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Resources released to support rural LGBTIQ+ community

The Victorian Government has announced a roadmap to help support inclusion efforts for LGBTQI+ people in Victoria. Photo by Kloe O'Keefe

The Rainbow Ready Roadmap will be launched in an effort to support rural and regional LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

Announced by the Victorian Government on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17, the roadmap is a set of resources and guidance to ensure LGBTIQ+ people are respected in the community.

Resources aim to support and advise community groups, service providers, organisations, sport clubs, health services, schools and businesses.

Equality Minister Martin Foley said the roadmap responded to calls from LGBTIQ+ rural and regional Victorians for more inclusion support in their communities.

“The roadmap provides a set of practical and simple measures any member of the community can make to ensure LGBTIQ+ Victorians feel welcome,” he said.

Each group can use the roadmap to assess and develop action plans and tools to create safe, strong and welcoming communities.

This can include displaying Pride flag stickers in shop windows, or advising a school to host a Pride day.

A series of in-person workshops will also be held across rural and regional Victoria to promote and educate about using the roadmap.

Victorian commissioner for LGBTIQ+ equality Todd Fernando said the tools in the roadmap were practical and helped support inclusion.

“This is a set of practical tools we’ve developed working with LGBTIQ+ communities across the state to help organisations and businesses throughout rural and regional Victoria to further support inclusion,” he said.

The initiative follows the LGBTIQ+ Roadshow and is built on consultation with rural and regional community members.

It is hoped the resources will help tackle ongoing stigma and discrimination, which research has shown has higher rates in rural and regional areas, complicated by limited support service access.

To access or learn about the roadmap, visit https://www.vic.gov.au/rainbow-ready-roadmap