Gender and diversity
Migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless, and internally displaced persons that identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+), face complex challenges, including discrimination, violence, difficulty in accessing basic social and economic rights, and barriers to articulating their protection needs. At Advance Diversity Services (ADS) we understand these challenges and wholeheartedly include, welcome and support people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+).
We’re gold for inclusion
In 2020, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) was proud to have been chosen as the HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year in the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards. It acknowledges the good work we’ve been doing to improve our services and practices to support people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+).
LGBTIQA+ inclusion initiatives
- We became a member of ACON’s Pride in Health + Wellbeing program, which supported us to update all our intake forms, policies and procedures including staff training to ensure our services are more inclusive of all people.
- We developed a Champions program to support ADS LGBTIQA+ staff and client-based service delivery.
- We participated in the 2019 Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) and were awarded HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year in the Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards announced on June 11 in a virtual ceremony hosted by ACON. Further details here.
- We participated in Fair Day 2020.
- To ensure our inclusivity is visible to all members of our community, we rolled out a targeted marketing campaign “BE YOU WITH US”. Ask Alex to link to the brochure we developed for this.
- Migrants and refugees who identify as LGBTIQA+ will find it easier to locate support thanks to an expanded Multicultural LGBTIQA+ Support Directory we produced with other leading service providers across Sydney and NSW. Further details here.
- We sought Expressions of Interest (EOI) from community members and representatives from organisations, service providers, community groups and ADS staff, to join an ADS LGBTIQA+ Working Group. The group has now been formed and will assist ADS to improve access and equity for LGBTIQA+ clients.
- On October 21, 2019, ADS led an LGBTIQA+ Forum partnering with ACON, Settlement Services International and Georges River Council to educate and inform community services staff who work with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALD). Over 50 people from a diverse range of organisations attended the forum which included a panel of five LGBTIQA+ CALD community members sharing lived experience. ACON also gave a comprehensive introduction to issues faced by LGBTI communities. Response to the forum was so positive we are investigating options to offer future forums.
- We are a member of the Welcome Here Project, which supports businesses/organisations throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of LGBTIQ communities.
- We advocate and provide support/advice by having staff representation on committees, interagencies and working groups. Some of these include the GLISTEN Steering Committee and the LGBTI Ageing Network Meeting.
- In December 2020 ADS was awarded $20,000 funding for a Gender and Sexual Diversity project, which aimed at ensuring newly arrived migrants and refugees who identify as LGBTIQA+ receive inclusive settlement support.
‘As we grow further as an inclusive organisation, we also hope to be a lighthouse to other CALD providers.’
Our inclusion campaign ‘BE YOU WITH US – You belong, we all belong’ drives our attitudes and actions so you’ll feel welcome
We are the change
The task to incorporate safety, inclusion and empowerment in community services across our nation is significant – but ‘we are the change’. Let’s do it.
Our Champions program supports ADS LGBTIQA+ staff and client-based service delivery, and our LGBTIQA+ Working Group, assists ADS to improve access and equity