Archive for Within Australia

UN Human Right Council review on Australia’s performance.

// July 27th, 2015 // No Comments » // Around the globe, International, Within Australia

Read all the latest news on Australia’s upcoming review by the UN Human Rights Council #AusUPR #auspol
Follow @rightsagenda on Twitter

Rowena Allen Is Victoria’s First Gender And Sexuality Commissioner | Premier of Victoria

// July 15th, 2015 // No Comments » // Media discussion, Within Australia, Within Victoria

The Anti-Violence Project of Victoria applauds the appointment of Rowena Allen as Victoria’s and Australia’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner.

“Ms Allen’s appointment is an outstanding one. The VicAVP looks forward to a new statewide momentum in addressing the discrimination, homophobia and violence that impacts the health and lives of LGBTI individuals every day in schools, workplaces, health settings and the broader community”, said VicAVP executive director Greg Adkins.

“We congratulate Ms Allen on her appointment and applaud Equality Minister Martin Foley and Premier Daniel Andrews for their commitment to making a lasting difference in the health across the whole lifespan of LGBTI Victorians”.

Read the Premier’s announcement here:

Family violence hearings begin

// July 14th, 2015 // No Comments » // Relationship violence, Within Australia, Within Victoria

The first week of public hearings at the Royal Commission into Family Violence has commenced (Monday, 13 July 2015). The focus of the first week is violence against children.

A number of organisations supporting individuals experiencing family violence from within LGBTi community are expected to give evidence at the Commission on 16 August 2015).

More updates here as they become available.

Public Hearing Live Stream available here: RCFV Live Stream

Senator McKenzie’s brother hits out at marriage stance

// June 12th, 2015 // No Comments » // Within Australia, Within Victoria

A powerful discussion by Alastair McKenzie dissects the reality of life and discrimination in regional and rural areas where growing up gay is tough, marriage reform is shunned and young people can be left vulnerable and isolated when questioning their sexuality. A deeply personal view, especially when Alastair’s sister is a National Party senator potentially with a vote that might deliver marriage equality or not should prime minister Abbott allow coalition MPs and senators to vote with their consciences.

See the full Bendigo Advertiser article here:


// June 4th, 2015 // No Comments » // Relationship violence, Within Australia, Within Victoria

Troy Nankervis writes about domestic and family violence including many accounts that feature in a submission prepared by the National LGBTI Health Alliance to be heard in the current Senate inquiry Domestic violence in Australia. Read his piece in: Right Now – Human Rights in Australia

Anti-Violence Project Victoria executive director Greg Adkins says greater awareness is key to incite necessary changes to services and support, and that the “visibility” of the LGBTIQ community is essential in starting a better conversation. “If relationship violence is hidden all over, and awareness is down, we’re even less likely to have it discussed and so victims of violence feel even more isolated because of a lack of visibility,” he says.

How can we build awareness? “We need resources,” Adkins says. “We need not just one-off campaigns, but national and state frameworks that resource these issues.”

“Relationship violence is too important and too much of a canker in Australian society for it to be done by volunteer organisations that are unfunded.”

Dean McWhirter, the Victoria Police Family Violence Command Assistant Commissioner, agrees that cases of LGBTIQ domestic and family violence remain heavily underreported. “Research and our statistics tell us that the majority of family violence is committed by men against women. However, we know that it is an issue which affects the whole Victorian community and is under-reported in the LGBTI community,” he says.

According to Gavi Ansara, Research and Policy Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance, this kind of stigma often prevents victims from coming forward. “If there was less stigma and less discrimination, people would feel that it would be easier to seek support from organisations within the sector set up to do that,” he says.

Watch “Equality in Health” from the AMSA

// May 19th, 2015 // No Comments » // Within Australia, Within Victoria

The Australian Medical Students’ Association prepared a video for the international day against homophobia, biphobia and intersex prejudice. They want to raise awareness about the issue of equality in healthcare & we think they’ve nailed it.

Check out AMSA video here!

Shaking the tree a little bit more to flush out homophobia in sport

// May 16th, 2015 // No Comments » // Sport, Within Australia, Within Victoria

In a recording the AFLPA is hoping will go viral once it is launched on Saturday night, the familiar footy faces hold cards bearing #FOOTY4IDAHO.

A theme of the piece is language and the damage homophobic slurs do.

While there are AFL rules against homophobic sledging and players are increasingly speaking out about homophobia, anecdotal feedback suggests lips can still be loose in AFL locker rooms.

Angie Greene has engaged some of the same footballers who feature in the AFLPA IDAHO campaign to her own, one-woman directed, anti-homophobia cause: “Move in May”.

She hopes a pride-themed fun run can become an annual fixture timed with IDAHO day from next year.

Read all about Angie and her efforts here:


The Struggle Is Real – Dating In The Gay Hookup Culture –

// May 3rd, 2015 // No Comments » // Relationships, Within Australia, Within Victoria

How do we appear to others in the online dating culture? Is the sometimes negative experience a sign of people out of touch with those around and themselves, or is it another pointer towards lateral violence with our community.

David Arabia (, April 30, 2015) writes “In order to be comfortable with intimacy, we must turn it into a new habit. The more we focus our energy and patience in that realm, the more it will become part of our lifestyle. Pretty soon, casual sex will be as uncomfortable as dating used to feel.”

Read the rest here:

After this Miami experience, does ageism permeate the LGBTi community in Victoria or within Australia?

// April 24th, 2015 // No Comments » // Around the globe, International, Media discussion, Within Australia, Within Victoria

The recent experience of gay men over 40 years of age in Florida, USA flagged a question for us about whether there are similar experiences for mature people within Victoria’s and Australia’s LGBTi communities.

Have you experienced ageism personally or have seem it directed towards a partner or friend? How did you deal with it? Any successful outcomes or continuing disappointments you’d like to share?

And what do you feel about the Miami experience detailed in the writing of Nigel Campbell (Instinct, 23 April 2015)?

What’s happening in society before and after school hours if one in five are bullied at school? The silence demands funded government policy in a community-led approach

// March 9th, 2015 // No Comments » // Within Australia, Within Victoria

One in five gay teenagers claim they have suffered homophobic bullying from teachers and other adults in schools in the UK, but what’s happening in Australian society and how should this be addressed?

So this is the British experience. Meanwhile in Australia we have similar programs emerging to those in the UK schools, such as Safe Schools which is being expanded to all government secondary schools in Victoria by the newly elected Andrews Labor state government. A model for the other Australian states and territories and beyond.

If one in five students experiencing homophobic abuse at the hands of students and teachers in schools translates from Britain to the Australian experience, it’s a reasonable assumption that work to address this in the school environment just scrapes the surface of the issue.

Students exist in their homes and live within their communities before and after they attend daytime education hours at school, as do their teachers. In this extra-school environment, we know homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated crime remains vastly under-reported.

Available, yet limited research shows only three out of ten victims of incidents in metropolitan areas and less than this, perhaps as low as one in ten in regional and rural areas reports violence with the vast bulk of harassed and violated individual experiences lived in silence.

Should we respond to violence in Australian and Victorian schools? Just as in the UK the answer is a resounding Yes. But should we also change the society students emerge from to attend their schools and return to at the end of each school day?

The answer here from governments of all persuasion has been less clear. Outstanding work has been started by community organisations and seeded with very time-limited yet welcome funding by governments from both sides of politics. But what has not been committed to has been longer-term, funded programs driven by a government acting as a catalyst to generate societal change addressing homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated violence, community led and directed in partnership with government policy.

What we do know is this new state government, armed with the resolve of the first ever minister for Equality, does seek to make a real and significant difference in this area. We also know the opposition party has shadowed a spokesperson into this portfolio area.

We await with concerned interest the announcement of long-term visionary government policy armed with firm budgetary commitment that all sides of politics can sign up to, which not only addresses violence in schools but even more importantly frames the work to be done within the society in which students and teachers live and return to each night, where young people currently turn into adults with the values and prejudices society has inculturated into them.