Community forums for LGBTI health plan
The Victorian Department of Health is inviting members of the LGBTI community to attend forums to help it develop a LGBTI health and wellbeing plan.
During March three community consultations will take place as part of a wider consultation process by the government. Specific consultation sessions commenced in January focussing on parents and guardians of transgender and gender diverse children, the transgender, intersex, bisexual and gender diverse communities, LGBTI people with disabilities and for health sector work with LGBTI clients.
The consultations will be used in the development of a health and wellbeing plan for the GLBTI community, which is proposed in the Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-2022. A LGBTI Health and Wellbeing Ministerial Advisory Committee was established in early 2013 and is working with the Department as an expert advisory group and has helped develop the consultation process.
Pam Williams from the Victorian Department of Health's Policy Coordination told gaynewsnetwork the community forums are a major part of the consultation and the advisory committee assisted in making the specialist forums a safe space.
“We had advice that that was very important for the transgender, intersex and bisexual communities to have a space where their issues are discussed,” she said.
“Often their issues don't receive a lot of prominence in a broader forum because they are a small group and so we were keen to give them that opportunity.
“We worked with the LGBTI ministerial committee on a consultation plan and that was one of their clear recommendations, that it would be very helpful that particular have their own consultation sessions.”
The general forums, which commence next month were also a recommendation of the committee and the department hopes to get a broad community representation at the two inner-city forums and regional forum in Shepparton.
Williams said that no timeframe was set for completion of the report but the Minister for Health is hopes that it be completed as soon as possible.
“We are doing very broad consultations so it will take some time. But certainly the Minister is keen to see that we are able to produce a plan with the support of the GLBTI committee and their advice this year.”
The GLBTI health & wellbeing general forums take place on Wednesday, March 5 at UnitingCare Cutting Edge, 136 Maude Street, Shepparton. Inner-city forums take place at Bubup Nairm Family & Children’s Centre, 99B Carlisle St, St Kilda on Monday, March 17 and at Mark Street Hall, 1 Mark St, North Fitzroy on Thursday March 25. All forums commence at 6 pm.
Further information is at the Department of Health website