ADS CEO Antoinette Chow and Senior Manager, Aged and Disability Services, Dimi Vourliotis

Advance Diversity Services (ADS) has been chosen as an HWEI Gold Tier provider for the second year running in the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards.

The inclusion awards, announced on May 28, celebrate Australia’s top organisations for LGBTQ inclusion based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and Australian Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI).

They also acknowledge leaders, individuals and networks that have made a significant impact on LGBTQ inclusion within their workplaces.

Chief Executive Officer, Antoinette Chow, said it was an honour to receive the award two years in a row – an acknowledgment that paid tribute to ADS’s sustained work in fostering and celebrating LGBTQ inclusion.

“Happily, it means our inclusion campaign ‘BE YOU WITH US – You belong, we all belong’ is now fully embedded and that we’re steadily improving access and equity for people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality,” she said.

“As we grow further as an inclusive organisation, we hope to be a lighthouse to other CALD providers.”

Initiatives taken since ADS received the Gold award in 2020 have included:

  • Partnering with Queer Screen to host a community screening of the Australian premiere of Goodbye Mother (a Vietnamese coming out story) on February 24 as part of the 28th Mardi Gras Film Festival.
  • Producing and launching Pride in My Faith – a video which offers insights into the struggles faced by LGBTIQA+ people of faith from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds as they try to reconcile their faith, culture and queer identity, and to find service providers that understand the complexity of their predicament.
  • Launching a research project with the University of Wollongong (UOW) to understand gaps in the knowledge and skills of diversity service workers when servicing culturally diverse LGBTIQ+ communities in the context of COVID-19 with the ultimate aim of improving service provision.

Additionally, Ms Chow said, ADS’s Champions program supported ADS LGBTIQA+ staff and client-based service delivery, and its LGBTIQA+ Working Group, assisted ADS to improve access and equity.

Ms Chow commended the Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (NADA), the peak organisation for non-government alcohol and other drugs services in NSW, that also received a Gold Tier provider award in 2021.

“We’re in good company receiving gold,” she said, “and inspired by the efforts of other non-profits like NADA who are making a difference.”

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