The start to this year has been very busy given our involvement in Mardi Gras events including Fair Day and the Mardi Gras parade. Hence, the newsletter is a little delayed this term. However, I do hope that the start of the year has been a positive one and that you have been able to engage in some of the recent celebrations.
Trade Union Training Officer and Officer attached to LGBTIQ matters
Support for LGBTIQ families seminar
In the last week of term, Federation will conduct a new seminar Teaching Strategies and Activities for Your Whole Class that Support LGBTIQ Families with two meetings 11 and 12 April at head office in Surry Hills. The seminar will provide an overview of inclusive teaching strategies for all kinds of families, but primarily focusses on how teachers can welcome LGBTIQ families in their schools.
Glitterball goes west
Each year Twenty10 hosts their Glitterball event, a drug and alcohol-free evening for young LGBTIQA+ people and allies. It is a fun free event with snacks, performances, dancing and the opportunity to meet new people. This year it will be held at Casula Powerhouse on Saturday 7 April.
Mardi Gras reprieve
This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A last-minute vacancy in the parade enabled Federation to participate, after its application was initially unsuccessful due to restricted numbers.
Marriage equality— still more to be done
As of 9 January this year, same-sex couples in NSW are able to marry, however true marriage equality has not been achieved in all states as some transgender people have been excluded from these changes.
Ruddock review into religious freedom
Following the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of a panel, chaired by former Liberal MP Philip Ruddock, to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion under the new marriage legislation.
UNESCO guidance on sexuality education
A fully updated International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education was published by UNESCO in January. It promotes structured learning about sex and relationships in a manner that is positive, affirming, and centred on the best interests of the young person.
Training @ Twenty10 — Here and Now
Here And Now is a one-day practical workshop for building confidence in working with people of diverse genders, diverse sexualities and/or intersex status.
The position of LGBTIQ Association Contact is an important step to address homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools, which we know continue to be significant issues.
Dates to remember
While Mardi Gras has come and gone, there are a number of important dates of significance throughout the year for the LGBTIQ community. For those starting to integrate LGBTIQ dates into the workplace/school calendar, IDAHOT and Wear It Purple are significant days that can be celebrated and/or acknowledged in schools.
Day of Silence (US)
International Day of Families
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)
Wear it Purple Day
Australian LGBTI History Month
Intersex Awareness Day
International Day of Tolerance
Transgender Remembrance Day
World AIDS Day
Human Rights Day
LGBTIQ Special Interest Group
The LGBTIQ Special Interest Group (SIG) is open to any member of the NSW Teachers Federation. It is concerned with LGBTIQ issues and how they affect teachers and schools.
Meetings take place in Sydney, with the next one scheduled for 12.30pm on Saturday 5 May 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 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 654 369.