Identity

Victoria announces 'Australian first' LGBTI Multicultural grants

Victoria announces 'Australian first' LGBTI Multicultural grants

SBS World News Radio: The Victorian government has announced grants funding designed to support Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex communities and organisations in becoming more inclusive of people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The Victorian government has announced grants funding designed to support Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex communities and organisations in becoming more inclusive of people from non-English speaking backgrounds.

The LGBTI Multicultural grants are believed to be the first of their kind in Australia,.

The Victorian government says it is working to reduce the discrimination and everyday challenges that LGBTI people from what it describes as culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds face.

The new grants program, it says, will make available $500,000 in funding over four years, to be managed through the newly-opened Community Harmony Grant and Capacity Building and Participation programs

In announcing the investment, the government says research has found LGBTI people experience higher levels of anxiety, depression and significantly higher rates of suicide compared to the rest of the population.

And it says, while funding and support for those identifying as LGBTI has increased in recent years, there has been limited specific support for the needs of its members of non-English speaking backgrounds.

The state Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Rowena Allen, says it's hoped the grants program will help address this deficiency.

"The aim of the grants will be, hopefully, to work with the leadership within the multicultural community to help them understand most about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex issues within their communities, and also to support the people that are coming out in their communities as well."

The Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott says it's believed the grants are the first designation of government funding of its kind in any Australian state or territory, or federally.

"Members of the LGBTI community who come from culturally diverse backgrounds often face significant challenges and these grants are really about ensuring equality for all people and ensuring that people are free of discrimination in their day to day life and, particularly, focused on assisting those from culturally diverse backgrounds who come from the LGBTI communities."

He says the initiative seeks to have a unifying outcome.

"I think it's important because there are some challenges people can face coming from communities where there are conservative attitudes and more traditional views around human sexuality, but all people deserve to live free of discrimination and to be able to get support to face the challenges that LGBTI people face, and we're certainly focused as a government on ensuring all Victorians are supported appropriately and can live a life free of discrimination."

The Victorian government says the LGBTI grants will be funded from the budget of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

 

 

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