That is why the Victorian Government is working to address challenges LGBTIQA+ communities face through its Equality portfolio. The portfolio was the first of its kind in Australia when established in 2015.
Unfortunately, LGBTIQA+ Victorians still face stigma and discrimination. This contributes to these communities being more likely to experience poor mental health, suicidal thoughts and attempts, harassment and abuse, homelessness, difficulties with alcohol and drug use and intimate partner and family violence than the broader community.
The Victorian Government won’t rest until equality is achieved for LGBTIQA+ people.
Who is leading the charge?
The Equality portfolio has a Minister for Equality, Harriet Shing MLC, and a Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, Todd Fernando. It is supported by a Ministerial Taskforce and an Equality Unit within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
The Commissioner and Taskforce help us hear the rich voices of diverse LGBTIQA+ communities across the state, so we can work in partnership towards achieving equality for all.
What are we doing?
We are committed to:
- removing discrimination from Victorian laws, services and society more broadly
- promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity, by developing whole-of-government policies and programs to support LGBTIQA+ communities.
We are acting on these commitments by:
- reviewing and reforming legislation to remove discrimination and enable equality
- supporting review and reform of government programs and services to ensure LGBTIQA+ inclusion, including in the health, education and justice systems
- strengthening and supporting the LGBTIQA+ sector, including community leaders, peer support opportunities and service organisations
- assisting and building networks of LGBTIQA+ people and organisations, including throughout rural and regional Victoria
- supporting and embedding LGBTIQA+ inclusive and welcoming practice across public sector workplaces
- challenging discrimination, including by funding initiatives to increase visibility, celebrate inclusion and advocate respect for all developing the first whole of Victorian Government LGBTIQA+ strategy, to drive progress towards equality across Government over the coming decade.