Multifaith, multicultural services support LGBTI inclusion

23 August 2018

Inclusion was at the heart of a recent conversation on how LGBTIQ+ Victorians among culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse communities can feel safe and welcome when accessing health and community services.

In a well-attended day on 4 July 2018, VMC Chairperson Ms Kapalos joined a Victorian Government forum bringing together multicultural and multifaith service providers to discuss how organisations can better meet the needs of LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott welcomed the forum with a statement on the importance of supporting LGBTI Victorians, while Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Ro Allen delivered a Sexuality and Gender 101 on what service inclusion means, alongside an overview of current service accessibility for LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

A presentation by Deakin University’s Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli also reflected on the health and social impacts of exclusion, the health concerns of LGBTI Victorians from diverse backgrounds and LGBTIQ+ accreditation models for multicultural and multifaith services.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss the service experiences of LGBTIQ+ Muslim Victorians with the launch of new research produced by  the Muslim Collective ‘Safe Spaces, Inclusive Services: Scoping Service Needs of LGBTIQ Muslims’.

Ms Kapalos facilitated an insightful panel discussion that featured participants from Greek-Australian specialist service Pronia, the Coalition to Advance Multiculturalism, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health and the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health. The panel discussed current and future work with LGBTI Victorians and shared their own insights and experiences on how to broaden accessibility within multicultural and multifaith services.

Ms Kapalos said the Commission was proud to support LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

“It’s incredibly important to work in intersectional spaces because this is what we hear in our consultations with community. I am so proud to work alongside and support LGBTIQ+ Victorians from culturally diverse backgrounds to feel safe and welcome in accessing the services they need,” she said.

Learn more about service experiences for LGBTIQ Victorians and service provider initiatives:

  • PRONIA’s ‘Skepsi’ project to advocate for and promote the wellbeing needs of LGBTI Greek Victorians and their families, service delivery professionals can complete an anonymous survey to help improve service accessibility for LGBTI Victorians by 28 August 2018.

To join another discussion on the experiences of LGBTI Victorians from diverse backgrounds, the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council National Conference is running from 21 – 23 September 2013.

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