CITY of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has donated part of her mayoral salary to help children with gender dysphoria.

Since winning office in 2004, Moore has donated her mayoral salary to various charities and to date has donated $1.4 million to organisations in Sydney.

This year Moore donated $20,000 to a program run by Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC), which provides free legal assistance to Sydney families with children who have gender dysphoria and are requiring court approval to access specialist treatment to transition.

Australia is the only country that requires an application to the Family Court to access cross sex hormones, with the ICLC one of the only services that offers this legal assistance free of charge. If a family engages a private solicitor they may pay up to $40,000 to secure the Court’s approval.

“Demand to help families access the Family Court on behalf of children with gender dysphoria has skyrocketed this year – and if these families can’t afford the cost of a private solicitor and can’t get the legal support they need, some will turn to the black market which carries many risks for their children,” Moore told Star Observer.

“I’m proud to help the Inner City Legal Centre increase their capacity to help these families get the support they need.

“The donations focus on innovative projects that make a practical difference to people in need in the inner city. Projects like these often find it hard to get the funding they need, I’m proud my donations play a part in helping them start up.”

Vicki Harding, director, ICLC said the legal service was delighted by the donation from the Lord Mayor and has come at a very important time for the ICLC.

“The Lord Mayor’s donation was quite a surprise and very much appreciated. In this stressful time of funding cut threats and very high demand for our services, it was lovely to receive some good news and to know that the Lord Mayor is sympathetic to the needs of young transgender people,” she said.

“ICLC is receiving an unprecedented number of enquiries from parents of children who have gender dysphoria and are required to apply to the Family Court to access cross sex hormones as part of their transitioning process. These children are at high risk of self-harm if they are not able to transition in a timely manner.

“In the last two weeks we have had six new enquiries from families who would like us to assist them through this process, and we currently have files open for nine families. The Lord Mayor’s donation of $20,000 will enable us to keep up with increased demand for families living in the Sydney area.”

Harding said the ICLC is also working with other legal centres and law firms to increase their capacity to do this kind of work in the future.

“On a tiny budget, with the assistance of over 100 volunteer solicitors and law students, ICLC is providing a very high number of free legal services to the LGBTIQ community as well as our local catchment area,” she said.

“Next year the Commonwealth Government is reducing funding to community legal centres by 30 per cent and ICLC is in the firing line to lose funding as part of this process.

“We are actively looking at funding alternatives so that we don’t have to cut staff or services provided in the future.”

This year Moore has donated $170,000 to three inner-city Sydney organisations including the ICLC, Weave Youth and Community Services and Sydney Story Factory.

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