This year, the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly been a large part in the lives of Melburnians. Thankfully for LGBTQI businesses in Melbourne, GLOBE, under the leadership of President Megan Williams, has been there to support the community. We spoke with Williams to discuss how GLOBE has worked to not only get the community through this difficult year but also what plans are in place for the future.
Megan Williams is the President of GLOBE, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to support community organisations, small businesses and professionals within the Victorian LGBTQI community through social and professional networking events. GLOBE also has a Community Grants program to assist LGBTQI Victorians.
Speaking about how GLOBE has been there for LGBTQI people during this time, Williams stated that the purpose of GLOBE is to “support, enable and empower our communities.” Whilst acknowledging the difficulties that came with being unable to hold face-to-face networking events, Williams also explored how online platforms have allowed LGBTQI small business members and community organisations the opportunity to showcase their services, performing artists to develop a platform, and LGBTQI people to connect. Williams went on to say that through this “the diversity of our audience has also evolved.”
Into the future, Williams stated that GLOBE is “really keen to understand who our community is and what their specific needs are” which will, in part, be explored through a comprehensive engagement survey launched at the GLOBE Community Awards this year.
The GLOBE Community Awards have been pushed back slightly this year to accommodate the ever-changing circumstances that Victoria has seen as a result of COVID-19. It will take place online on Friday, December 4, and will feature a new category called ‘Regional And Rural Champion Of The Year’. In organising the awards, Williams gushed that the “events team have done an incredible job.”
Williams reflected on her introduction to GLOBE as a young person “looking for opportunities to meet likeminded people,” and stumbling upon GLOBE as a way for learning to network and meet likeminded people. She was candid in saying that when she attended GLOBE’s 2018 Awards “I was not aware of how much advocacy was going on,” and how watching the LGBTI Rights Unit of the Human Rights Law Centre win an award for protecting the community inspired her to become part of the committee.
Williams also spoke about the GLOBE Community Grants Program, which people can donate towards, and how these donations and any profit made from the GLOBE Community Awards go back to supporting the LGBTQI community.
Looking forward into 2021 Williams stated that “My hopes are that GLOBE can continue to be a key pillar of support” for LGBTQI people and that they can “evolve our offering as the needs of our communities change.”
Williams stated that she personally believes in the notion that “together we are better,” which is a sentiment that certainly shines through in her passion and tenacity for supporting the diverse LGBTQI community as President of GLOBE.