This year continues to be challenging with continued restrictions relating to various aspects of school operations. People’s health and wellbeing is of paramount importance so please continue to follow NSW Health advice and reach out for help if you need it.
This term saw the celebration of Wear It Purple Day as well as a fresh attack on inclusive practices in schools under the banner of Safe Schools revisited. One Nation’s Mark Latham has led this attack both in the media and in parliament, seeking to introduce two bills that will significantly affect LGBTIQ people in a negative way.
The bills are the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020 and the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020. Federation opposes these bills and any bill that seeks to diminish the rights of LGBTIQ students and teachers.
Religious Freedoms and Equality Bill:
This One Nation Bill contains a number of provisions that could adversely affect (among others) LGBTIQ+ people, women, divorced and unmarried people, and even people of faith.
Currently the NSW Parliament is conducting an inquiry into the Bill. Federation made a submission into this inquiry and we are currently awaiting their report and recommended action for parliament.
The Education Legislation Amendment:
This Bill prohibits schools from teaching that trans and gender-diverse people exist and should be treated with respect, prohibits school counsellors from affirming a trans or gender-diverse student or providing them with any support or referrals to gender-affirming support and puts teachers at risk of losing their job when they support a trans or gender-diverse student in affirming their identity.
Federation opposes this bill and supports the joint statement released by the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby. Federation also supports the Equality Australia campaigns against these bills and encourages members to visit the Equality Australia website to take action against the bills.
While COVID restrictions continue to ease in NSW, we are still unable to meet face-to-face. Consequently, the next LGBTIQ SIG meeting scheduled to take place on Saturday 24 October will be a teleconference. Further details will be sent to SIG members via email when meeting arrangements are confirmed.
Trade Union Training Officer and Officer attached to LGBTIQ matters
Federation joins celebrations for Wear it Purple Day
Federation joined more than 750 schools and universities as well as a range community organisations, corporations and government departments to recognise and celebrate Wear It Purple Day on 28 August.
Wear It Purple Day celebrates 10 years!
This year marked the 10th anniversary of Wear It Purple Day, an initiative set up by young people to recognise that LGBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) young people have the right to be who they are, and can be proud of who they are.
Proposed Education Bill has wide reaching ramifications
Legislation was recently introduced in the NSW Parliament that seeks to change the way teachers support the wellbeing of students and the subject material that can be covered in classes.
Dates to remember
There are a number of important dates of significance throughout the year for the LGBTIQ community that can be provide opportunities to integrate LGBTIQ dates into the workplace/school calendar.
LGBTI History Month
International Lesbian Day
Intersex Awareness Day
Intersex Solidarity Day
International Day of Tolerance
16 November (UN observance)
Transgender Remembrance Day
World AIDS Day
1 December (UN observance)
Human Rights Day
10 December (UN observance)
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.
The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday 24 October and is likely to be held by teleconference due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, meeting arrangements may change and SIG members will be notified via email when details are confirmed and teleconference registrations can take place.
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.
Click here to stay up to date with all LGBTIQ news from Federation.
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