The Andrews Labor Government has announced $160,000 in small grants to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) young people and promote their rights, health and wellbeing.
“Young LGBTI people should feel free to express who they are in the knowledge they live in an inclusive society,” says Minister for Equality, Martin Foley.
“The statistics tell us that young LGBTI people are more likely to experience problems such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. This is often driven by fear of discrimination and bullying. This funding will help to address unfair social disadvantage.”
Fourteen community groups will receive grants ranging from $10,000-$40,000 for innovative projects that support LGBTI young people, including social support and activity groups, gay/straight alliances, and information and referral services.
The grants program will be administered by the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria as part of the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) project, which aims to raise awareness, promote acceptance of diversity, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and improve mental health, including tackling suicide in young LGBTI people.
The grants funding is part of the $5.9 million secured by the Labor Government in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to support LGBTI Victorians. A list of organisations receiving this round of HEY funding follows.
Groups and organisations to receive HEY project funding include:
Merri Community Health Services – Coburg $40,000. A new initiative to reach isolated same-sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) youth through a social media campaign called ‘You’re Not Alone.’ The campaign will share personal isolation and connection experiences of SSASGD young people, high profile Australians, culturally/linguistically diverse young people and professionals, through the medium of film.
Hume City Council Youth Services – Broadmeadows $15,000. The Insight #In2Diversity Project will run events, support groups, awareness campaigns, provide safe spaces and foster positive attitudes in the community.
Brophy Family & Youth Services – Warrnambool $10,000. Youth United Making Change Against Homophobic Attitudes (YUMCHA) diversity group: weekly meetings, social events and professional development.
Cardinia Shire Council – Pakenham $10,000. Supporting young LGBTI people who live in rural towns within Emerald and Koo Wee Rup. Support for young people’s social, school and community connectedness, and weekly groups based within a school setting. Also education resources for schools and community groups.
City of Casey – Narre Warren $10,000. The City of Casey Unite Alliance Program will be delivered in partnership with the City of Greater Dandenong youth Services team and run out of the Narre Warren Youth Information Centre: LGBTI youth advocacy, support, information workshops, training and promotion to the wider community.
Colac Area Health – Colac $10,000. DYNAMIC (Diverse Youth Networking Against discriMination In Colac): an environment to support mental and sexual health of LGBTI youth with youth meetings, resources and access to support services.
Maroondah City Council – Ringwood $10,000. The Equal Sports Project, taking a preventative approach to support the mental health of LGBTI young people by addressing homophobia and transphobia in Maroondah’s sporting clubs.
Mitchell Shire Council – Wallan $10,000. The project will use art (literature, videos & music) as a tool to platform the voices of young LGBTI people as well as generate discussions about gender identity.
Wimmera Pride Project – Horsham $10,000. Local advertising throughout the Wimmera/Mallee region, inclusive social nights for young locals, resources and educational talks with local schools/community groups.
Banyule City Council – Rosanna $9,900. Facilitated drama classes at three different schools to explore issues of diversity, gender, sexuality and the role of allies. Also a social media campaign, youth group and resources to local schools.
Macedon Ranges Health – Gisborne $7,750. Youth programs and Outreach Clinic to be delivered from the Macedon Ranges Health centre for 12-21 year olds, including monthly visits to local secondary schools and expanding outreach within the Gisborne region.
Edmund Rice Education – North Melbourne $5,880. LGBTI inclusion project at St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, a specialist school for young people who have disengaged from mainstream education.
Myriad Collective – Northcote $5,000. Two-day art exhibition, performance and community-building event for transgender and sex and gender diverse young artists.
Bayside City Council – Highett $4,800. Support group for young LGBTI people called Full Spectrum.
For more information on the HEY Project, visit: www.yacvic.org.au for details.