Advance Diversity Services (ADS) became a member of the Welcome Here Project in September.
The project supports businesses and organisations throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.
ADS has placed a Welcome Here Project Sticker and Welcome Here Project Charter in prominent locations across its four office sites, which assures people ‘at a glance’ that they are welcome regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
‘It is quite common for LGBTIQA+ people not to disclose their sexual identity or gender identity in fear of social and family discrimination – and this is especially true for those who are from a culturally and linguistically diverse background,’ says Anthony Scerri, Manager of
Settlement and Community Services for ADS.
‘We want to be a visibly welcome organisation to all communities – and the Welcome Here Project is one simple and effective way of doing this.’
‘We’d also like to encourage other services to consider being involved, and we’re recommending they watch the Welcome Here video to show why it’s important take part.’
ADS is establishing an LGBTIQA+ working group to ensure it connects with LGBTIQA+ communities and conducts programs that can support people from these communities to pursue their goals.
It also ran a free LGBTIQA+ forum on October 21, which highlighted the barriers LGBTIQA+ people face to participating fully in Australian society. Staff also learned practical strategies to help them to combat discrimination.
‘It’s critical for LGBTIQA+ people to find the support they need, when they need it,’ says Mr Scerri, ‘and we know this can make the difference between them thriving and surviving.’