Archive for Within Australia

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.

Happy 18th Birthday to us!

// January 20th, 2015 // No Comments » // AVP news, Media discussion, Within Australia, Within Victoria

We want to invite you to a birthday. Its ours!

Instead of bringing presents, we want your words.

Eighteen years ago today, the Anti-Violence Project had its foundation public meeting at the Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre in South Yarra and we incorporated as an independent community-led peak organisation. Since then, we’ve had many hours of many people’s lives dedicated towards educating and changing our society and making it a safer place for same-sex attracted and gender diverse people and the diverse LGBTi communities. We’ve supported victims and survivors of violence, challenged homophobia whenever and where ever it reared its ugly head, negotiated with governments, developed policies with opposition parties.  We’ve taken your reports of prejudice motivated crime and homophobic violence, spent many hours around tables and walking pathways in parks with police and even walked people through police station doors to help with the first handshake leading to a violence report.

But despite all that, without you, our work now and into the future wouldn’t happen.

To mark our 18th birthday, we want you to share your stories with us.

What was important for you in dealing with violence during the last 18 years? How have your lives been impacted? What has changed? What have been the successes and what is important for you now as you look ahead?

We’re going to publish your views here and in the AVP’s social media sites.

Come join us for our 18th birthday!

(Greg, Lauren and Jayne, directors, Anti-Violence Project of Victoria Inc.)

White Ribbon Day today!

// November 25th, 2013 // No Comments » // Media discussion, Within Australia, Within Victoria

White Ribbon Day today. Join us at the march in Melbourne today!

Tackling homophobia in schools

// August 30th, 2013 // No Comments » // Media discussion, Within Australia

The bar is raised on how to address homophobia in schools. Awaiting response from the alternative government. Stay tuned


.@AustralianLabor says it will spend $8 million to tackle homophobia in schools if reelected. #lgbti

shared via UberSocial

An innocent woman slain. Where’s the public outcry? |

// July 27th, 2013 // No Comments » // Media discussion, Within Australia, Within Victoria

Just as The Age newspaper is right to claim “An innocent woman slain. Where’s the public outcry?”, homophobic violence and prejudice motivated crime, too, remains free of broad public discourse and reflection.