LGBTI rural support program

Damien Stevens and Anna Diktakis from Diversity Project and Kildonans  Executive Manager Child Youth and Families Jo HowardKildonan UnitingCare’s Diversity Project Greater Shepparton has been awarded a GLOBE Community Award for its work with young people who are same sex attracted, sex and/or gender diverse (SSASGD).

The annual GLOBE Awards celebrate achievements in Victoria’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and highlight the work being done by many organisations to benefit or unite the LGBTI community.

The Diversity Project, which is funded by the state government, works with communities and services relevant to young people, to support the provision of respectful and safe environments and improve the health and wellbeing of SSASGD 10 to 25 year olds in the Greater Shepparton region.

Kildonan UnitingCare chief executive officer Stella Avramopoulos said the award reflected the work being done by the diversity team to make Shepparton a safer place.

“It was Rowena Allen – Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner – who established the Diversity Project in Shepparton more than 15 years ago,” she said.

“Since then staff and volunteers have been working to create a safer, more inclusive and healthier community for young people in Shepparton.

“The team works hard to ensure that young people can grow and develop while feeling safe to talk about their feelings, thoughts and identities, and importantly, seek the right help when they need it.”

The Diversity Project’s Damien Stevens said a fortnightly youth group had helped more than 100 individual young people over the past three years.

“LGBTI people in regional and rural areas can often find it really tough, but every two weeks we create a space where they can come together, hear from guest speakers, share a meal and connect and engage with other,” he said.

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