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New South Wales, News

ACON grants for community events celebrate diversity for IDAHOBIT

New South Wales’s leading LGBTIQ+ health organisation, ACON, this week announced a range of grants to support community events and initiatives being held across the state to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

IDAHOBIT takes place every year on 17 May, commemorating the day in 1990 that homosexuality was removed from the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases. 

The day aims to raise awareness of LGBTIQ+ rights and the discrimination that many throughout the world continue to experience.

This year’s global theme of “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing” recognises the recent challenges that the world has faced.

In acknowledging the significance of IDAHOBIT, ACON has provided support to local community initiatives with a small grants scheme to help increase awareness of and engagement with this important day. 

This year, emphasis was placed on supporting community events in rural and regional areas and Greater Western Sydney.

Sixteen grants of up to $1,000 each have been awarded to community groups and organisations. 

Among the activities supported are a luncheon with local businesses, themed panel discussions, a multicultural costume workshop, religious celebrations, and other events aiming to foster awareness and celebration of diversity.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said that IDAHOBIT events are vital in ensuring visibility and connection for communities in both metropolitan and regional areas.

“ACON’s recent scoping study, Advancing LGBTQ+ Safety and Inclusion, confirmed a range of daily challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ people living in Greater Western Sydney, including high levels of racism, discrimination, violence, and harassment, and a lack of inclusive health and community services,” said Parkhill. 

“In response, ACON is proud to work with local communities to increase LGBTIQ+ visibility and bring attention to important issues via our grants program.

“The grants committee was pleased to see applications from a variety of emerging and existing LGBTIQ+ community groups as well as established service providers who are all focused on engaging local communities and fostering community leadership and action.” 

The grant recipients include Queer Family Inc in the Northern Rivers, Upper Hunter Youth Services, Wagga Wagga Family Support Service, headspace Dubbo, Sydney Queer Muslims Inc, Sydney Bi+ Network, Outloud in Bankstown, and Rainbow Families in Penrith.

“This year’s theme highlights the struggles everyone in our communities around the world has faced over the past extremely tough year,” said Parkhill. 

“While the coronavirus pandemic is far from over and will continue to have an impact on social activism and the fight for everyone across Australia and around the world to be free and safe to be themselves, we can still come together to inspire, support, and love one another.

“ACON is proud to work with our partners in celebrating the rich diversity of our vibrant communities in New South Wales.

“In celebrating IDAHOBIT, we are given a chance to reflect on the importance of speaking up for equality and diversity, giving our communities a voice, and creating safe spaces where inclusion is celebrated.”

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