The first one-day GLBT 2020 Summit was hailed as historic and optimistic by attendees from more than a dozen community groups.

Seven key priorities were decided beginning with the push for legislative equality and anti-discrimination laws, anti-homophobia resources for schools, and more engagement with the media.

More dialogue within the community was needed, the attendees also decided, as well as a culture of care, greater opportunities for emerging leadership talent, and resource sharing between its organisations.

A steering committee will organise a series of forums around NSW so more organisations and people in the community can participate.

It is essential now we have started the discussion that we keep the momentum going, ACON president Mark Orr said.

Although we came up with a list of things we think need to be pursued, the group was committed to engaging a greater range of people from across the community in the conversation and determining where to from here.

Orr added that the first gathering of 17 organisations was a great start to the broader conversation about the future the community wants for itself.

It was fantastic to hear so many perspectives, as well as a common commitment from everyone to working together.

Young people from the Twenty10 Q&A leadership program were also participants during the summit.
Another large-scale gathering will be held in another six months to reconvene groups on the progress of the agreed goals.

Initial projects given the nod included a leadership forum run by Twenty10 and an awards scheme for community groups that bridge the gap with other organisations from unrelated fields.

Positive Life CEO Rob Lake said he found the day useful as he was able to meet groups that would not normally cross paths with HIV.

Often we’re mainly meeting around health issues, so the broader life issues don’t happen so much, he said.

They did a really good job getting all these people together. I felt it was optimistic -” thinking about what sort of community we want to have is a great thing. We’re all trying to think how we can participate in an ongoing way.

Sporting teams should also be involved in future gatherings, Lake added, as recreation and social groups can play a big part in people’s lives.

I want to see more cohesion in our community; people sometimes talk about a divide between positive and gay men. If we’re doing as well as we are now, it’s an unknown how visible HIV will be in 2020, he said.

Exclusion protested

Several members of Community Action Against Homophobia held a picket line outside the venue of the GLBT 2020 Summit on Saturday to protest not being invited.

Twenty minutes into the all-day historic gathering, representatives of Sex and Gender Education Australia (SAGE), also walked out to join CAAH in an alternative summit.

CAAH and SAGE came up with a list of priorities which included a NSW anti-bigotry campaign in NSW schools, state relationship schemes, as well as transgender passport reform and Medicare-funded hormones and surgery for trans-folk.

The road to get there was more street heat and protests, CAAH spokeswoman Rachel Evans said.
ACON president Mark Orr did not elaborate on the criteria used for the original invite list. Evans said Orr had extended the offer of more dialogue between ACON and CAAH at a later meeting.

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