Warrnambool College welcomed a permanent colourful show of inclusion on Thursday.
The central learning institute became the first of its kind to support the LGBTI community by raising a rainbow flag as part of Warrnambool Wellbeing Week celebrations.
The new permanent feature was welcomed by former Australian of the Year and LGBTI ambassador Jason Ball.
The footballer also joined the school’s football and netball players at Mack Oval, donning rainbow socks donated by Brophy Family and Youth Services.
Mr Ball said statistics revealed 10 per cent of young people identify as LGBTI.
“Those young people are up to six times more likely to contemplate suicide because of not feeling accepted,” he said.
“They deserve to feel safe, included and respected at school.
“It’s even more powerful to see the footballers and the netballers wearing that rainbow to show that they embrace difference and diversity.”
Brophy school focused youth service coordinator Rahman Gray said combining physical health, mental wellbeing, and social connectedness.
“Exercise has been shown to combat mental health issues such as anxiety and depression,” he said. “Any community-based activity that promotes inclusion should be celebrated, creating safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ people is a positive step for community health and wellbeing.”