In July 2015, Victoria became the first state in Australia to have a Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ communities, with the appointment of Ro Allen.
The role of the Commissioner is to:
- promote the safety and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ Victorians
- advocate for the rights of rainbow communities
- work with LGBTIQ+ Victorians to provide advice to the Victorian Government
- service providers about their needs and priorities
Until September 2020, this role had the title Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality. The new title:
- better reflects the diversity of the state’s LGBTIQ+ communities
- now includes people with an intersex variation
About Ro Allen
Ro has more than 25 years of experience in community services, governance, social justice and LGBTIQ+ advocacy.
Formerly, Ro was:
- Chair of the Victorian Adult, Community and Further Education Board
- Commissioner on the Victorian Skills Commission
- founding Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare Cutting Edge – a frontline support agency in the Goulburn Valley. They established:
- Victoria’s first rural support group for LGBTIQ+ young people
- a state-wide network facilitated through the Youth Affairs Council Victoria for training and worker support
- a member of the Victorian LGBTIQ+ Ministerial Advisory Committee in 2001
- chaired the second Committee
- served on the third Committee which concluded in 2014.
- a member and co-chair of the National Working Party for LGBTI Social Reform between 2011 and 2013
Ro was recognised for their community service with a Centenary Medal in 2003. In 2009, they were inducted into the Victorian Government Honour Roll for Women.
Reviewed 25 March 2021