At its third meeting, the Taskforce discussed the polarised debate about LGBTI equality that has emerged in the wake of the Safe Schools Coalition review. In some quarters, this has given license for an offensive discourse which is hurtful to LGBTI people. However, the attacks on Safe Schools have also generated considerable support for LGBTI communities.
The Taskforce acknowledged the strong leadership shown by the Government in supporting the Safe Schools Coalition and guaranteeing the future of the program in Victoria. It agreed to issue a joint statement from the co-chairs highlighting Victoria’s commitment to LGBTI equality and working against the discrimination of LGBTI Victorians. The Taskforce further agreed to collate a set of rebuttals to combat arguments against LGBTI equality and other factually incorrect assertions being made. This will be made available to community organisations.
The Taskforce welcomed the commitment from the Government in adopting the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Four of these directly relate to LGBTI communities.
The Taskforce noted it had a role to play in providing advice on research priorities relating to:
- nature and prevalence of family violence in LGBTI communities
- effective prevention strategies
- review of the standards for family violence service providers
- intersections between family violence
- health and wellbeing initiatives
The Taskforce agreed to draw on expert advice as needed to fulfil this role and noted that funding will be required to deliver the recommendations.
Working Groups Updates
The following projects from the Health/Human Services and Justice Working Groups were discussed:
The review of the Decision-Making Principles for the Care of Infants, Children and Adolescents with Intersex Conditions
- the outcomes of a workshop to define an optimal model for trans and gender diverse health service provision in Victoria
- the revised model for the Healthy Equal Youth project from 2016-17 onwards
- The Adoption Amendment (Adoption by Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2015 which Parliament passed on 6 October 2015. The Act has a commencement date of 1 July 2016
- the expungement scheme for historic homosexual sex convictions and the forthcoming State Apology on 24 May
- the amendments to the Relationships Act 2008 which provide that only one person in a domestic relationship needs to live in Victoria in order to register that relationship. The Act also recognises relationships formalised under equivalent laws in other Australian jurisdictions and overseas. The Act has a commencement date of 1 October 2016
Education Reference Group
The Education Reference Group has been established to create a forum for subject matter discussion, and community views relevant to the delivery of the Government’s LGBTI inclusion agenda.
It has following terms of reference:
- provide an understanding of current LGBTI related activity in Victorian schools to the Taskforce, to enable the Taskforce to provide informed advice to the Minister for Equality;
- provide advice to the taskforce on the implementation of the government’s LGBTI priorities in relation to education;
- identify opportunities to improve LGBTI equality in schools;
- consult with LGBTI communities and with relevant subject matter experts
The Group has held its first meeting and discussed a range of issues including:
- current status of the rollout of Respectful Relationships
- implementation of the early childhood Catching on Early resource
- need for a better understanding of the issues for LGBTI people in TAFE
- Adult and Continuing Further Education
Minutes published: April 2016
Reviewed 25 June 2018