On November 14th the first Queer Displacements conference opened in Canberra. “Queer Displacements: Sexuality, Migration & Exile” was the first conference in Australia to focus on the contemporary issues facing LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum and refugees.
What a wonderful, challenging, and enlightening event it was!
I had the great privilege to attend and present a paper on the role of philanthropy in this area with my friend and colleague Dr Liz Rickman from the Australian Lesbian Medical Association. It was also a chance to meet several of the fabulous advocates that sit on our LGBTIQA+ Refugee and Asylum Seeker Advisory Group, including Tina Dixson, one of the conference conveners.
There are so many reasons LGBTIQA+ people flee their home countries: persecution, discrimination, abuse or extreme marginalisation.The conference reinforced the acute need for fundraising to enable our work in this area.
I signed the Canberra Statement that came out of the conference on behalf of Pride Foundation Australia, and recommend this to any individual who is also moved to support its recommendations. Click here to read the Canberra Statement.
Since the conference, our advisory group has worked on a briefing document on these issues for PFA that we will present to the LGBTI Parliamentary Friends before the end of the year.
As we prepare for the holidays, I want to thank you for your ongoing support of our organisation as we continue to work alongside vulnerable groups within our communities to create systemic, permanent change. We couldn’t do it without you.
Ruth McNair, Pride Foundation Australia Board Chairperson