It is said that the only constant in life is change, and while gay and lesbian people are celebrating the proposed legal changes removing discrimination against same-sex couples, there is still uncertainty for some as to what these reforms may mean for them.

The proposed changes will benefit most couples, however some same-sex couples are concerned about the changes in relation to Centrelink payments. The GLBT Health Alliance and many lobby groups have requested that the government phase these changes in over time so couples affected can gradually adjust.

To clarify issues Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Legal Advice Service will be visiting Lismore’s Winsome Hotel on August 28 from 5.30 to 7.30pm. Solicitors from the service will be providing information on law reforms that affect same-sex couples, parenting issues and discrimination.

Roy Starkey, client services officer at ACON, will also talk about how ACON and other services can support couples who may benefit from couples counselling or financial counselling to renegotiate their relationships and their finances in the light of the proposed changes.

To attend this informative event RSVP to the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre 6622 1000. For transport assistance and information please contact ACON on 6622 1555 or 1800 633 637.

Furthermore, on Friday 29 August from 9.30am to 1pm a solicitor from the Gay and Lesbian Legal Advice Service will be available to discuss the changes specific to your circumstances. Ring 6621 1000 to make an appointment.

A fact sheet is also available from ACON and the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre.
If you are HIV positive and would like to raise any issues concerning services in the Northern Rivers area, attend the People Living With HIV/AIDS Consultative Committee. The next morning tea meeting will be in the Grafton area on Monday 18 August. Ring Neil for details 6622 1555.

Fun is the order of the day for the first meeting of the ACON Northern Rivers’ Fundraising Committee. It will be held August 21 at ACON, 27 Uralba St at 5pm. So if you have any spectacular ideas or are just willing to assist with the myriad of tasks involved come along for a chat and some nibblies.

Sioux Harrison is the Administration/Volunteer Officer at ACON Northern Rivers Branch. You can contact Sioux on 6622 1555 or 1800 633 637.

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