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October News

Hello Rainbow Network Community,

We’ve got lots to share with you again this month.

Ace Week is coming up, 25-31 October, and we have an exciting Rainbow Network event to mark that, What begins with the letter A? An online Ace Week event 

October 26 is Intersex Awareness Day and I have dedicated a section of this newsletter to sharing intersex resources and stories from the community.

And we are joined again this week by our young, queer, indigenous guest contributor Courtney Hagen, co-producer of the podcast Coming out, Blak. This month she is profiling someone who is a personal inspiration to her.
Enjoy and take care,

Rainbow Network

Indigenous Voices 

Image of Aretha Brown at Invasion Day Rally

Aretha Brown
by Courtney Hagen 

You can’t be what you can’t see - we always hear it and talk about the importance of representation and when we think of idols we think of legends like June Oscar, Adam Goodes or Senator Pat Dodson. Incredible figures who have been fighting for a lifetime for our mob.
But I wanted to share something this month a little different, at the ripe old age of 25 I have found myself inspired by someone significantly younger than me, which is a strange notion given what we have learnt over the years to look up to our elders.

This young person is no other than Aretha Stewart-Brown, an activist, model, artist and creator. Aretha was also former Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament. Born in the year 2000, Aretha identifies as Queer and discusses many different topics through her artwork which can be seen at the NGV and various train stations in the Western Suburbs. Additionally Aretha shares advice, information and perspectives through her Instagram @enterthedragon and youtube page Aretha Brown.

I recently watched this ABC interview where Aretha shares the advice she would give her 12 year old self, so much of it I wish I was told, but all of it still rings true to this day. In a time when I’ve felt very disconnected from people, mob and community, Aretha's passion is so infectious and energising I feel right at home. You definitely won’t regret following her social media channels.

Events & Training

Graphic desighn showing ace week logo and rainbow network logo

Rainbow Network Presents:
What begins with the letter A? An online Ace Week event.

Ace Week is an international campaign dedicated to raising awareness and expanding education of asexuality.

We invite you to join us for an opportunity to better understand the ace (asexual) and aro (aromantic) identity spectrum in order to include and support young people who identify with the ‘A’ in LGBTQIA+.
We will hear from speakers about their lived experience and some of the challenges and barriers to inclusion ace/aro young people face. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, engage in discussion and reflect on how your practice can be more inclusive. Find the flier here …
Register to attend here
rainbow network logo

Rainbow Network Community of Practice 
November 24, 2:30-4pm

Building Local Networks.
In this Community of Practice meeting we will be discussing the value of local peer networks and discussing ways to create and maintain these networks.
We will look at the benefits of working together as part of a place based network and consider the role that plays in a time when we are (hopefully) moving away from being limited to online spaces.

There will also be time to bring whatever challenges and success you are experiencing in your work to the group. Thank you for your feedback on our recent sessions, we are working on integrating some of the feedback into the next session.
Register to attend here

Intersex Awareness Day (IAD) October 26

Graphic poster showing rainbow pride flag, intersex pride flag and bigender pride flag

LGBTIQA+ Youth Event
Intersex Awareness Day

Uniting’s The Diversity Group and WayOut Wodonga’s Alphabet Crew are joining forces to hold a special youth event with a focus on Intersex Awareness.
The event will be held online on:
October 21, 4-6pm.
LGBTIQA+ young people aged between 12-18* who’d like to join, can contact:
Georgina Poort on 0419 503 654 or or
Olivia Noto on 0437 252 130 or
Photograph showing film maker Phoebe Hart

Orchids –
My Intersex Adventure

Australia 2010 – Directed by Phoebe Hart

'Hermaphrodite' is a word used to describe Phoebe, a woman with a men's chromosomes. Wherever possible, Phoebe actively seeks to disrupt the cataloguing with as much honesty and humour as she can. In her film 'Orchids' she comes clean on her journey of self-discovery to embrace her future and reconcile the past shame and family secrecy surrounding her intersex condition.

You can watch the film for free using your public or university library card here…
Cover of Youth and i magazine with badges

Youth&I – Intersex Youth Magazine

YOUth&I is Australia’s first intersex youth publication. It was created as a safe space for young intersex people to share their stories in their own words and not be taken out of context or rewritten by endosex (non-intersex) people.

It provides a space for intersex voices to be heard in their own right and a chance to educate and to connect with others including those who, even if they don’t know the word intersex, might recognise some of the stories and experiences within themselves.

You can download a digital copy of the magazine here …
purple orchids graphic

Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA)

Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) is a national body by and for people with intersex variations. They promote the human rights, self-determination and bodily autonomy of intersex people in Australia. IHRA engages in advocacy, policy development, community development and they provide information and education. They also run an online support group. Their goals are to help create a society where intersex bodies are not stigmatised, and the rights of intersex people are recognised.
Find out more...
intersex pride flag

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA)

Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) is an intersex peer support, information and advocacy group for people born with variations in sex characteristics and their families.
They tackle the stigma and misconceptions surrounding intersex through education, and advocate on issues affecting the wider intersex community. They work towards improving affirmative healthcare, fostering intersexy pride, strengthening the intersex community and deepening social culture. Find out more…
still from video showing phoebe hart

Intersex Education
Video Resource

In this video resource for high school students Phoebe Hart explains what it means to be intersex and about the positive difference that having supportive friends can make. This video is part of the Safe Schools Coalition Australia All Of Us Unit.
orchid flower photo

Victorian Government Resources

The Victorian State Government page Health of people with intersex variation, provides information and further resources. Topics addressed include understanding intersex variations and key issues for health services. The resources include factsheets for families about sex chracteristic variations in babies and children. Read more here...

Arts & Culture

archer magazines

Archer Magazine Issue 14
Digital Launch Party

Archer Magazine is hosting a digital launch party to celebrate issue 14: THE GROWING UP ISSUE, and to take part in GiveOUT Day, a national fundraising day for LGBTIQA+ organisations. The event will feature a fine selection of queer artists and will include a dance class, readings, prizes and giveaways and a dance party with DJ Gay Dad. Find out more …
Person writing in note book

Poetry Workshop

On October 21, Thorne Harbour Health present, Getting creative through found poetry, a workshop led by Roz Bellamy that will take the intimidating part out of poetry writing. You are invited to bring along old magazines and letters to cut up and draw on to create poetry and artworks with, and around, the words. It will be a gentle, soothing and enjoyable process and you can chat to new friends or listen to music as you work. Find out more …
black and white photo of lesbians

Queer at NGV 

This month the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) announced an exciting exhibition, Queer, which will open in December 2021. Queer will be a comprehensive thematic presentation of artworks relating to queer stories, drawn from the NGV collection. The NGV hopes that the exhibition will illuminate the ways in which queer lives and stories have been expressed in art from antiquity to the present.
Find out more …
LGBTI community members at a kitchen bench with food

The Bent Spoon

The Bent Spoon is an online cooking show that aims to create connection and to honour the cultural traditions and diverse backgrounds within the LGBTI community.

Each episode features a different guest sharing a traditional dish from their culture, showcasing the diverse cultures and First Nations communities in Australia and from across the globe. 
All the episodes can be found here …  
examples of novelty earrings

Lesbian Earrings


At the time of writing, the tag #lesbianearrings on Tik Tok has 71.2million views. This article on Them website explores the evolution of an accessory trend which in 2020 has become a way for queer women to express their identity and a non-traditional version of femininity on Tik Tok and in the real world.

spooky cartoon castle

Ygender Halloween

Ygender are hosting a Halloween party on their Discord server for transgender/gender diverse young people under 25. It will be an opportunity for young people to get together and show off their costumes and decorations or get crafty and make some. There will also be a screening of the Charlie Brown Halloween Special. Find out more …

Resources & Research

Cover of resource text showing title

RHV Fact Sheet
What does LGBTIQ mean?

Rainbow Health Victoria have just released the first resource in their new series of information resources called Research Matters.

This series aims to deliver accessible and concise briefings on current research relevant to LGBTIQ health and wellbeing.
The first in the series is a fact sheet which focuses on the concepts of sex, gender and sexuality, and what lies underneath the definitions collected together in the acronym ‘LGBTIQ’.
Click here to download
two young people, one wearing rainbow pride tee

Queer Out Here Report

Minus18's Queer Out Here Report is a unique look into LGBTQIA+ experiences in regional and rural schools. What does it mean to be a student or teacher in regional Australia, and what support is needed for LGBTQIA+ youth? To find out more and to download the report go here…
coloured human figures representing population

The Victorian Population Health Survey

The health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+ population in Victoria – Findings from the Victorian Population Health Survey 2017, has been released. The sample size of the survey was 34,000 respondents and data was collected from a randomly selected representative sample of the LGBTIQ+ population, which enabled measurement and reporting on the health status of that population. A comparison with Victoria’s non - LGBTIQ+ population is also shown. To see the report …
children wearing face masks looking sad

Impacts on Young People


Kids Helpline and the Australian Human Rights Commission have co-authored a report on the impacts of COVID-19 on children and young people who contact Kids Helpline.

The report examines the types of COVID-19-related concerns that children and young people aged 5 to 25 years raised with Kids Helpline counsellors between January and the end of April 2020. 
Read more …

two womens hands holding infront of rainbow flag

DHHS Resources 

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have created a LGBTIQ+ communities support webpage on the DHHS COVID-19 website.

The page has information for LGBTIQ+ Victorians about mental health support, financial support services, legal support services or help for people experiencing family or domestic violence.
Find it here …
poster showing queer first nations couple

Posters to Celebrate LGBTI+ Blakfullas

Zoe Belle Gender Collective, Thorne Harbour Health and Elizabeth Morgan House have worked together with Wiradjuri and Ngiyampaa artist Charlotte Allingham, to create some beautiful posters which celebrate LGBTIQ+ First Nations communities.

The posters are now available free to download for print or web.
Find them here ...
abstract image artwork

Indigenous LGBTIQSB Glossary Posters

Black Rainbow recently paid several Indigenous LGBTIQSB artists for the license to use images of their work to act as back drops to glossary posters.
Packs of 6 were sent out to 150+ Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisations nationwide.

The glossary posters are now available to download to free. Sign up to get them here…


love hear of zoom portraits on rainbow background

Referral List
First Nations LGBTIQ

Elizabeth Morgan House has created a LGBTIQ First Nations referral list. It includes private Facebook groups, national services, advocacy organisations and more.

You can download the list here …
hands on mobile phone graphic

Rainbow Door

Switchboard have launched a new support service, Rainbow Door. It is a free, specialist service for all LGBTIQA+ Victorians and their friends and family during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The service provides information, support and referral to all Victorians regardless of visa status. Find out more …


vic health logo

VicHealth Reimagining Health

VicHealth have redesigned their upcoming grant round to address the immediate needs of the community amidst a global pandemic. They are offering grants of up to $3K, $10K or $50K for local organisations who can support young people (aged 0-25 years) or Victorians experiencing disadvantage, by creating meaningful social connection, providing opportunities for physical activity or by addressing food security issues.

Applications close October 27. 
Find out more …
pride parade photo

Pride Events & Festivals

Through the Pride Events and Festivals Fund (PEFF) 2020-21, the Victorian Government are offering connection and accessibility grants to support delivery of online, accessible LGBTIQ+ events and activities to stay connected and address social isolation. Up to $10,000 is available per project.

Applications close October 23.
Find out more …
TGV logo

Trans Gender Victoria (TGV) Volunteer

TGV is seeking volunteer facilitators for their trans and gender diverse support group. They are interested in hearing from people who meet the following criteria:

  • Are trans and/or gender diverse;
  • Have experience facilitating groups;
  • Have strong active listening skills; and
  • Can commit to co-facilitating one session per month,

For more information contact the Volunteer Manager Darcy at  

group of people holding black rainbow banner

Black Rainbow Futures Fund

Black Rainbow have created an Indigenous LGBTIQSB Futures Fund with grant funding from’s global initiative to support LGBTQ+ organisations worldwide.

The Futures Fund has been created to support self-selected career development and enhancement opportunities across all professions for Indigenous LGBTIQSB community members aged 15-35 years. From 2021-25, Black Rainbow will provide grants of up to $1000 to four Indigenous LGBTIQSB recipients each year with 20 individual grants in total.
Read more …
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