State money for LGBTI group
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.
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.