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Group of stylised people representing the diversity of the LGBTIQ+ community

Priority area 4: Safe, strong and sustainable communities

LGBTIQA+ communities are a proud part of the Victorian community. It is critical that we build a society where all people can be themselves and support one another. By creating inclusive communities, we are making sure there is a place for all Victorians to be proud and live their life to its fullest.

Targeting discrimination at its root

'I’m tired of struggling for even just acceptance or tolerance. I want more than that – I want celebration'.
Workshop participant, multicultural consultation

By targeting LGBTIQA+ discrimination, stigma and abuse before it happens, we can remove the influences that we know lead to poorer health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTIQA+ people. Addressing stigma and discrimination would begin to enable equal access to all parts of society and create a stronger, more cohesive community.

Community improves lives

Community is an important part of many LGBTIQA+ Victorians’ lives. The bonds, friendship and allyship formed within these communities provides a ‘chosen family’ where LGBTIQA+ people can live freely and find acceptance. For LGBTIQA+ people, being a part of community is a valued and positive part of life. It leads to better physical and mental health outcomes1.

Community can take on a range of forms and may represent Victoria as a whole, LGBTIQA+ specific cohorts, a faith community or a rural and regional township. We each live, work and take part in many community settings. It is important all Victorians can live, celebrate and flourish openly and safely in all forms of community life, which contributes to positive wellbeing.

Building safe spaces

We want to ensure Victoria is a diverse and welcoming place for residents and visitors. That it is a place that continues to attract LGBTIQA+ people from all over the country and world. We need to continue to build safe spaces for LGBTIQA+ people in the workplace, at home and when in the community. We want a Victoria where LGBTIQA+ Victorians are not discriminated against or harassed just for being who they are.

We also want to prevent family violence against LGBTIQA+ Victorians through primary prevention programs that promote respectful, loving and safe relationships. LGBTIQA+ people should be able to identify and seek support for family violence in a way that minimises harm and ensures safety and support.

Public representation

Representations and celebrations of LGBTIQA+ communities across all parts of life will drive understanding, visibility and acceptance. This includes in the media, in public campaigns and in positions of leadership. The Victorian Government, as well as the broader community, businesses, clubs and non-government organisations must provide space for LGBTIQA+ people to contribute and take part in community.

Understanding diverse community-building needs

Acknowledging the diversity and range of community settings is vital to build safe, strong and sustainable communities. A focus on data and research will allow us to better understand the community settings that most need support. Taking an equity view to community building means that less resourced LGBTIQA+ groups and diverse LGBTIQA+ communities can build their leadership capacity and ability to influence.

Public education

We will deliver community-wide education and awareness campaigns to build understanding, acceptance, celebration and visibility of LGBTIQA+ Victorians. We will also influence other public awareness campaigns to make sure they represent LGBTIQA+ Victorians.

We need to continue along the path of social change and increasing community acceptance across the board. But within LGBTIQA+ communities, we must still address other forms of discrimination. Understanding and addressing all forms of family violence against people from LGBTIQA+ communities and their underpinnings in broader discrimination is critical. This includes family-of-origin violence and intimate partner violence.

'I want the ability to walk down the street – to be acknowledged as me, not specifically as transgender, not specifically as LGBTIQA+'.
Workshop participant, elder consultation

We need strategies to understand and tackle how this broader systemic discrimination can play out in violence within communities. They will help us build safer, more welcoming and supportive communities.

It is critical we work across government policy areas to realise this ambition and ensure inclusive actions underpinned by an intersectional approach. These areas include Aboriginal, multicultural, disability, youth and older Victorians.

Regional and rural communities

Rural and regional communities, which have already been a strong focus for Victorian Government LGBTIQA+ equality work, have a unique environment and set of needs. We will build on the success of the LGBTIQA+ Equality Rural and Regional Roadshow and the Rainbow Ready Roadmap to help create safe and inclusive communities. Rural and regional mainstream providers and decision-makers need to work together with local LGBTIQA+ Victorians to promote inclusion.

Physical spaces to be

We need to design physical spaces, especially for trans and gender diverse Victorians, with an inclusive lens. This extends from developing suburban precincts to public transport vehicles and facilities.

Strengthening the LGBTIQA+ sector

'Surviving is a kind of resilience, but we need to move to thriving'.
Workshop participant, LGBTIQA+ Taskforce and Justice Working Group consultation

We will also build the profile and sustainability of LGBTIQA+ organisations, businesses and leaders so they can influence and lead positive change. A critical feature of this is ensuring LGBTIQA+ people have agency and Aboriginal community members can practise self-determination.

Leading by example

The Victorian public sector is an important employer of LGBTIQA+ people. About 4.4 per cent of Victorian public sector employees openly identify as LGBTIQA+2. As a subgroup, 6.1 per cent of Victorian public service employees openly identify as LGBTIQA+3.

The Victorian public sector will play a role in setting the standard for inclusive and safe workplaces. The VPSC will act as a central point for all Victorian Government departments’ LGBTIQA+ inclusion and diversity policies and practices.

Early actions we will deliver

  • Deliver a state-wide awareness raising campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of LGBTIQA+ experiences, including diverse communities
  • Support LGBTIQA+ events to celebrate LGBTIQA+ diversity and increase community connections
  • Increase LGBTIQA+ employment opportunities in government-funded major transport infrastructure initiatives and projects
  • Drive a centralised approach to support LGBTIQA+ Victorian Public Service employees through the Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Review Victorian Public Service workforce inclusion policies to identify improvements.

Actions we will deliver over the life of the strategy

  • Develop a plan to ensure LGBTIQA+ inclusion is embedded in the design of safer public spaces
  • Continue to support the capacity of professional and community sports to be LGBTIQA+ inclusive
  • Continue our commitment to improve LGBTIQA+ inclusion in government policies, programs and services.

Signs of impact

To achieve safe, strong and sustainable LGBTIQA+ communities, LGBTIQA+ people will see their identities embraced and celebrated. Understanding of LGBTIQA+ diversity will increase – both in and between LGBTIQA+ communities, and within the broader Victorian community.

LGBTIQA+ Victorians, no matter where they live in the state, will feel safer and more confident to lead and contribute to their communities. The Victorian community support for and knowledge of LGBTIQA+ communities and diversity will grow.

To track progress, we want to see LGBTIQA+ people’s feeling of their value in society increase from the current 41.4 per cent4.


[1] Hill AO, et al. 2020, Private lives 3: the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people in Australia, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne.

[2] Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) 2020, The state of the public sector in Victoria: 2018–2019, State of Victoria, Melbourne.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) 2020, The health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer population in Victoria: findings from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2017, State of Victoria, Melbourne.

Rainbow colours symbolising the LGBTIQA+ community