A virtual ball and workshops for people with disability are among dozens of activities being funded by the Victorian Government to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities stay connected.
Minister for Equality Martin Foley has announced 26 projects that will be funded through the third annual Pride Events and Festivals Fund, with rural and regional organisations receiving more than half of the $200,000 available.
“Supporting LGBTIQ+ communities stay connected is more important than ever and these virtual activities will help them feel included and supported during our COVIDSafe summer,” said Minister Foley.
The projects include the Geelong Pride Film Festival Online and the Coming Back Out Ball: Digital Edition – an online event for LGBTIQ+ older people to address social isolation and loneliness.
For the first time all events will take place online or be held in line with coronavirus restrictions at the time of the activity. This will make it easier for the LGBTIQ+ Victorians living in rural and regional areas to access a range of diverse events.
By facilitating connection across diverse communities, the Labor Government is helping LGBTIQ+ Victorians overcome social isolation and supporting them to recover from the pandemic.
The Government has also marked a significant milestone in the development of the state’s first ever whole of government LGBTIQ+ Strategy with the release of the LGBTIQ+ Strategy Directions Paper.
“We’ve made great strides towards equality and this is the next step to continue this important work to drive equality for years to come,” said Minister Foley. “I encourage all Victorians have their say on the LGBTIQ+ Strategy.”
The paper responds to feedback received from more than 800 people and organisations about the focus for the LGBTIQ+ Strategy and the vision for Victoria as the Equality State over the next decade. The key areas for change outlined in the LGBTIQ+ Strategy Directions Paper will form the basis of the strategy which will be released in 2021.
“It’s so important that we get Victoria’s first whole of government LGBTIQ+ Strategy right and I ask all Victorians to provide their feedback on the Engage Victoria website,” said Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Ro Allen.
For more information on the Pride Events and Festivals Fund, visit: www.vic.gov.au For more information or to to provide feedback on the LGBTIQ+ Strategy Directions Paper, visit: www.engage.vic.gov.au for details.