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IDAHOBIT: Rainbow flag of tolerance flies over Maroondah City Council

flag17 May 2017

Maroondah City Council is proudly celebrating IDAHOBIT day by raising the rainbow flag at both its Ringwood and Croydon offices.

IDAHOBIT is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed on 17 May, the anniversary of the date in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Council will fly the rainbow flag for one week, in support for, and commitment to, reducing the barriers faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, both locally and across the globe.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Tony Dib said the day was also about celebrating the diversity of Maroondah’s community.

There are more than 10,000 residents in Maroondah who identify as LGBTI.

“By taking a public stand in support of Maroondah’s LGBTI community members, Council continues to challenge homophobia and transphobia and strives to build an inclusive, prejudice-free society, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation,” he said.

The Council has done significant work over the years to increase the inclusivity of all council services to LGBTI community members. This includes:

  • The delivery of LGBTI inclusive customer service training to frontline council staff;
  • The development of a Statement of Support for the LGBTI community;
  • The installation of rainbow stickers on the entrance to all council staffed facilities; and
  • Working on LGBTI inclusive services for older members of the community through the HACC Diversity Plan.

This year, Council has launched its Equal Sports project, which has resulted in four local clubs in Maroondah undertaking LGBTI inclusive training within their sport. The Council has also delivered LGBTI refresher training to staff, with the introduction of the ‘Rainbow Sticker’ at Realm.

Diversity in sexuality, gender identity and sex identity is something that should be acknowledged and embraced, but unfortunately those identifying as LGBTI too often experience discrimination and exclusion.

“Each of these actions show an acknowledgement from Council of the challenges that can be faced by those who identify as LGBTI, and a commitment to providing excellent services to people of all sexualities, sex and gender identities,” Cr Dib added.

Having consulted with young people in the past about what Council can do to support LGBTI young people, visibility of support was recognised as an identified need.

According to one young person: “I would really like to see more community awareness (of LGBTI issues) in general. Being LGBTI shouldn’t have to make you different” – Bisexual male, aged 22.

On 16 February 2015, Council signed the ‘No to Homophobia’ campaign, a statewide, online campaign that sends the message to all Australians that homophobic, transphobic and biphobic harassment is never acceptable. By signing the campaign, Council as an organisation has taken the pledge to “Stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Always”.

For more information on Council’s commitment to supporting the LGBTI community or to provide suggestions on how we could further improve the LGBTI-inclusivity of our services, please contact us on 1300 88 22 33 or 9298 4598.



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