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Hello and welcome to spring. The warm weather has brought renewed government support for Victoria’s growing LGBTI sector. Congratulations to Rowena Allen who was appointed Victoria’s inaugural Gender and Sexuality Commissioner in July (not quite Spring). Rowena has a long and distinguished history working with and on behalf of Victoria’s diverse LGBTI communities. And congratulations to the Victorian Government for establishing its LGBTI Task Force. Brenda Appleton will chair the Task Force, Ruth McNair the DHHS Working Group, and Anna Brown the Justice Working Group. GLHV looks forward to supporting Rowena and working with this formidable and fabulous coalition of women (Task Force 1) as they, and the advisory groups they head, continue to champion LGBTI rights and wellbeing in Victoria. For details of the Task Force and a list of working group members go to: www.premier.vic.gov.au/trans-advocate-brenda-appleton-to-head-lgbti-tas…
Over the past few months GLHV has presented on LGBTI issues at a diverse range of public forums including Scouts Victoria, the launch of Monash University’s Queer Mentoring Program and Health in Difference; profiled the work of Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) at the national Safe Schools Coalition symposium in Sydney, and presented submissions and appeared before a Royal Commission and Senate Inquiry; the first into family violence, the second marriage equality. We have continued to deliver training and resources across the health, education and community sectors and have been increasingly called on by agency boards and local councils to present on LGBTI inclusivity.
Panel at launch of Monash University's Ally Network, Monash Law Chambers 55 Lonsdale Street Melbourne 1 September 2015: Rowena Allen (Gender and Sexuality Commissioner), Elke Nicholson (Juris Doctor student, Monash University), Tanya Matthewson (Senior Director, PwC), Liam Leonard (Director, GLHV) and Ian Goshko (Manager, Accenture)
Health in Difference
From the 13 to 15 August, Canberra was host to Health in Difference 2015, the 9th national LGBTI health and wellbeing conference run by the National LGBTI Health Alliance. The conference theme was ‘Working Together for Health’ and each of the four streams highlighted the need for collaboration and new partnerships between LGBTI organisations and between LGBTI and mainstream organisations across a range of sectors.
GLHV presented four papers: 'Rethinking LGBTI-inclusive aged care' and 'LGBTI issues in the provision of end of life care' in the Aged Care Stream; and 'The delivery of Safe Schools Coalition in diverse communities' and 'The Support needs of newly arrived refugee or asylum seeking LGBT young people' in the Intersections Stream. The papers reflected the growing diversity and reach of GLHV’s work and partnerships. For information on the conference go to http://healthindifference.org/
The HEY Project and HEY Small Grants 2015/16
On the 26 August the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, announced $1.2 million over the next financial year (2015-16) for continued funding of the HEY Project in Victoria. The Government’s commitment includes increased funding for Minus18 and the Zoe Belle Gender Centre (ZBGC) and new funding for Peninsula Pride, Frankston, who will become the tenth HEY Project partner. The HEY Project aims to promote LGBTI young people’s mental health and wellbeing, including tackling self-harm and suicide among this group. The HEY Project includes funding for two of GLHV’s programs, Rainbow Network and SSCV. The funding includes another round of HEY Small Grants for 2015/16.
Grants of $10 000 to $40 000 are available for initiatives aimed at boosting the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI young Victorians. For information on the HEY Grants and how to apply go to www.yacvic.org.au/
Thanks to Minister Foley and the Government for their support of the project, to the wonderful group of HEY Partners whose hard work and dedication secured ongoing financial support and to Georgie Ferrari, CEO YACVic for her great work in managing the first iteration of HEY in partnership with GLHV. YACVic will take over management of both the HEY Project and HEY Grants for 2015/16.
Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV)
Picture - SSCV team on 'Wear it Purple' day.
The work of SSCV was profiled at the national Safe Schools Symposium, hosted by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and held in Sydney 30 July. The Symposium drew together over 320 participants from across the country to celebrate the work of Safe Schools Coalition Australia and share ideas for making schools safer and more inclusive of same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families. SSCV led a number of sessions including: Teaching gender diversity, sexuality and intersex; Setting up and running a Stand Out group; and Supporting students to affirm their gender identity(ies) at school. Many thanks to Sally Richardson, National Program Co-ordinator and her staff at FYA for organising a brilliant day. For more information on SSCA have a look at www.safeschoolscoalition.org.au/
Rainbow Network (RN)
Thank you to Joel Radcliffe who has done a great job in keeping the Rainbow Network website and membership alive over the past few months. We will be announcing the appointment of the new Rainbow Network co-ordinator very soon, so please stay tuned to GLHV and Rainbow Network websites for her details.
Rainbow Scouts Network
On the 2 May, Director GLHV, Liam Leonard was invited by Scouts Victoria to present at their leadership training weekend at Gilwell Scout Park in Gembrook. The presentation was titled ‘Why Knot? Scouting for same-sex attracted, trans and gender diverse (SSATGD) young people’. The presentation aimed at promoting the active inclusion of SSATGD young people in Scouts and was followed by some lively discussion. On 13 May Senior Leadership Scouts Victoria agreed to establish a Rainbow Scouts Network and to post a message of LGBTI support for IDAHOT day (see attached image).
Image - Rainbow Scouts on IDAHOT day this is what Scouts Victoria said to its LGBTIQ members ‘You are an important and vital part of our Scouting community’
Thank you to Scott Davis and to the leadership team at Scouts Victoria. Their recognition and inclusion of SSTAGD members and staff is a sign of what other mainstream youth groups can do in this space. GLHV looks forward to working with Rainbow Scouts Network as they promote LGBTI inclusion in Scouts Victoria.
AACQA LGBTI-inclusivity training
The National LGBTI Health Alliance, in partnership with Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA), have overseen the roll out of LGBTI-inclusive training to AACQA assessors and quality reviewers in all states and territories. In Victoria, the training was delivered in partnership by GLHV and TGV. Nearly 70 people attended the session which was held in Box Hill, 26 June. In its July newsletter, following the roll out of the training, AACQA identified some questions that assessors might ask an aged care agency to prompt a discussion about LGBTI-inclusivity. For more on AACQA’s response to the training go to www.aacqa.gov.au/for-providers/education/the-standard/july-2015-1/rainb…
2nd National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference
As part of the Sexual Health and Ageing Program @ ARCSHS, Val’s Café will be hosting the second National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference in Melbourne 26-27 October. The conference has six themes, drawn from the National Aged Strategy, and is looking for presentations that focus on action that makes a difference and that privilege the voices of older LGBTI people. GLHV will be hosting a lunch-time workshop in partnership with Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) looking at the Rainbow Tick program and aged and community care agencies that have received a Rainbow Tick. For more information on the conference go to www.valscafe.org.au/
Government submissions and LGBTI rights
GLHV made two submissions and appeared before the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Senate Inquiry into the matter of a popular vote on marriage equality. Philomena prepared the first submission and appeared before the Royal Commission in Melbourne on 11 August. Liam prepared the second submission and appeared before the Senate Inquiry in Canberra on 10 September. A copy of Philomena’s submission can be accessed at www.glhv.org.au/report/family-violence-and-lgbti-community and Liam’s appearance and that of the other witnesses at the Senate Inquiry can be viewed at http://parlview.aph.gov.au/mediaPlayer.php?videoID=275313
Image – Anna Brown, Gabriel Aleksandrs and Philomena Horsley at the Commission
On 10 June, the Federal Attorney General, George Brandis launched the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Report, Resilient Individuals: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights. The report documents the lived experience of LGBTI Australians and makes recommendations for legislative reforms aimed at addressing human rights violations against this group. The document relies heavily on the findings of GLHV and ARCSHS research, including Private Lives 2, and included among its 5 best practice case studies SSCA and the Rainbow Tick Program. The report can be downloaded from www.humanrights.gov.au/sogii
The Pride Cup was held at Yarra Glenn 17 May as part of IDAHOT day. GLHV was a partner agency in the 2015 Pride Cup and was represented on the day by SSCV and the Director, GLHV. The keynote speaker at the pre-match, lunch event was Jeff Kennett, Chair of beyondblue and the lunch and footy match were broadcast live by JOYFM. GLHV produced a new poster for the Cup as part of its Coming Out poster series which was distributed to sporting clubs in the region.
For those with a research and policy bent, GLHV in collaboration with Anthony Lyons and Emily Bariola from ARCSHS have begun publishing findings from the Private Lives 2 survey. Papers on the mental health benefits of relationship formalisation among same-sex couples and the factors associated with psychological distress and resilience among transgender people have appeared in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health (e-copy , April 2015) and American Journal of Public Health (Vol.105, No.10) respectively.
Screening GAYBY BABY
GAYBY BABY is screening for a limited time at the Cinema Nova, Sun Theatre, Classic and Cameo Cinemas. Book tickets now to see what is shaping up to be "one of the most important Australian documentaries of the decade” (The Thousands) at: www.thegaybyproject.com/screenings