Advance Diversity Services (ADS) will host a suite of activities during Sydney WorldPride 2023 to promote LGBTIQA awareness and inclusion in the Georges River region.
Sydney WorldPride runs from February 17 to March 5, 2023, and is the largest global event to be held in NSW since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The festival offers more than 300 events, celebrates Australia’s diverse LGBTIQA community, and includes the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on February 25.
A grant from Georges River Council has enabled ADS to collaborate with LGBTIQA organisations across the area to offer three inclusion-building activities during the festival.
- An LGBTIQA movie screening at Hurstville Events Cinema.
- An ACON-run Inclusive Practice Training Workshop for local services on the needs of LGBTIQA people.
- An LGBTIQA Speakers Panel.
‘There is no better time for us to be building community acceptance of diversity and LGBTIQA inclusion than during Sydney WorldPride,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services at ADS.
‘We know the impact of exclusion is profound for people who are LGBTIQA and even more so for those from CALD backgrounds, leading to high rates of mental health issues and suicide.
‘The events we’ve planned during Sydney WorldPride aim to foster an inclusive community that embraces and celebrates LGBTIQA people and communities and promotes their participation and wellbeing.’
Mr Scerri said the WorldPride festival theme GATHER DREAM AMPLIFY had inspired ADS and its LGBTIQA Working Party to build on their work to:
- Increase community acceptance and celebration of sexual diversity,
- Strengthen the capability of local services for inclusive service delivery, and
- Foster positive community engagement and dialogue on inclusivity and diversity.
‘Ultimately, we want to create a more connected, welcoming and inclusive community that reduces the isolation, loneliness and exclusion for LGBTIQA people,’ he said.
‘The events we’re offering in early 2023 should take us closer to achieving this.’
Mr Scerri said the LGBTIQA Speakers Panel – featuring presenters from culturally, gender diverse backgrounds – would generate dialogue, spark ideas for collaboration and advance understanding of the experiences of the LGBTIQA community.
The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District HIV Programs Unit had committed to $5,000 towards this project, he said.
ADS will host the panel in collaboration with ADS’s LGBTIQA Working Party which includes Kogarah Community Services, ACON, South East Sydney Local Area Health (SESLHD) HIV Programs Unit, Australia-New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance.
‘It’s always important to be tackling non-inclusive attitudes towards LGBTIQA people but it feels even more vital after a crime like the mass shooting in an LGBTIQA night club in Colorado Springs on November 19,’ Mr Scerri said.
‘The panel, the film screening and the training will augment our existing community education efforts and open up more opportunities for dialogue to promote greater inclusion and ensure LGBTIQA people feel safe and secure in our region.’
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