Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has been awarded $20,0000 funding for a Gender and Sexual Diversity project, which aims to ensure newly arrived migrants and refugees who identify as LGBTIQA+ receive inclusive settlement support.

‘LGBTIQA+ individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities need non- discriminatory settlement support – and we all have a role to play in supporting inclusive service delivery,’ said Anthony Scerri, Manager of Settlement and Community Services for ADS.

‘This project will ensure staff from CALD suppliers are trained to recognise what’s needed and to offer this without prejudice to LGBTIQA+ people as they settle in Australian society.’

ADS was awarded funding for the project in November as an initiative of the NSW Settlement Partnership – a consortium of community organisations, led by Settlement Services International, delivering settlement services in NSW.

ADS will use the funds to build on a successful pilot LGBTIQA+ forum it ran in partnership with ACON, Settlement Services International and Georges River Council at Georges River Civic Centre, Hurstville on October 21, 2019.

More than 50 people attended the 2019 forum, which included a panel of five LGBTIQA+ CALD community members sharing lived experience and a comprehensive introduction to issues faced by LGBTIQA+ communities.

Project funding will enable ADS to run a second forum in 2020 and to offer further inclusive- practice training for LGBTIQA+ client service delivery – with the overall aim of providing education to and raising awareness among staff.

This training will also offer ADS and the settlement sector opportunities to: build knowledge about and increase the visibility of the CALD-specific LGBTIQA+ community and their needs; build referral pathways; foster relationships with LGBTIQA+ organisations; and develop inclusive practices.

‘It is critical for LGBTIQA+ people to find the right support they need, when they need it,’ said Mr Scerri, ‘as we know this can make the difference between them thriving and surviving.

‘This project will help the sector get it right, and extend ADS’ work in this important area.’ ADS has also:

Caption: ADS has placed a Welcome Here Project Sticker and Welcome Here Project Charter in prominent locations across its four office sites to assure people ‘at a glance’ that they are welcome regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.