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Community groups receive IDAHOBIT funding to “go rainbow”

May 13, 2022 BY

Surf Coast Secondary College representatives holding the various LGBTQIA+ flags. L-R: Health promotion nurse Mel White (transgender flag), principal Erin Wright (pride flag), vice captain Hugo Bennie (bisexual pride flag) and vice captain Joely Morden (pansexual flag). Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

SURF Coast Shire council has awarded funding to four different applicants this year in a bid to encourage inclusive and inviting events that will get the community to “go rainbow”.

Colourful rainbow flags will be flying all over the Surf Coast throughout the month of May as celebrations commence for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17.

Shire mayor Libby Stapleton was delighted to facilitate the numerous events across the region for this year’s IDAHOBIT celebrations.

“We want Surf Coast Shire to be a place where everyone can be themselves, proudly and safely,” Cr Stapleton said.

“Well done to the grant recipients for sharing this desire to foster a more inclusive community. It’s exciting to think the rainbow flag is going to shine in so many places this month.

“We hope that the community events and activities, coupled with the rainbow flag flying at the civic precinct this month, show that we stand together with LGBTQIA+ people.

“While it’s great that IDAHOBIT brings much-needed awareness to the campaign in May, it’s a pledge we need to make together with our community all year round.”

Recipient organisations of the funding include Torquay Scouts, Surf Coast Secondary College, Anglesea Community House and Surfcoast For Equality, with each group to provide fun and exciting ways to engage the community and raise awareness about discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people.

One of the recipients, Surf Coast Secondary College, received $1,000 grant to host a schoolwide colour run and maintain weekly student support group ‘Q and A’.

Health promotion nurse at Surf Coast Secondary College, Melissa White, who was responsible for obtaining the grant for the school, said LGBTQIA+ students at the school are excited to see the Surf Coast rallying behind them.

“Some of the Q and A group came to the shire’s rainbow flag raising last week and they definitely came away from that feeling quite excited that they could see community outside of the school supporting of them as people,” Ms White said.

“The colour run itself will be run by our students and it just provides an opportunity for our students to do something fun and as one, and it allows our kids to start forming some discussions around what the other flags mean like the transgender flag for instance.

“Ultimately, it also allows young people to come together after such a difficult time the past two years.”

The rainbow flag will fly at the council offices in Torquay for the month of May.

To see other community events for IDAHOBIT, head to www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/Experience/Events/Community-Calendar/IDAHOBIT-Day-2022.