An LGBTI inclusive organisation

Council’s facilities and service centres proudly display rainbow stickers to show our commitment to providing inclusive services to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) community. 

Our commitment

rainbow symbolMaroondah City Council is an inclusive organisation that recognises and supports the diverse needs of our community.

Council acknowledges the challenges that can be faced by those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* or intersex (LGBTI), and is committed to providing excellent service to people of all sexualities, gender identities and sex identities.

Increasing our support

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on 15 December 2014, Council committed to increasing its support of Maroondah’s LGBTI community through the adoption of three Inclusive Maroondah initiatives.

Council committed to taking the following actions in order to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia, celebrate the diversity in our community, and increase the inclusion of Maroondah’s LGBTI community members.

Sign the No to Homophobia campaign

At the Council Meeting on Monday 16 February 2015, Council signed the No to Homophobia campaign, a state wide, online campaign that sends the message to all Australians that homophobic, transphobic and biphobic harassment is never acceptable. By signing the campaign, Council as an organisation has taken the pledge to “Stand up against Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always”.

Raising the rainbow flag

On 14 May 2015 Maroondah City Council raised the rainbow flag in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT Day). which takes place on Sunday 17 May. An official ceremony took place at Council's City Office's Service Centre (Braeside Avenue) prior to the raising of the flag. The flags remained raised for one week, as a public show of support for Maroondah’s LGBTI community, and recognition of the discrimination that is experienced by LGBTI people across the globe

Victorian Pride March

Maroondah City Council was represented at the 2016 Victorian Pride March. From 2016 onwards, community members will have the opportunity to march alongside Council staff and Councillors under the banner of Maroondah City Council, uniting Maroondah’s LGBTI community and supporters, and once again publicly showing support for Maroondah’s LGBTI community.

Background

Approximately 10% of Maroondah’s population (over 10,000 Maroondah residents) identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI).

Research shows that homophobic discrimination and heterosexism (i.e. the favouring of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships) has resulted in:

  • LGBTI people experiencing 2 to 14 times higher rates of depression, suicidal ideation, suicide and other forms of self harm
  • LGBTI people frequently not accessing health services due to fear of discrimination
  • LGBTI people experiencing higher rates of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, homelessness, experience of violence, disengagement from schooling, and poor physical health outcomes.

Further information

For more information on Council’s commitment to supporting the LGBTI community or to provide suggestions on how we could further improve the LGBTI-inclusivity of our services, please contact us on 1300 88 22 33 or 9298 4598.

Definitions

Bisexual: Refers to a person who is sexually and emotionally attracted to more than one sex.1

Gay: Refers to a person whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is toward people of the same sex. This term is most commonly applied to men.1

Gender: Refers to the way in which a person identifies or expresses their feminine or masculine characteristics. Generally understood as a social/cultural construction, a person’s gender identity is not always exclusively male or female, and may or may not correspond to their sex. 1

Gender identity: Refers to a person’s deeply held internal and individual sense of gender. 1

Intersex: Refers to people who have genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics that are not exclusively ‘male’ or ‘female’. A person who is intersex may identify as male, female, intersex or of indeterminate sex. 1

Lesbian: Refers to a woman whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is toward other women. 1

LGBTI/LGBTIQ: An internationally recognised initialism standing for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* or Intersex (sometimes with the addition of ‘Queer’ – see definition below)

Queer: An umbrella term including a range of alternative sexual and gender identities collectively. 2

Sex: Refers to a person’s biological characteristics. A person’s sex is usually described as male or female, however some people may not be exclusively male or female (referred to as ‘intersex’), or may not identify as either male or female. 1

Sex and/or gender identity: A term used to refer to the whole spectrum of sex and/or gender in our community. It aims to include all people regardless of whether they identify within or outside of the binary gender framework. 1

Sexuality: Also referred to as sexual orientation, the term sexuality refers to a person’s emotional or sexual attraction to another person, including, amongst others, the following identities: heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual or same sex attracted. 1

Transgender: A general term for a person whose gender identity is different to their sex at birth.1

1 Definitions taken from Australian Human Rights Commission, Addressing sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity discrimination, Consultation report – April 2011
2 Definition taken from Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria. (2012). Beyond: 'we treat everyone the same'. Authors: Dr. Catherine Barrett and Kylie Stephens.

Useful resources

General

Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV)
GLHV is a Victorian based LGBTI health and wellbeing policy and resource unit. 

Inclusive practice

Beyond: 'we treat everyone the same':

A report on how to create a LGBTI inclusive service

Well Proud: A guide to GLBTI inclusive practice for health and human services 
 

Support Services

Gay & Lesbian Switchboard
Ph: 9663 2939
Telephone counselling, information and referrals

Minus18 

Australia's largest support network for Gay, Bi, Lesbian and Trans teenagers from all over Australia

Lifeline 

Ph: 13 11 14
Provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.



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