The Victorian Government values and celebrates diversity. It affirms the right to equality, fairness and decency for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) Victorians, and is committed to removing discrimination from Victorian laws, services and society.
The LGBTIQ+ taskforce provides high level, strategic advice to the Minister for Equality and government departments on current and emerging LGBTIQ+ issues and on government policy, programs and services to address those issues. The taskforce works closely with Victoria's Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities to ensure that the government’s equality initiatives are underpinned by genuine community consultation.
Jayde de Bondt, a graduate of the 2018 Victorian LGBTIQ+ Leadership Program and advocate for the inclusion and participation of LGBTIQ+ communities in sport, is the Co-Chair of the Taskforce along with the Minister for Equality, Martin Foley.
The Department of Health is represented (ex-officio) at LGBTIQ+ Taskforce meetings by Jodie Geissler, Deputy Secretary, Commissioning and Service Improvement Division.
Full membership details and communiques from the LGBTIQ+ Taskforce are available at the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing website.
Health and Human Services Working Group
The role of the Health and Human Services Working Group is to:
- provide subject matter advice to the taskforce and the relevant government departments on matters of government policy, programs and services
- provide subject matter advice to the taskforce on current and emerging LGBTIQ+ issues
- provide advice on other matters referred by the taskforce, or where agreed by the chairperson, to the relevant government department.
The Health and Human Services Working Group provides advice on ways to improve the responsiveness of mainstream services to issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people, and to strengthen the critical roles played by community managed health and human service organisations.
The Health and Human Services Working Group also advises the Department of Health on issues relating to ageing and aged care, alcohol and other drugs, child and family services, disability services, families, health services, housing, homelessness, mental health, multicultural issues, public health and health promotion, youth justice and related matters.
The Health and Human Services Working Group is co-chaired by Associate Professor Adam Bourne and Harriet Shing MP.
Members of the Health and Human Services Working Group are: Gabriel Aleksandrs, Dr Cal Andrews, Brenda Appleton OAM, Jax Jacki Brown, Marina Carmen, Nathan Despott, Rebecca Dominguez, Peter Locke, Dr Ruth McNair, Damien Stevens-Todd, Bowie Stover and Jac Tomlins.
While members are appointed for their individual skills and experience, they bring to the table a wide range of organisational and community connections.
LGBTIQ+ Taskforce members are ex-officio members of the Health and Human Services Working Group. Victoria’s Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Ro Allen also attends the Health and Human Services Working Group and co-chairs the Expert Advisory Groups.
Staff from the Community Services Health Branch, Department of Health attend Working Group meetings in an ex-officio capacity representing the department.
The Department of Health provides secretariat support to the Health and Human Services Working Group.
Archived communiques can be requested by emailing LBGTIQSecretariat@health.vic.gov.au.
Expert advisory groups
The Trans and Gender Diverse and the Intersex Expert Advisory Groups provide expert advice on issues and specific projects that engage with their communities. The expert advisory groups are made up of community members, clinicians and relevant academics.
The Expert Advisory Groups will focus on key identified projects.
More information can be requested by emailing LBGTIQSecretariat@health.vic.gov.au.