The Victorian Government values and celebrates diversity. It affirms the right to equality, fairness and decency for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQ) Victorians and is committed to removing discrimination from Victorian laws, services and society. The Government’s LGBTIQ Taskforce held its first meeting on 22 September 2015.
Terms of Reference
The Taskforce endorsed the following Terms of Reference:
- provide advice to the Minister for Equality on the delivery of LGBTIQ commitments and initiatives the Government has made since coming to office
- identify priorities and develop a work program of actions so that government policy, programs and services are inclusive of members of LGBTIQ communities
- provide advice on any other matters referred by the Minister for Equality
- seek advice from the Working Groups on matters that fall within the Working Groups’ remit.
The Taskforce will be supported by a Health and Human Services Working Group and a Justice Working Group. These Working Groups will provide subject matter advice to the Taskforce in relation to government policy, programs and services
The scope of the Health and Human Services Working Group includes ageing and aged care, alcohol and drugs, child and family services, disability services, families, health services, housing, homelessness, mental health, public health and health promotion, and youth justice.
The scope of the Justice Working Group includes civil law, criminal law, corrections, safer communities and youth justice.
The Terms of Reference for the Working Groups are to:
- provide subject matter advice to the Taskforce on the implementation of the Government’s LGBTIQ election commitments
- provide subject matter advice to the Taskforce on current and emerging LGBTIQ issues and on Government policy to address these issues
- provide advice on any other matters referred by the Taskforce
- develop a work plan in consultation with the Taskforce.
Communication and engagement
The Taskforce endorsed openness and transparency as an operating principle with matters remaining confidential only when necessary. A communiqué outlining key outcomes will be published after each meeting.
Community engagement will also underpin the deliberations of the Taskforce with community forums held annually at appropriate stages in the life of the Taskforce and the Government’s work in the Equality portfolio.
Education Reference Group
Same-sex attracted and gender diverse students are vulnerable to difficulties at school as a result of harassment, bullying and stress.
Issues of significance for LGBTIQ young people in Victorian schools include:
- better inclusion of LGBTIQ young people within school communities and broadly across the curriculum
- addressing the sexuality education needs of LGBTIQ young people, which are currently not recognised, leading to poorer health and wellbeing outcomes.
- providing more support for young trans people transitioning at school.
- The Taskforce agreed to establish an Education Reference Group to inform the work of the Taskforce and progress issues impacting on LGBTIQ young people in Victorian schools.
Both the Health and Human Services Working Group and Justice Working Group will be meeting in October.
The Taskforce requested that a work plan for each Working Group be brought to the December meeting of the Taskforce.
Reviewed 02 August 2019