Business, Sport and Health Leaders gather for National Summit on Workplace Inclusion of Diverse Sexualities and Genders

APN Rainbow Mental HealthOver 900 delegates from across Australia will gather in Sydney this week for the annual Pride in Practice Conference, the only national summit dedicated to advancing the inclusion of diverse sexualities and genders in workplaces, sporting organisations and the health and human services sectors.

Running over three days at Dolton House, Darling Island in Pyrmont in Sydney, the conference focuses on the state of sexuality and gender diverse inclusion, both nationally and internationally and will bring together the private and public sector, tertiary education institutions, health and wellbeing providers, sporting organisations and not-for-profits.

Now in its ninth year, Pride in Practice is produced and curated by ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, the national not-for-profit support program for the inclusion of diverse sexualities and genders. Delegates will discuss progress over the last 12 months, issues arising within the workplace and explore leading practices and initiatives.

Over 50 sessions comprising workshops, plenaries, panel discussions and keynotes are featured across the three-day program. Keynote sessions will be delivered by:

  • Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia and co-patron of Pride In Diversity
  • Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas and co-patron of Pride In Diversity
  • Mike Ebeid, former CEO of SBS and co-patron of Pride In Health + Wellbeing
  • Kate Palmer, CEO of Sports Australia
  • Raelene Castle, CEO of Rugby Australia

Other CEOs and leaders from the likes of QBE, Salesforce, Minter Ellison, PwC, BHP, Jacobs, Austrade, Microsoft, Transdev and various Federal Government agencies, will also deliver sessions on issues impacting their workplaces.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the conference provides an important opportunity for business leaders, employers, managers, HR professionals, administrators and service providers to come together and explores issues, ideas and best practice in inclusion.

“Fear of abuse or discrimination forces many people to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity when they go to work, participate in sport or access health and well-being services, leading in many cases poorer health outcomes,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“Practice is continuing to shift significantly in the inclusion space with employers across Australia, and we see that many are maintaining their commitment to strengthening inclusion efforts. By engaging in events such as Pride In Practice, they’re strengthening their initiatives, knowledge and awareness.”

“The opportunities provided this conference, along with the work done by our Pride Inclusion Programs, goes such a long way in helping create more diverse and productive environments, and make real and substantial change within Australian culture.”

Dawn Hough, Director of Pride Inclusion Programs, added: “We know that in the area of inclusion of diverse sexualities and genders, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do. So, it’s important that in all aspects of Australian working life that we have organisations comprising of leaders, advocates and allies within Australia’s major business, governmental, sporting, health and educational institutions who know the importance of inclusion for their employees and customers.”

“The overwhelming response and anticipation surrounding this conference is a testament to the incredible commitment that organisations and employers continue to demonstrate in the area of diversity and inclusion. It is through learning how to be allies and provide leadership on a daily basis, that organisations in all sectors can help to create and sustain a culture in Australia where diversity is not only accepted but is affirmed and celebrated,” said Ms Hough.

The Pride In Practice Conference takes place 25 – 27 November at Dolton House, Darling Island in Pymont. The Conference is sold out. For more information about the conference, visit: for details.