The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby is having a Planning Day this weekend to map out our campaigns over the next year.

Anybody who’s thought of getting active with some advocacy is welcome to join one of our working groups. Email us at [email protected]

Some working groups will look at policy (e.g. writing government submissions to House of Reps and Senate Inquiries, or to the Australian Human Rights Commission, and attending face-to-face consultations). Others will address homophobia in schools, or be involved with planning IDAHO.

We need people who have skills in website design and communicating with ISPs. There are opportunities in coordinating volunteers for fundraising events and in planning those events.

Probably the most challenging jobs this year will be in advocating for the continued protection of our human rights under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities to the State government and in addressing the religious exceptions and exemptions in the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.

If you think of other issues, bring them along. Anyone is welcome to attend VGLRL Committee of Management (COM) meetings, although only COM members can vote. (There are still a couple of COM positions open for females.)

Midsumma is only just over. Now we’ve got Mardi Gras and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. Go out there and party hard! Or play hard, if you’re participating in the Wellington Outgames (where I’m giving a couple of papers at the Human Rights Conference), then come back and get stuck into protecting your own rights.

Don’t leave it to those of us who slog away day after day, month after month, then bitch that we’re invisible, or haven’t achieved much. Put your money where your mouth is!

info: Barbary Clarke is co-convenor of the VGLRL’s Policy Working Group, and is doing a PhD on women and life-threatening illness.

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