VICTORIA’S first LGBTI Equality Roadshow will hit the road in early November to visit sexual and gender diverse communities in Swan Hill, Shepparton, and Mildura.

The roadshow was formed by gender and sexuality commissioner Ro Allen and aims to reduce discrimination and promote inclusion in areas that often have fewer resources and support services for LGBTI people.

It comes after a $29 million funding package was announced to support LGBTI initiatives in the Victorian budget earlier this year.

Minister for Equality Martin Foley believes the roadshow will help the government to listen to the concerns of those living in rural and regional areas.

“Our roadshow is about sharing information and listening to the concerns of our LGBTI community living in regional Victoria,” he said.

“We will continue to work to create a Victoria that has a place for everyone – no matter your identity.

“As the roadshow comes through your town, I encourage all community members to take part.”

Allen, who grew up in rural Victoria, said the communities in the three pilot towns have been extremely positive about the idea.

“I’m really excited about the roadshow because we’ll be meeting with community members in each town and making sure they know we’re supporting them,” Allen said.

“This is the pilot project so there are only three towns to begin with to iron out all the kinks, but we’ll go back on tour early next year and do the rest of Victoria.

“Every regional town has a different feel about it and so we’ll be working with the local community to deliver exactly what they want.”

At each stop Allen will meet with LGBTI communities, stakeholders, and allies to look at opportunities and challenges around diversity and inclusion.

An action plan will then be put together after the top priorities have been gathered a presented back to the community.

The Victorian Government will then work again with them to deliver on the agreed priorities.

The plans will form part of the government’s future LGBTI work and shape new local conversations and partnerships in each town.

“We’ll be working with the communities to develop action plans for equality,” Allen said.

“We’ve been received really positively by communities that are looking forward to having events.

“It’s exciting because we’ll be taking with us Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers, along with people from community organisations like Switchboard and JOY 94.9.”

Allen will be joined on the roadshow by a busload of guests including award-winning entertainer Dolly Diamond.

The bus will be in Swan Hill from November 1 – 3, Shepparton from November 3 – 5, and Mildura from November 7 – 8.

Find out more about the LGBTI Equality Roadshow.

 

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