Northern Grampians Shire unites for LGBTQIA+ community
Published on 17 May 2022
Northern Grampians Shire Council and its partners held multiple events today for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) as a sign of support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
IDAHOBIT is an international awareness day that commenced on 17 May 2005 to campaign against discrimination and promote an interest in LGBTQIA+ rights and inclusion.
Council’s campaign kicked off with its annual rainbow flag-raising ceremony conducted this year by Cr Lauren Dempsey alongside Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO Ms Liana Thompson and Director Infrastructure and Amenity Mr Trenton Fithall.
In addition to the flag raising ceremony, council co-partnered with shire community health agencies, LGBTQIA+ support groups and local schools to run IDAHOBIT Day celebrations at the town halls in Stawell and St Arnaud in the afternoon.
Stakeholders in the IDAHOBIT afternoon events were as follows:
- Grampians Community Health
- Stawell Regional Health
- Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership
- Rural Rainbows
- Rainbow Alliance (supported by HEYgrants)
- Grampians Regional LGBTI Network
- East Wimmera Health Services
- Transgender Diverse and Beyond Bendigo
- St Arnaud Secondary College and St Arnaud Primary School
At 4.30pm, the whole community was invited to partake in a rainbow chalking of the town hall pavements followed by a free screening of Rainbow Signpost, a transgender documentary project by Trans and Gender Diverse Bendigo and Beyond INC recorded by Xin Hu.
Council CEO Ms Thompson said that council has an absolute commitment to promoting the rights of everyone in the community and a strong focus on ensuring inclusivity for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“At council our policy on gender diversity and inclusion is reflected in multiple areas of our organisation,” Ms Thompson stated.
“Our Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan acknowledges that one of the barriers for our LGBTQIA+ community is acceptance and it is our hope that today’s community events send a strong message that they are proudly welcome here.
“Our Strategic Workforce Plan and Gender Equality Action Plan set out measures to ensure gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness and most recently our new enterprise agreement embodies this.
“For example, we have leave entitlements for paid parental leave (adoption leave) for primary and secondary carers, recognising the non-gendered nature of caregiving for babies and adopted children. Council also offers ten days of paid gender transition leave for essential and necessary gender affirmation procedures, which can be used in conjunction with paid or unpaid leave.
“There is still significant and continuing work to be done with regards to LGBTQIA+ advocacy and yesterday our executive met with Todd Fernando, Victoria's first Victorian Commissioner for LGBTQIA+ to discuss some of the issues. I am also pleased to be hosting a conversation this Friday for the first Rainbow Local Government Conference.”
Rainbow Alliance Stawell (ngshire.vic.gov.au)
Wimmera Pride Project
Local LGBTQIA+ support groups are encouraged to list their information on Council’s community directory: www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/Community/Community-Directory
or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details: Tina Baker 03 5358 8772.
Telephone: 1800 729 367
SMS Support: 0480 017 246
The Victorian Pride Centre
Thorn Harbor Health