Blue Mountains News
Council shows support for LGBTQIA+ community
Community groups, Councillors, Headspace representatives and volunteers turned up to show their support and listen to speakers, poetry readings and music, while local school students draped in rainbow-coloured clothes and flags to celebrate the event.
Mayor Cr Mark Greenhill, who opened the event, said: “I’m proud that Blue Mountains City Council is one of the few councils who proudly raise the Rainbow Flag in support of our LGBTQIA+ community for IDAHOBIT Day.
“This is an internationally celebrated day to educate the wider community on how to fight prejudice against our LGBTQIA+ communities. It’s vital that we all listen to the challenges these communities continue to face every day, while we also highlight the achievements made so far, and to imagine a more inclusive future.
“The Australian statistics around discrimination, mental health and abuse in the LGBTQIA+ community are shocking – for example, 39% of LGBTQIA+ people have experienced depression in the last 12 months, compared to 6.2% of the general population, while 75% of LGBTQIA+ youth experienced some form of discrimination in the past year.
“I urge everyone in the Blue Mountains to join me in supporting friends, neighbours and colleagues who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community by hearing their experiences and being there for them.”
The IDAHOBIT event was organised by Council and the following community organisations:
- Mountains Outreach Community Services
- Mountains Youth Service Team
- DV West
- Lives Lived Well
- Blue Mountains Women’s Health and Resource Centre
- ACON Health
The event included a Welcome to Country from Traditional Owner representative Uncle Lex and the MC was Tatiana Lozano from Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS). Councillors Claire West, Sarah Redshaw and Romola Hollywood attended, while a panel of speakers discussed the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, including:
- Javier, a Katoomba High School student
- Georgia Chapman, winner of the Western Sydney Rainbow Communities Short Story Competition
- Claudia Roosen, community development worker at MOCS
- Mel Bel, community member from the Megalong Valley
- Terry Preeo from the Three Sisters Social Group spoke about the AIDS memorial in Medlow Bath
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