Rural Pride Australia (RPA) partners lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people and mainstream organisations in regional, rural and remote communities to make those communities safer, more supportive, welcoming and inclusive. For seven years we have partnered the Victorian State Government and Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities to work with 29 regional and rural communities on the LGBTIQ Equality Roadshow, Communities of LGBTIQ Practice gatherings and LGBTIQ Rainbow Ready Roadmap. Find out all about it here: www.engage.vic.gov.au/lgbtiq
Rural Pride Australia is ‘What Happened Next?’ after the 266-day Beyond ‘That’s So Gay’ Challenging Homophobia Tour of Rural Australia completed by Daniel Witthaus in 2010: www.thatssogay.com.au
Rural Pride Australia (RPA) aims to:
- Gather the best ideas, people and resources in challenging rural homophobia and heteronormativity, and supporting LGBTI young people; in doing so, RPA can map what’s working, what’s not and identify gaps;
- Work with, and build upon, successful, effective projects and organisations in regional, rural and remote Australian communities;
- Partner with mainstream and philanthropic organisations to leverage their resources for regional, rural and remote Australia.
We’re challenging rural homophobia, bi and transphobia one town, one story and one cuppa at a time.
WHAT HAS RURAL PRIDE AUSTRALIA DONE IN RECENT YEARS?
Rural Pride Australia is proud of its work with regional, rural and remote communities across Australia, including:
- LGBTIQ Leadership Retreats in the north and north-west of Tasmania;
- Victoria’s LGBTIQ Equality Roadshow to 29 regional and rural communities, with LGBTIQ people, their supporters and mainstream services;
- Ten Victorian Regional Communities of LGBTIQ Practice, gathering neighbouring communities to create everyday outcomes across communities for local LGBTIQ people;
- Rainbow Ready Roadmap for everyday regional and rural communities, focused on settings such as local government, mainstream health services, educational settings, community groups and businesses;
- Signs of LGBTIQ Hope/LGBTIQ Action Visits to rural and remote communities in Queensland and Western Australia to conduct community LGBTIQ snapshots, provide LGBTIQ Leadership Training and LGBTIQ 101 workshops for mainstream service providers;
- Workshops and presentations to 1000s of educators, health professionals and young people, including Beyond The Basics, Lessons from Rural LGBTIQ Leaders, Challenging LGBTIQ Resistance and Community Action Planning;
- Sponsoring dinner for attendee’s at Koori Pride Victoria’s First LGBTIQ+/Aboriginal Health Sector Yarning;
- Immediate financial support for activating local LGBTIQ networks following flood events; and,
- Rainbow Vaccination – FabJab – Campaign across regional and rural Victoria, as well as the distribution of 1000s of RATs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
p: 0427 346 206
THE NEED FOR RURAL PRIDE AUSTRALIA
The evidence is now beyond debate that LGBTIQ people of all ages and backgrounds face greater levels of violence, discrimination, abuse and harassment, experience greater levels of depression and anxiety and are more likely to die by suicide than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. Living in regional, rural and remote areas only further impacts on these figures.
Not only do LGBTIQ organisations and groups report the challenge and lack of work to directly support these LGBTIQ people and to reduce the level of discrimination, most efforts tend to be focused on metropolitan-based efforts.
By supporting LGBTIQ people and working with those that work with them to reduce the discrimination they face, this makes regional, rural and remote areas significantly safer for not only this group, but people in general.
In the 2013-2014 period, NICHE worked with a number of regional, rural and remote Australian communities, including Mt Isa (QLD), Bunbury (WA), Shepparton (VIC), Coffs Harbour (NSW) and Albury/Wodonga (NSW/VIC).
On Sunday 20th January 2013, as part of the Midsumma Festival, Daniel Witthaus launched the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE). In his speech Daniel explained that NICHE builds on his many years working in regional, rural and remote Australia. Those communities regularly said it was “about bloody time” that they are included in national conversations about how to create safer communities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
With the atmospheric setting of Hares and Hyenas Bookshop and a crowd of around 110 people, Rodney Croome followed Daniel’s speech to officially launched the new initiative. He observed that Australia is ready for NICHE and a national conversation in ways it was not ready only 18 months ago. Rodney added that there was no-one better placed in Australia to build NICHE than Daniel.
PROJECT PRIORITIES FOR 2023-24
- Working directly with regional, rural and remote Australian communities to better support LGBTIQ people and combat rural homophobia and heteronormativity;
- Providing tools and strategies for service providers and educators;
- Mapping LGBTIQ and LGBTIQ-friendly mental health supports, and perceived LGBTIQ safety in rural and remote communities.
The original idea of NICHE is best explained in this piece, written by Daniel Witthaus for ‘The Stirrer’: