Sydney’s GLBT organisations will thrash out their own 2020 action plan next month in a bid to strengthen the community and develop future leaders.

ACON will host the first one-day roundtable with over 20 organisations on 27 September to prompt a wider discussion about the community’s medium to long term goals.

[It] is designed to kick off a larger conversation with the GLBT community organisations and individuals, ACON president Mark Orr said.

We hope that everyone takes up the opportunity to be part of the discussions and tell us what they think we need to do as a community.

A discussion paper will be issued after the meeting and public forums held in regional centres around the state and online. A consensus-based strategic plan could be ready in six months.

More than a dozen GLBT people were invited to Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit earlier this year, but the final ideals list did not contain any gay community priorities.

Orr said Rudd’s commitment to federal equality reforms was encouraging, but there was still much to do.

Social inclusion is only one issue. There are also many challenges within the GLBT community itself. These include community connectedness across ages, cultural and racial backgrounds, geographical locations and genders, he said.

Finding future leaders and ensuring the sustainability of community organisations was also a focus, New Mardi Gras chair David Imrie said.

Twenty10 has organised a Q&A program to train 12 future leaders, with the first group to graduate this Friday.

Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Peter Johnson said co-operation and communication between community groups was needed so the lobby could better represent the interests of GLBT people in NSW.

Community consultation, education, building wide support, an understanding of the issues both social and legislative that are facing different sections of the LGBT community and thus improve our policy understanding in what we are lobbying for, Johnson said.

info: Community members can also contribute via an online questionnaire at www.acon.org.au/2020.

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