While Australia is not as enthusiastic in celebrating Pride month as other countries (many of which are enjoying summer), it is still an important time to celebrate our communities and the gains we have made over the years.
The importance of celebrating Pride in June is linked to the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and is an opportunity to take a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward LGBTIQ people. It’s also an opportunity to promote equality, rights and dignity, increase LGBTIQ visibility and celebrate who we are.
Federation’s library has a range of LGBTIQ resources available, including some with Pride themes. For young children there is the book This Day In June, which welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration. It also includes a reading guide full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a note to parents and caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways.
For teen readers, the book Queer, there, and everywhere: 23 People who changed the World shares facts about 23 influential gay and gender-ambiguous personalities from the era of the Roman Empire to the present. It explores how they defied convention to promote civil rights, pursued relationships on their own terms and shaped culture.
The library also has the recently released film Riot, which reflects on the Sydney LGBT communities’ efforts to achieve dignity, equality and visibility in what has now become the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
I hope you that take this time to reflect on the achievements of LGBTIQ communities to date, and how we can continue move forward together to ensure LGBTIQ people across the globe and into the future have bright prospects.
Trade Union Training Officer and Officer attached to LGBTIQ matters
Special Interest Group Annual Conference lunch
Federation’s Annual Conference is approaching and the LGBTIQ Special Interest Group (SIG) will be having a lunch on the Monday of conference. This is a social event at the participant’s expense, and an excellent opportunity to meet teachers with a common interest.
Wear it Purple
This year Wear It Purple Day will be held on Friday, 31 August – with the theme “Empower Together” – to assist LGBTIQ+ students to feel welcome in their educational setting and see the acceptance of others.
New surrogacy Determination
Teachers who become parents through a surrogacy under the NSW Surrogacy Act 2010 can now access 14 weeks’ paid leave after a Determination by NSW Treasury.
Popular Federation seminar
Federation recently teamed with the Gayby Baby Project to develop a seminar for teachers to consider how to welcome all types of families into school settings, including LGBTIQ families. Associations are invited to host this Trade Union Training seminar.
Ruddock Review and legislative discussions
The panel conducting the Religious Freedom Review (otherwise known as the Ruddock Review) provided its report on freedom of religion in Australia to the Prime Minister on 18 May. Reports indicate it may be weeks before the Prime Minister releases the information contained in the report to the public.
Using films as learning resources
Studying films with LGBTIQ content and the themes within them (often identity, diversity, stereotypes and respectful relationships) can be part of the syllabus and therefore appropriate to studying in class. Follow the link below for suggested titles and their resource pages. Some of the films are available from Federation's library.
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.
Non-Binary Peoples day
Wear it Purple Day
Australian LGBTI History Month
International Lesbian Day
Intersex Awareness Day
Intersex Solidarity 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 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 11 August 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.