The Victorian Government has announced a spate of funding for LGBTI initiatives, including $145,000 for a project to help better support survivors of conversion therapy.

The funding – which amounts to $325,000 in total – was announced by Minister for Equality Martin Foley on Wednesday.

Foley said part of the money would fund a project undertaken by the government alongside conversion therapy survivors, as a way to identify the best approaches for peer support.

“We’re ending the evil practice of gay conversion therapy,” he said.

“And we’re going to work with those who know the harm it causes best to ensure we support victims of this bigoted quackery.

“Victoria leads the nation when it comes to equality, and we want to give our LGBTI community the chance to celebrate their diversity.”

At this year’s Melbourne Pride March, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state government would criminalise LGBTI conversion practices, which, if legislated, would make Victoria the first state in Australia to do so.

The announcement followed an investigation into conversion practices by the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC), which found that those subjected to it experienced long-term psychological harm and distress.

landmark report released in October detailing the extent of conversion therapy practices in Australia found that up to ten per cent of Australian LGBT people remained vulnerable to sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

As part of its $325,000 funding package, the state government has announced it will provide $50,000 for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) to help it run regional events outside of festival season.

It will also provide $50,000 to ChillOut Festival, $50,000 to GLOBE, and $25,000 to Rainbow Families Victoria.

Further reading: ‘It’s not LBGTI people who need to change – it’s our laws’: Daniel Andrews

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