Pride Month parade

Celebrating Pride Month: Discover how Australia Awards Cambodia Supports LGBTQIA+ Communities

Reasmey Cheut is passionate about creating a positive working culture that is safe and non-discriminatory

Pride Month, held annually in June, marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City on 28 June 1969, igniting a liberation movement. It is an important time to honour and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, their journey, rights and contributions to society.

Equality, inclusion and diversity are critical drivers of sustainable development. At Tetra Tech, through our Inclusion, Justice and Transformation practice, we work closely with partners to integrate inclusion strategies into our projects. Through this commitment, Pride Month holds special significance for us.

In celebration of Pride, we spoke with Reasmey Cheut, Australia Awards Cambodia Equity Pathways and Inclusion Coordinator. Reasmey is an Australia Awards Cambodia Alumni and Ambassador for the Australia Awards Cambodia 2024 Scholarships Intake. 

Australia Awards Cambodia provides postgraduate learning opportunities for the country’s current and emerging leaders. Cambodians from all walks of life and various sectors can apply for scholarships through an open and competitive application process.

Reasmey’s passion for creating a positive, safe and non-discriminatory work culture is evident in this discussion (which has been edited and condensed) about how the program supports LGBTQIA+ people.

Reasmey Cheut, Australia Awards Cambodia Alumni, completed a Master of Project Management from the University of Sydney. He is also the Ambassador for the Australia Awards Cambodia 2024 Scholarships Intake.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride month means a lot to me. In my opinion, it is a time to let all of us know that LGBTQIA+ people are also human beings, so they should have rights to live, love, have careers and form families as others regardless of their gender. As a person from the LGBTQIA+ group, I want a normal life as others.

Australia Awards Cambodia supports talented Cambodians to lead change. Can you share some of the ways the program supports LGBTQIA+ people?

We aim to create a positive working culture among staff and stakeholders that is safe and non-discriminatory. LGBTQIA+ people are supported through the program in several ways, including providing opportunities for people to present themselves as they wish, without any pressure regarding gender. In workshops and events, the host reminds all participants that it must be a safe environment to contribute, regardless of gender.

Unfortunately, the number of LGBTQIA+ scholarship recipients is still limited. To address this, our Equity Pathways Program (EPP) provides support to help marginalised groups meet English language eligibility standards and compete in a merit-based selection process for scholarships.

Additionally, all scholarship assessors receive a Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) briefing, to assist them in understanding and assessing applicants on merit regardless of gender. At information sessions, we stress that awardees in same-sex relationships can take their partners to Australia (where they complete scholarships at Australian universities) subject to meeting the same conditions as other couples.

We have staff and beneficiaries who are from LGBTQIA+ groups. Gender does not define the quality or talent of a person.

How can programs foster an inclusive, equitable, accessible environment all year round?

An inclusive, equitable and accessible environment can be fostered all year-round by:

  • Providing training to all staff about diversity. If people have information and understanding, the level of judgment or stereotype should be low.
  • Installing reminder quotes or slogans in the office can help remind people about prioritising a safe working environment, and help to prevent any accidental action that can be seen as discriminatory.
  • Reviewing relevant policies to ensure equal treatment/benefits to all married and long-term partners regardless of how they identify from a gender perspective.

Australia Awards Cambodia

Australia Awards Cambodia, part of the Australian Government’s development assistance program, supports Cambodia’s economic growth and strengthens ties between the two countries. Since 1994, it has helped nearly 1,000 talented Cambodians pursue postgraduate studies in Australia, fostering future leaders who drive change and contribute to Cambodia’s development. Australia Awards Cambodia is managed by Tetra Tech International Development, on behalf of the Australian Government.


Director, Inclusion, Justice and Transformation


Team Leader, Australia Awards Cambodia

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