Yarra Ranges Council is committed to creating an inclusive community, valuing the strength of our diversity, and addressing and preventing any discriminatory or exclusionary practices.
We stand for respect and acceptance of all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) members of our community.
We see you. We hear you. We value you.
Yarra Ranges Council’s Commitment
- Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee (D&I) has been working internally to create a culturally safe workplace that fosters diversity and inclusion. The D&I Committee’s work recognises that our communities are diverse by nature, so it follows that our workforce should be representative of our customers and communities.
- Member of the Q-East Alliance: The Q-East Alliance is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and questioning (LGBTQIA+) young people in the eastern region. The Alliance consists of community development and youth workers representing all 7 Local Government Areas across the eastern region of Melbourne including: Boorondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash and Yarra Ranges.
- Pride Cup began with a Club in Yarra Glen wanting to support its players and has since been a fixture in the Yarra Ranges Community and has been supported by Council. Since hitting the national stage, communities across Australia have joined the movement, with Pride Cups being expanded into other sporting codes nationally. Find out more on the Pride Cup website.
- Support and promotion for the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17 each year. IDAHOBIT celebrates May 17, 1990 when homosexuality was removed from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and works to celebrate LGBTIQA+ people globally, raising awareness for work needed to combat discrimination. Find out more on the IDAHOBIT website.
- Participation in Wear it Purple Day in August each year – striving to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people by focusing on awareness, opportunities, environments and collaboration. Find out more on the WEAR IT PURPLE website
We know that representation matters and Council is proud to have a diverse workforce dedicated to helping all young people feel safe, welcome, and proud to be who they are. Our youth-led program, Defrosted Events (FReeZA) recently filmed the Queer Conversations Series, where young queer people interviewed LGBTQIA+ Council staff, asking questions about life, careers, coming out, and other experiences as a queer person. View the episodes below.
Queer Conversations Series
Episode 1: Teddy and Gareth
Episode 2: Edward and Jessie
Episode 3: Kelsey and Kellie
Episode 4: Natalia and Hannah
The Victorian Population Health Survey1 found that approximately 11% of the Australian population over the age of 18 identify as LGBTQIA+1.
In the recent Writing Themselves In 4 report4, young people indicated that, for many of them, “they are not merely developing resilience strategies to ‘cope’ with being lesbian, gay,
bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual, trans or gender diverse, but are also finding creative and diverse ways of celebrating their identities.”4
A great many participants emphasised that “they want to make a positive impact on the world around them and that doing so helps them feel good about themselves.”4
However, as a society, we still have a long way to go in ensuring all LGBTQIA+ people are safe and welcomed. In the Minus 18 Queer Out Here Report 20202, 78% of students and teachers in regional and rural areas reported witnessing regular negative comments about LGBTQIA+ individuals2. The Victorian Population Health Survey1 further identified this issue reporting that more than double the amount of LGBTQIA+ adults had experienced discrimination or unfair treatment compared to heterosexual, non LGBTQIA+ adults1.
Further implications from these figures are identified in the Health Survey1 and the Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Statistics for LGBTI People 20203, specifically that LGBTQIA+ individuals are two to three times as likely to experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety compared to their heterosexual cisgender peers.
However, where appropriate supports and protective policies are in place, LGBTQIA+ young people feel 30% safer and almost half as likely to face discrimination5 (T. Jones).
Students in the Minus18 Out Here Report2, whose schools took regular action in support of LGBTQIA+ people shared the positive impact that it made on their wellbeing, and offered it as a solution to a lack of other supports in their region - “Being able to be myself at school is the best. It can be hard sometimes, but my teachers have been there for me when I needed, it makes life easier”.2
Resources and References
- Victorian Agency for Health Information 2020, The health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer population in Victoria: Findings from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2017, State of Victoria, Melbourne.
- Minus18 Foundation (2020), Queer Out Here Report: LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in Regional and Rural Schools.
- National LGBTI Health Alliance (2020), Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Statistics for LGBTI People
- Hill AO, Lyons A, Jones J, McGowan I, Carman M, Parsons M, Power J, Bourne A (2020), Writing Themselves In 4: The health and wellbeing of LGBTQA+ young people in Australia. Victoria summary report, ARCSHS monograph series number 127. Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University: Melbourne.
- Jones, T. (2012). Discrimination and bullying on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Western Australian education. Perth: Government of Western Australia.