Report on World Pride 2023 from chair Dr Ruth McNair


Australian Advocacy Coalition for LGBTQIA+ Asylum and Migration

Funding support from PFA = $19,920 – thanks to a Maddocks Foundation grant

The coalition held its first workshop at ACON in Sydney on Tuesday 21/02/23. Facilitated by Jean-Louise Olivier, the coordinator working with FDPN, participants discussed key recommendations for advocacy platforms to improve outcomes for forcibly displaced queer people in Australia.

The workshop was attended by most of the people and groups on our advisory group, including PFA, as well as new groups including Transcend Australia, Refugee Council, Multicultural Australia, and Settlement Council Australia. 


2. The Dan Daw Show

With Dan Daw’s team

PFA also provided $15,000 in funding support for The Dan Daw Show, which ran for four nights during World Pride in Sydney. The show, which focused on body positivity, disability, and gay sexuality, has received positive reviews and earned a spot at the Rising festival in Melbourne in June 2023.

Key Quotation from Dan –
I want to be surprised and to be in control simultaneously (in my sexual life)


3. 2023 Queer Displacements Conference

Funding support from PFA = $5,000 to support lived experience attendance.

I attended this 2 day conference Wed 22 to Thurs 23 February, where more than 400 people, including 52 forcibly displaced people. 

The event had a huge number of speakers from all over the world including Ukraine, Canada, Afghanistan, Korea, Sri Lanka, African nations, Mexico, and SE Asia. The impact of colonisation on the LGBTIQA+ community was a key theme, particularly western criminalisation of LGBTIQA+ people that wiped out traditional indigenous support and engagement with these groups. 

The conference called for a quota of LGBTIQA+ people in the refugee intake to Australia.

Key quotation- African proverb

If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together

with Manu Kailom, Health Grace Jones and Nerkez Opacin
With Rana Ebrahim MYAN

4. Resourcing LGBTIQ+ Movements for Change in Asia and the Pacific: A funder convening in advance of the Sydney World Pride Human

With Cat Fay, Rachel Ball, Jax Brown
Anna Brown, Jason Ball, Georgia Mathews, Maree Sidney

This was a 2 day event at Deloitte from 27-28 February, run by the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP), GiveOut and Aurora Fund.

The conference saw over 100 attendees including government representatives, NGOs, donor networks, and civil society organisations. The topics discussed throughout the conference included the minimal funding of LGBTIQ+ issues through philanthropy: GPP’s research indicates only 5 cents per $100 goes to LGBTIQ+ issues.

I appeared on a panel representing PFA, alongside Jax Jacki Brown from Inclusive Rainbow Voices and Rachel Ball from Reichstein, discussing the role of philanthropy partnering with grassroots LGBTIQA+ activists to create change.


5. Human Rights Conference

Lastly, PFA participated in the Human Rights Conference, where over 1,500 LGBTQIA+ activists and advocates discussed various issues affecting the community.

Some big announcements were made including:

  • Inclusion and Equality fund for Asia Pacific region—the first such fund to support LGBTIQ orgs in our region
  • Developing LGBTI Human Rights Engagement Strategy—$3.5 million this year
  • Developing a 10-year LGBTIQA+ health action plan—based on the LHA recommendation made pre-election
  • $26 million towards LGBTI health research

Victor Madrigal-Borloz at Human rights conference


Key messages applying to PFA work

Our focus areas of refugees, people with disability, alcohol and drug use, and First Nations, are timely and important, cutting edge issues requiring philanthropic support.

‘Exclusion of any of us is the exclusion of all of us’ — Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN special envoy on LGBTI

The importance of intersectionality was emphasised, as multiple marginal identities affect queer people. Decolonisation was highlighted as crucial for First Nations work—not just of laws, but also of systems—health, education, language, etc. and reiterated to us the importance of decolonising our processes on the board, including future training around our culture, trans-inclusivity, and accessibility.

The importance of true allyship was emphasised as well, and it was discussed that people’s stories should not be used without fully engaging lived experience in the work, that expertise around lived experience should be paid for and the importance of avoiding retraumatisation.

‘The refugee crisis is not a crisis of refugees but a crisis of governments failure to act’ — Kamali Powell from Rainbow Railroad in Canada

Tina Dixson, former co-founder of FDPN, spoke on the experiences of refugees seeking asylum in Australia. She related the contradicting expectations and realities of refugee stories in Australia; that their home country is terrible, and that Australia is great and they should be so grateful. She noted, however, that the queer refugee experience here can still be very difficult. Tina impressed that we must unlearn notions of who is a deserving refugee—all refugees are deserving, 

LGBTI Health Australia also had a strong presence at the conference, affirming that our partnership with them on addressing issues around alcohol and other drugs in the LGBTQIA+ community is important, and we will build on this.

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