LEADING THE WAY IN LGBTQIA+ PHILANTHROPY
The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia (GALFA) began in 2004 when a group of like-minded people from Melbourne’s LGBTQIA+ community and the Reichstein Foundation came together to discuss the need for an LGBTQIA+ specific philanthropic organisation. Both Philanthropy Australia and Reichstein identified in the early 2000’s that LGBTQIA+ projects were significantly underrepresented in mainstream philanthropic funding.
GALFA arose as a logical step in our community’s evolution to be out, proud and supportive of ourselves. From the liberation movement of the 1970’s gay and lesbian communities emerged across Australian capital cities and sometime later in regional Australia. The HIV/Aids epidemic in the 1980’s resulted in enhanced community activism to provide support for those with illness, fight for the latest drugs, promote safe sex and overcome discrimination. By the early 2000’s significant law reform occurred with many rights and responsibilities of LGBTQIA+ citizens equivalent to others in society. However further law reform, marriage equality and campaigns to overcome homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and equal access to services were needed, as was ongoing support for the disadvantaged and most vulnerable in our community – the younger people, aged and those with illness.