State money for LGBTI group

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera Pride Pro­ject has $50,000 from the State Gov­ern­ment to im­prove the health and well­be­ing of the Wim­mera’s les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der and in­ter­sex, LGBTI, com­mu­nity.

The gov­ern­ment has also pro­vided one of the group’s found­ing mem­bers, Maddi Ostapiw, with $3000 to par­tic­i­pate in pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop her skills as an LGBTI com­mu­nity leader.

The fund­ing is the re­sult of two ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted to the first round of LGBTI Com­mu­nity Grants, which dis­trib­uted $900,000 to 38 com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­ual LGBTI lead­ers.

The group’s over­see­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, Wim­mera Unit­ing Care, will use the $50,000 to em­ploy an ad­min­is­tra­tor for the pride pro­ject for one day a week over two years.

Wim­mera Unit­ing Care chief ex­ec­u­tive Wendy Sturgess said she was thrilled to have re­ceived the fund­ing in a com­pet­i­tive grants round with only a few suc­cess­ful ru­ral and re­gional ap­pli­cants.

“This grant will en­able Wim­mera Pride Pro­ject to lay the foun­da­tions nec­es­sary to es­tab­lish the group as a prop­erly gov­erned, strate­gic com­mu­nity ser­vice which meets the unique needs of a ru­ral LGBTI com­mu­nity,” she said.

“The Wim­mera Pride Pro­ject is the only group of its kind in our re­gion and has huge po­ten­tial to build con­fi­dence, ca­pac­ity and net­work­ing of the LGBTI com­mu­nity in our area.” The ad­min­is­tra­tor will be re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing terms of ref­er­ence for the group, re­search­ing the needs of the Wim­mera’s LGBTI com­mu­nity, cre­at­ing a strate­gic plan, in­ves­ti­gat­ing and ap­ply­ing for ad­di­tional fund­ing and de­vel­op­ing poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.

Col­lab­o­ra­tion

Ms Ostapiw said she was thrilled the State Gov­ern­ment in­cluded ru­ral and re­gional LGBTI groups in the fund­ing round.

She said she looked for­ward to de­vel­op­ing the pride pro­ject with the help of Wim­mera Unit­ing Care and com­mu­nity in­put dur­ing coming years.

“Life can be dif­fi­cult for all mem­bers of the LGBTI com­mu­nity, but the stigma we ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­clu­sion we face wors­ens the fur­ther away we are from a big city,” she said.

“This fund­ing is go­ing to help the Wim­mera Pride Pro­ject im­mea­sur­ably in achiev­ing our goal of set­ting up ser­vices and so­cial events to en­rich the lives of the lo­cal LGBTI com­mu­nity.”

Ms Ostapiw said she also looked for­ward to un­der­tak­ing train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions, bet­ter­ing the Wim­mera Pride Pro­ject’s abil­ity to ad­vo­cate for the needs of both LGBTI peo­ple and their al­lies in the re­gion.

Wim­mera Unit­ing Care will pro­vide support from its com­mu­nity ca­pac­ity build­ing, oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety, qual­ity and ac­cred­i­ta­tion, mar­ket­ing and me­dia, fi­nance and hu­man re­sources teams to help the group’s de­vel­op­ment.

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