March News

Hello Rainbow Network community,
If feels like it’s been a very busy start to the year. I hope you are all finding a new rhythm and enjoying the easing of restrictions on socialising and meeting face to face.
For many, doing this work is both personal and political and it can be challenging. In order to keep us both positive and connected to the needs and perspectives of the young people we work with we are going to share some quotes from young people about feeling good. The Writing Themselves In 4  survey asked participants, ‘What makes you feel good about yourself?’ and 4,754 young people responded. Here are some of their answers:
Being supported by other LGBTQ+ people and feeling like a part of a community/family. (Aged 16, QLD)

My boyfriend telling me how masculine I am and pointing out changes from HRT that I don’t notice. (Aged 20, NSW)

Writing, painting, baking and mending clothes (but only when they work out well). (Aged 19, SA)
In this months’ newsletter we have a focus on Trans Day of Visibility. We are also sharing training opportunities and resources, a great article from our Indigenous Voices contributor Courtney Hagen, and lots of other bits and pieces to keep you engaged and inspired.
Warm regards,

Rainbow Network

Indigenous Voices

Representation of diverse communities in the AFLW a strong sign for future of sport

By Courtney Hagen

Sport, despite its amazing ability to bring people together can also do the exact opposite. 
In my own personal journey with sport in its many facets, sometimes it has made me wish I wasn’t a woman, gay, short, outspoken, or even at times, a brunette—it has made me feel different or unsafe to have culture.
Sport didn’t make me feel safe to be who I am. 
Continue reading here...

Trans Day of Visibility March 31

TDOV - A call to action from Zoe Bell Gender Collective

Trans day of visibility is a day to celebrate trans and gender diversity, but also a day to shine a light on discrimination and abuse and its impact on the trans and gender diverse community. 

Sadly we are in the midst of a crisis in relation to the mental health and wellbeing within the trans and gender diverse (TGD) community in Victoria. Covid-19 has no doubt further exacerbated existing experiences of isolation and service barriers for TGD people which has led to increased risks of acute mental health issues, self-harm and suicidality.
Continue reading...

Pronoun rounds and houseplants

Everyday is a good day to check in on your pronoun use, but the week leading up to TDOV seems like a good time share this blog post again, by our friend from YACVic Briar Rolf (they/them). It’s a quick and easy read and a great one to share around your workplace if you feel pronoun use could do with some improvements.
Read the post here…


The Pronoun Lowdown

And while we are talking about pronouns, The Pronoun Lowdown is the latest book from Nevo Zisin (they/them) who is a jewish, queer, non-binary activist, public speaker and writer. Their new book is about demystifying and celebrating gender diversity and includes suggestions for young folks navigating their identities and for friends and family on providing the best support possible. You can read an interview with Zisin about the book in Archer magazine here…

TDOV celebration

Rainbow Village Darebin, a project of Your Community Health and supported by Darebin City Council, are hosting an all-ages Trans Day of Visibility celebration at Thornbury Bowls Club. There will be music, food, drinks, bowling and kids activities. This event is free and allies are welcome. Find out more…

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

Opening late April at Theatreworks in St Kilda as part of Midsumma Festival, this play combines theatre, storytelling and rituals, reimagined by a transgender Jesus. It imagines Christianity’s message of love extending to embrace all those traditionally excluded because of their sexuality or gender. To find out more or book tickets go here…
Photo by Sarah Walker

Elliot Page -TIME magazine

Elliot Page is on the cover of the March/April edition of TIME magazine. This is a significant moment for high profile trans and gender diverse visibility. It is the first time an openly trans man has been featured on the cover of TIME. The in-depth interview that accompanies the cover-shoot, is the first interview he has given since publicly affirming his gender in a letter posted to Instagram in December 2020.
Read the full article here...
Photo by Wynne Neilly for TIME

Events & Training

Rainbow Network Community of Practice

In our most recent COP we discussed responding to suicide and the importance of suicide safety training programs and competency around talking about suicide with young people. In the follow up notes I shared several useful links and resources which I have shared again here for those who were unable to attend the meeting.
Our Next COP will be on May 11.
You can register here…

safeTALK and ASIST trainings

Livingworks are offering a series of free training opportunities for LGBTIQ people and allies who live or work in North Western Melbourne, funded by NWMPHN.
safeTALK is a half day training in suicide alertness. It helps participants recognise a person with thoughts of suicide and connect them with resources who can help them to keep safe from acting on their thoughts.
Find out more… 
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a 2-day workshop where participants learn the skills of suicide first aid and how to carry out a suicide intervention.
Find out more… 

Suicide Prevention Australia Symposium 2021

Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for suicide prevention, are holding an online symposium bringing together suicide prevention experts and people with lived experience of suicide. The symposium will showcase evidence-based solutions and robust discussion, focused on solutions for saving lives.
There will be a focus on:
  • Stigma, mental ill-health and suicide;
  • Psychological and social risk factors;
  • Postvention and exposure to suicide; and
  • Support and care to vulnerable population groups.
This event runs 19-22 April.
Find out more here…

Health in Difference Conference

Health in Difference will be held online in April, focussing on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities throughout Australia. Sessions will address the following themes: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing, Data Collection and Policy Creation, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Health & wellbeing of people with an Intersex variation, Domestic & Family Violence, Strong Communities.
Find out more here...

Arts & Culture

FLUID art exhibition

FLUID is an exhibition currently showing at Wyndham Art Gallery that explores gender and identities that exist outside of male and female binaries. FLUID centres nonbinary and LGBTIQA+ artists, including Indigenous and BIPOC artists. Artists featured include Ophelia Bakowski, Nathan Beard, Ebony Hickey, James Lemon, Brooke Van Der Linden, Daniel R Marks, Gideon Wilonja and Paul Yore.
Image shows a work by Paul Yore 
FLUID runs until 25 April. Find out more about the show here…

A History of LGBTIQ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects

This recently released publication identifies 100 places and objects of significance to LGBTIQ Victoria from the 1840’s to 2020 and features a great selection of photographs. The report compiles the findings of a study conducted by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA) and Heritage Victoria. One of the aims of the project was to create a reference point for future heritage protection, interpretation, management and understanding of queer heritage places, objects and collections. View the report here…

Wear It Purple Mardi Gras float

For their Mardi Gras float this year, Wear It Purple  invited Jeff MCCann onboard to design for them. Jeff is a multi-disciplinary queer artist who primarily works with sustainable and second-hand materials. The theme was ‘Rise’ and the float design was a rainbow garden with the flowers representing the youth who, with inclusion and support, will ‘rise’ and grow. The final product included 8 beautiful hand-held flowers and a representation of 14 different pride flags. See more…

Resources & Research

ABC article: National survey finds safety and affirmation essential fundamental needs for LGBTQA+ young people

When nearly 5,000 LGBTQA+ young people were asked what makes them feel good about themselves, the answers that stood out the most were remarkably simple.
One 17-year-old respondent answered:
"When I'm laughing with my friends and I'm able to forget anxiety and depression because I love them and they make me happy."
Continue reading...


Next Generation Pride

This report compiles the findings of a youth consultation process conducted by minus18 in partnership with the Victorian Pride Centre. The aim of the Next Generation Pride project was to find out what makes spaces and events safe, inclusive and accessible for LGBTQIA+ young people. Find the report here...


The Zone of Fabulousness: A person-centred approach to "Burnout"

If you are feeling worn out and used up right now, you are not alone. For many, working in caring roles and working for justice can be exhausting professionally and personally. This article provides insights and ideas about what to be careful of in your practice and ways to care for each other that are sustainable and wholistic.
Read it here …


Rainbow Lounge

Darebin Youth Services are relaunching their Rainbow Lounge at Northland, a drop in space for LGBTIQ+ young people and their friends and allies, aged 12-18. It's an exciting time for young people to join the program as they'll get to help shape and design the program. There’s also an opportunity for a couple of passionate and skilled young people (12-18yrs) to take on paid leadership roles within the program. If you know anyone who you think would be a great fit, or to find out more, contact Kate:
Download the Rainbow Lounge flier here… 

Futures Free From Violence group

The Drummond Street Family Violence Response team is offering a free 12 week group for women and gender diverse individuals who have enacted harm in their family and intimate partner relationships. The group will be held at their Carlton office beginning the last week of March. Find out more here…



LGBTIQ+ Organisational Development Grants

Organisations and groups who serve LGBTIQ+ Victorians are invited apply for Victorian Government grants of up to $50,000 to build on the support you provide your communities. Applications close April 14.
Find out more…


Resource co-design opportunity

Deakin University, Inclusion Melbourne and Thorne Harbour Health are working together to make some information for LGBTIQA+ people with intellectual disability, and others who work with them. This might include videos, fact sheets,
training, a website or more. They are looking for LGBTIQA+ people with intellectual disability to co-design the resources. Find out more… 


Rainbow Door Helpline Worker with Switchboard Victoria, find out more...

Intake & Assessment Clinician with Thorne Harbour Health, find out more...

Diversity Youth Case Manager in Shepparton with Uniting, find out more...

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