WIMMERA organisations have used a Horsham Pride Celebration to outline their strategies to improve services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Victoria Police, Wimmera Health Care Group, Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera UnitingCare took part in the LGBTI Celebration at Up Tempo Cafe on Wednesday morning.
The event was timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
I'm honoured to be here but it's a bit disappointing we still have to do this. It should be natural to include people and not be judgmental.Cr Josh Koenig
Wimmera UnitingCare chief executive Wendy Sturgess thanked attendees for their support.
“This event shows how far we have come but also how far we have got to go,” she said.
Wimmera Health Care Group community diversity committee chair Amelia Crafter said her organisation wanted to be the leading health provider for the entire community.
“We can’t do that unless we are inclusive and welcoming towards all members of the community,” she said.
Mrs Crafter said the community diversity committee had been formed to help the group cater for clients of diverse races, religions, abilities, sexualities and genders.
Horsham Leading Senior Constable and youth resource officer Linda McLennan said Victoria Police in the Wimmera were developing an LGBTI policy.
“We have at least one GLLO – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex liaison officer – for each police service area,” she said.
“Victoria Police is upgrading its IT systems and forms so that members can more accurately record the gender that a person identifies as.
“Adapting our responses to family violence is also a priority.”
Leading Senior Constable McLennan said police wanted to break down barriers and promote respect between officers and LGBTI people.
Horsham Rural City councillor Josh Koenig said he was honoured to stand in for Mayor Pam Clarke as he also worked at UnitingCare.
“This event is a double-edge sword,” he said.
“I'm honoured to be here but it's a bit disappointing we still have to do this. It should be natural to include people and not be judgmental.”