LONG-time LGBTI advocate Rowena Allen has been appointed as Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner.

The announcement was made today by Equality Minister Martin Foley, and follows Premier Daniel Andrews’ pledge to create the position during the state election last year.

[showads ad=MREC]“[I] am sure she will be a powerful advocate and agent for change on behalf of Victoria’s LGBTI community,” Foley said.

“The Andrews Labor Government is combating discrimination and homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, which significantly affect the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Victorians.”

In her new role, Allen will assist in championing the rights of LGBTI Victorians within the state government.

As the founding Chief Executive of UnitingCare Cutting Edge, Allen established Victoria’s first rural support group for young LGBTI people. She has also been a member of three Victorian Government LGBTI ministerial advisory groups.

“Many Victorians would be unaware that LGBTI Victorians experience discrimination every day in schools, workplaces, health settings, and the broader community,” she said.

“I am incredibly honoured to be appointed the first Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality and am looking forward to using my skills and networks to effect positive change for my community.”

Allen has been widely recognised for her community service. In 2003 she received a Centenary Medal, and in 2009 she was inducted into the Victorian Government’s Honour Roll for Women.

The new position was promised by the Victorian Labor Party as an election commitment in November last year.

The Premier stated that the Commissioner would be based within the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and would work closely with the Equality Minister.

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