There, I met many queer people from around the world – Mexico, Taiwan, Syria, South Africa, India, etc. – and listened with an open heart to their stories of difficult self-expression.

As a Queer Officer, I want to offer my fellow queer people the same positive academic and extra-academic life I’ve had, and more. I was part of a student association when I was attending my Master’s programme at TU Delft, and I want to build on the gained expertise to identify and address issues regarding queer postgraduates here. Moreover, I wish to explore new opportunities to flourish for queer students, and to materialise them into meaningful initiatives in a participatory way. I feel I still have so much to learn about diversity and inclusion, and I’m honoured to do this from this position of representation and responsibility.


My PhD project – at Monash Art, Design and Architecture – is about supporting university students’ social intelligence: being the Queer Officer allows me to use my practical knowledge about our collective capacity to build social wellbeing for the benefit of our queer community.

Personal interests

I love design, art, architecture, positive psychology, electronic music, JRPG videogames, anime, arthouse films, cats, fluffy beards, cars, the sun, deep conversations, warm emotions!


The Queer Officer liaises with relevant groups and individuals to identify issues pertaining to LGBTIQ postgraduates, and ensures the interests of this cohort are represented at the MPAEC and within the broader university. 

Click here for the Queer Officer’s full position description.

Contact details


Executive Committee

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