Key community groups have welcomed a pledge by Victorian peak organisations to end the discrimination and inequities experienced by LGBTIQ+ people in the state.
The Charter outlines a shared commitment to uphold the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people, ensure inclusive services and education, and build a sustainable community-controlled LGBTIQ+ sector.
“As an LGBTIQ+ community–controlled organisation, we are committed toward working toward a healthy future for our sex, sexuality, and gender diverse communities,” said Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth.
“We thank these organisations for taking up our cause.
“If we’re going see an improvement in the health and wellbeing of our communities, it’s going to require commitments from peak organisations like [this].”
Ruth said that Thorne Harbour Health could not achieve its vision without the involvement of the broader health service system.
“The Embracing Equality Charter is a very heartening development,” said Switchboard CEO Joe Ball.
“This work must be led by us as both LGBTIQ+ people and LGBTIQ+ organisations, but we know that we cannot do it alone.
“Switchboard also welcomes the Charter’s ongoing reference to the role and centrality of community-controlled organisations.
“LGBTIQ+ community–controlled organisations ensure that our health is in our hands and that nothing is done about us without us.
“Our collective work in addressing the discrimination and inequities experienced by LGBTIQ+ people is not over.
“We’ve seen some great steps forward, but both research and experience show us that there is still so much work to be done.
“We hope this is just the beginning and the Embracing Equality Charter provides some much-needed momentum to improving the health and wellbeing of our LGBTIQ+ communities.”
The charter signatories include the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance, Mental Health Victoria, Youth Affairs Council Victoria, Victorian Healthcare Association, Council to Homeless Persons, Victorian Alcohol & Drug Association, and Victorian Trades Hall Council.
Representatives of the peak bodies said that LGBTIQ+ wellbeing was a priority for their organisations.