Welcome back! I hope you have found time to have a restful break during the summer holidays and are refreshed for the year ahead.
The beginning of the year always provides lots of opportunities to reflect on how we organise our classes and on how and what we teach. This newsletter has information on some inclusive strategies you might like to try in your classroom as well as suggestions for where to find more information about inclusive and supportive practices for LGBTIQ people.
If you would like to expand your involvement in this area within Federation this newsletter tells you how you can become involved in our Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras activities (Fair Day and/or parade), has information about the next SIG meeting and how you can become your local teachers association LGBTIQ Contact.
The position of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Contact is an elected role that seeks to raise the profile of LGBTIQ matters within your local teachers association and its schools. It is an important step in addressing homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools, which we know continue to be significant issues.
The beginning of the year is also an opportunity to ensure that the school or workplace calendar is inclusive. Take steps to include one or more significant LGBTIQ dates that would raise awareness of LGBTIQ issues or perspectives, or to celebrate LGBTIQ people and communities. See the calendar at the end of this email for significant dates.
Trade Union Training Officer and Officer attached to LGBTIQ matters
Mardi Gras 2017
Mardi Gras season is fast approaching, so get ready to join Federation colleagues at Fair Day and the march to demonstrate support for LGBTIQ social justice issues. Federation's theme, based on this year’s festival theme, “Creating Equality”, is "Teachers Building Equality".
Safe Schools Coalition NSW
The Safe Schools Coalition program will be wound up this year with federal government funding ceasing on June 30 but teacher training on this issue will continue to be conducted for schools until then.
Research shows that LGBTIQ students’ education and wellbeing are significantly affected by whether these students feel safe and supported in their schools. An inclusive curriculum is one way to achieve this.
There are a range of courses and seminars to help teachers and schools create a supportive environment for LGBTIQ students and to grow in confidence in working with people of diverse gender and sexual status.
The Free2Be Project has studied the impact of positive teacher attitudes – and the reverse – on relationships and school outcomes for transgender and gender-diverse students.
Mark your calendar
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day and the march in February and March are the standout dates of significance for the LGBTI community. There’s also a full calendar of important dates for the year.
LGBTIQ Special Interest Group
The LGBTIQ Special Interest Group (SIG) is open to any member of the NSW Teachers Federation. It is concerned with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) issues and how they affect teachers and schools.
Meetings take place in Sydney, with the next one scheduled for 12.30pm on Saturday February 18 at Federation House, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills. The meeting provides members with the opportunity to discuss relevant LGBTIQ issues, inform Federation of specific areas of concern and provide advice to the Federation concerning policies relating to LGBTIQ issues. Teleconference facilities will be available for those who are not able to be at the meeting in person. To RSVP to the meeting and gain the details for teleconferencing, please email email@example.com.
The SIG welcomes new members, including LGBTIQ identifying members, or allies. To join the LGBTIQ SIG please contact Federation on (02) 9217 2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Teachers can also access information on LGBTIQ issues on Federation’s website.
If you have feedback in relation to the newsletter or website, or information regarding LGBTIQ issues please contact Mel Smith, NSW Teachers Federation at (02) 9217 2100 or via email@example.com.
If you, or a colleague, are experiencing homophobia, discrimination or harassment contact your local Organiser for advice or call our Professional Support Team on 1300 654 367.