Ro Allen returning to Warrnambool to hear how equality initiatives have evolved

YUMCHA members April Finnigan, 16, Laura Hawkins, Shane Hernan, Tarsha Elliott, Daniella Finnigan, 16, and Trish McKean help to raise the rainbow flag over the Council offices.  Picture: Rob Gunstone

YUMCHA members April Finnigan, 16, Laura Hawkins, Shane Hernan, Tarsha Elliott, Daniella Finnigan, 16, and Trish McKean help to raise the rainbow flag over the Council offices. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Victoria's first gender and sexuality commissioner Ro Allen is returning to the south-west to hear how equality initiatives have evolved in the region over the past six months. 

During March and June this year she visited 17 regional and rural sites as part of the LGBTI Equality Roadshow. The aim of the roadshow was to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, and promote their inclusion in everyday rural and regional life.

The series of meetings with community members, key organisations, stakeholders and allies was to hear about the work happening in the region as well as further develop and find ways to embed LGBTIQ inclusion.

Commissioner Allen will return to the south-west on Tuesday and Wednesday for follow up visits. 

Safe in the South West project officer Shane Hernan said the roadshow was a Victorian government initiative to help support rural and regional areas to support LGBTIQ community members.

“It’s a whole community approach to support minorities,” Hernan said.

“They came down in June to the region and engaged community services, local governments and LGBTIQ community members. 

“We delivered a variety of workshops around inclusivity, challenging homophobia and creating networks.

“It’s about working with the communities that have been engaged in the June workshops.

“It’s about looking at what has happened and what has worked and some of the barriers and challenges that have come up.

“It will be a great reflection on what has happened over the past six months.

“In that time we have had the marriage equality postal survey.”

Hernan said the Warrnambool session on Tuesday would be held at South West TAFE from 2pm and was open to the public.