Brisbane anti-violence forum a success
The Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) has praised the efforts of community members to make Fortitude Valley a safer place for the LGBTI community.
QuAC hosted a forum at the Wickham hotel on Monday night to address homophobic, transphobic and alcohol related violence in the Valley with around 100 members of the community attending.
The forum focussed on the Queensland Government’s “Safe Night Out” strategy and community members were able to speak directly with the chair of the Premier’s taskforce, Brisbane Central MP Robert Cavallucci, about proposals to build a safer drinking culture in Queensland.
Drug and alcohol expert Clinton Kempnich from University of Queensland’s Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre was also on hand as well as expert on homophobic and transphobic abuse Dr Shirleene Robinson.
Representatives from the police force also played an important role in the forum.
QuAC Executive Director John Mikelsons was pleased that the community had their say.
“The Valley is where Brisbane’s LGBTI community goes to play. Everyone in our community should have a right to feel safe when we go out and party, and this forum was a brilliant opportunity for our voices to be heard on our home turf,” Mikelsons said.
“One of the obvious issues that arose out of the forum was reporting of violence and abuse. We all need to report violence and abuse when it occurs, but barriers exist to us doing that.
"We know that often LGBTI people feel that we won’t be listened to and this is a real problem. QuAC is committed to working with the police to address that.”
As a result of the forum Cavallucci and Quac have committed to launching a survey to further gauge community perspectives on the issue.
The results of the survey, along with feedback from the forum would be brought together to assist policymakers and QuAC to shape a response that ensures that LGBTI people living in Brisbane have a safe night out when they hit the Valley.