The beginning of last term found school activities celebrating the diversity of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) students and families thrust into the media spotlight with public debate about Wear It Purple Day activities and the film Gayby Baby. Federation made a statement in support of schools implementing inclusive programs such as Safe Schools Coalition and Wear It Purple, which seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their sex, gender or sexuality, have access to a safe and supportive learning environment in which they can achieve their best.
Federation understands that the documentary Gayby Baby is not banned from viewing in public schools, as the second memo issued by Deputy Secretary Greg Prior reflects the public comments made by Piccoli on the August 26 in which he says that the film is not banned. The memo states:
"… Screening the film may be considered if it is an integral part of the planned curriculum for an age appropriate year group. If your school decides to screen the film outside schools hours or as an integral part of the curriculum all relevant policy and procedures must be followed."
Federation hosted the Wear it Purple launch on August 20, where Gayby Baby was previewed. The film will also screen at Federation's November 20 Friday Forum, to be held in the NSW Teacher Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills from 5.30pm, with an introduction from the Gayby Baby team. RSVPs are necessary and can be done by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The union recognises that teachers and principals are the most qualified, experienced and best placed people to determine the teaching resources that will best support their students learning experiences, whether that is to address academic outcomes or achievement of values and attitudes within their units of learning.
Transgender, gender diverse and intersex rights in sport
The Australian Human Rights Commission has conducted a national survey on the participation of transgender, gender diverse and intersex people in sport to ensure their rights are protected in the policies and practices of sporting codes.
The United Nation's Free & Equal campaign has released an intersex fact sheet that explains what intersex means, noting its distinction from sexual orientation and gender identity. It highlights the stigma and human rights violations that are often faced by people with intersex variations.
As part of the Mardi Gras Festival next year, Federation will be hosting a stall at Fair Day on Sunday February 21. Closer to the date Federation will call for volunteers to assist with the stall from the membership list of the LGBTIQ Special Interest Group. Alternatively, members can contact the Federation via email@example.com to volunteer.
If you can volunteer an hour on the day, it is a great way to meet other LGBTIQ teachers and community members, as well as hear about current campaigns and issues being addressed by Federation.
Federation also intends to participate in the 2016 Mardi Gras parade. A working group will be formed later this term from the LGBTIQ SIG to finalise the union's application. Details will be communicated to members via the SIG email group, the SIG's Facebook group and Federation's website. To register your interest in Mardi Gras updates please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to be added to the LGBTIQ SIG.
Why trans students in your school aren't like Caitlyn Jenner
Twenty10's Terence Humphries contrasts celebrity transitions with the realities for transitioning NSW school students.
Here And Now is a one-day practical workshop for building confidence in working with young people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities. It offers you the opportunity to consider how you can best provide a welcoming and supportive service where young people feel safe to be themselves.
The next available course in Sydney will be held on November 26 (cut off for registrations is 5pm on November 13. For venue details and course fees go to http://www.twenty10.org.au/education.
For information on in-house or regional and rural training options with Twenty10, please contact capacity building manager Terence Humphreys, email@example.com or (02) 8594 9562.
LGBTIQ Special Interest Group
The LGBTIQ Special Interest Group (SIG) is open to any interested Federation member and is concerned with LGBTIQ issues and how these issues affect teachers and schools. The group primarily communicates via emails and through a closed Facebook group.
The SIG also conducts a meeting each term, which coincides with a Federation Council meeting. During the Council lunch break the SIG meets in a social atmosphere to discuss issues that affect LGBTIQ people both in schools and in the community, and to formalise recommendations for the Federation to act upon.
The next meeting is scheduled for 12.30pm on Saturday November 21 at Teachers Federation House, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills. 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, or to join the group please email firstname.lastname@example.org.