The conversations we had...

To guide the development of the Draft LGBTIQA+ Action Plan, we engaged with 132 community members, businesses, and community groups through hosting 4 interviews and 11 focus groups; attending one Allyship event and running an online survey.

We also spoke with Council’s LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee, and Council staff to understand the current and emerging needs, the changing issues, expectations, and priorities within our community.

How we gathered insights

An engagement plan was developed to maximise opportunities for community participation which included a blend of targeted and open focus groups relevant to different interests and experiences. These were offered during and out of hours, including weekends. The engagement was complemented by an online survey on Council’s digital engagement platform Connect Stonnington.

Who we heard from

One hundred and thirty two people took part in the engagement opportunities offered in March and April 2022 representing different ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities, family structures and relationships. Participants also represented a diverse range of local services and other community interests.

A further 25 young people took part in an allyship event hosted by Stonnington Youth Services in March 2022, in partnership with the Zoe Belle Gender Collective and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.

What we heard

The following themes emerged from the consultations...
  • Theme 1

    Stonnington has a large and visible LGBTIQA+ community with a unique and vibrant history and generally, the community is diverse, welcoming, inclusive and celebrates difference. There are many LGBTIQA+ owned and supportive venues, groups and businesses and Council programming is seen as inclusive.

  • Theme 2

    Issues of community safety and amenity, particularly in entertainment precincts, are a challenge. Notwithstanding the local community strengths, discrimination and violence against LGBTIQA+ people persist. There is a need for more safe and welcoming physical spaces and social infrastructure.

  • Theme 3

    Services, groups, networks, and information specifically targeted to the needs of LGBTIQA+ people and families are often hard to find or don't exist locally. Universal services intended for the whole community are often hetero- and cis-normative and fail to recognise or are insensitive towards the needs and experiences of LGBTIQA+ people.

  • Theme 4

    Council has a leadership role and commitment to supporting and acknowledging LGBTIQA+ people, families and communities however, it is not well promoted, clearly understood, or universally applied. Consistent and embedded leadership and advocacy on issues of importance to LGBTIQA+ people it critically important, including in response to the continuing politicisation of LGBTIQA+

Next steps

We heard that people recognise that Stonnington has a unique and vibrant LGBTIQA+ community history, with community groups and a thriving entertainment scene. But they would like to see increased health, mental health, family, housing, aged care and disability services that are more diverse and less mainstream; to feel safer in physical spaces and to have more community awareness and understanding of LGBTIQA+ issues.

The feedback we received helped us develop a draft action plan that outlines actions such as developing a dedicated Council website page for LGBTIQA+ information, resources and events; working with Headspace to support the creation of community Pride Groups for young people; promoting LGBTIQA+ awareness days and more.

Before we finalise the action plan, we would like to hear what you think. Did we get it right? Is there something we missed?

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