The Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS) is relaunching its website as part of a series of reforms the organisation will undertake to provide improved services to its members and Defence in 2012.
DEFGLIS also plans to replace its chair with a board elected by its members.
Founder and chair Stuart O’Brien said he was encouraged by the push from the membership base to reform DEFGLIS.
“On the whole, Defence is a great place to work if you’re LGBTI, but we need to work harder on diversity initiatives that challenge people to consider the circumstances of others and look at whether their behaviour is adversely affecting others or the productivity of their team,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said many within DEFGLIS had felt their job was done once anti-discriminatory policies were in place and benefits had been extended to same-sex partners.
However, several homophobic incidents this year caused DEFGLIS to review whether the organisation was doing enough to support LGBTI personnel.
“DEFGLIS feels there needs to be a level playing field across all of Defence … not just in the majority of units, and this will be a significant focus for the organisation in 2012,” O’Brien said.
The new website will integrate community news with social media including Facebook and Twitter. Members who currently primarily use Facebook to receive information will still receive DEFGLIS information.
The new board will comprise five core representatives across enlisted, non-commissioned and commissioned Australian Defence Force officers and the Australian Public Service.
Consultation with DEFGLIS members is also expected to occur before the new board is appointed in December, to allow members to establish the agenda for 2012.
Nominations for leadership positions close on December 9 with voting completed by December 16.