Community members and groups across the country have been awarded LGBTQI community grants as part of the inaugural ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras community grants program. 18 grants have been distributed across Australia, from the Cairns AIDs Council at the top of the country, right down to Adelaide, where a queer formal is being coordinated by Minus18.
Additionally, an LGBTQI refugee support group and a historian aiming to preserve LGBTQI history are amongst the recipients of the grants which are valued up to $10,000 with the aim support the work of LGBTQI not-for-profit community organisations, charities and individuals.
ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants recipients are: Robert Bernard French, Samuel Leighton Dore, Dunghutti Elders Council (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC, First Nations Rainbow, STARTTS, Ten Forty Matrix Inc, Twenty10 inc GLCS NSW, Queensland AIDS Council, Cairns, Cairns Transgender Adult Support Group, Leichhardt Community Group Inc, Minus18, Dexter Rosengrave, Working It Out, Headspace, Residency Projects, Assisting Your Life To Achieve (AYLA Inc.), Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA, and Perth Pythons Hockey Club Inc. (auspice for Perth Pride Sports Festival)
One of the recipients of the grants program is Heather Grace Jones, Project Officer of STARTTS – a NSW-based specialist non-profit organisation that provides culturally appropriate and cutting edge psychological treatment and support to refugees.
Heather has been spearheading the organisation’s new Rainbow Refugees project and is thrilled to be able to further their work thanks to the grant: “Many of the LGBTQI refugee community have fled countries where sexual and gender diversity is punishable by death and upon arriving in Australia, require support to rebuild their lives and own their identity,” she said.
“This grant is extremely important as it means we will be able to create a safe space in Sydney’s western suburbs for all LGBTQI refugees to feel welcome and connected.”
The partnership between ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has spanned over 12 years, the grants program is an extension of the partnership beyond official festivities and ensures ongoing support of LGBTQI communities and projects.
“After receiving over one hundred submissions, we are reminded of the incredible and important work being done within the LGBTQI community,” said Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, Terse Casu. “We are so pleased to be able to make a difference in the lives of many of our community members across the country and announce the winners of the much deserved grants thanks to the ongoing support of ANZ.”
“As a supporter of diversity, inclusion and respect, ANZ is proud to provide financial support to 18 community groups and individuals across the country,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor of the ANZ Pride Network Michelle Jablko.
“From sporting clubs and choirs to mental health support services, there are so many ways people are working to better the lives of the LGBTQI community members. We look forward to seeing how these grants make a real difference to Australians far and wide,” she said.
The ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants program was developed to provide financial funding for a wide range of purposes including education and training, community development and creation, arts and culture – anything under the rainbow. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Mardi Gras Parade – photo by Jeffrey Feng