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Flying the flag to combat discrimination

Flying the flag to combat discrimination

Monday 17 May 2021

Bass Coast Shire Council flew the rainbow flag at the Civic Centre in Wonthaggi on Monday, 17 May, to acknowledge and celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

IDAHOBIT celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination. The day is significant, as it marks the anniversary of the World Health Organisation removing homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems on May 17, 1990.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari, said that while we have come a long way, there is still more work to do, to ensure that all people live without discrimination.

“Raising the rainbow flag is just one small way we can demonstrate solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ friends, family, colleagues and community. It represents the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people in our community – it says we see you, we accept you, we value you and you belong here,” Cr Tessari said.

“It was also fantastic to hear from locals – Greg Tingate and Lauren Brooks – on what IDAHOBIT Day and raising the flag on this day means to them and to see our staff, colleagues from Bass Coast Health, Westernport Water, Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre, local networks and schools attend on the day, to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community.”

In addition to raising the flag on this day, Council works in partnership with local networks, including the South Coast Inclusion Network and local health and community service providers to progress LBGTQIA+ inclusion and promote acceptance of diversity across its services and communities.

Council recently took part in the Rainbow Ready Roadmap project which looked at the organisation’s progress so far in the equality space and identified the work that will continue, to increase inclusion in the community.

“It is so important that this work being undertaken in our community continues into the future,” Cr Tessari said.

From left, Greg Tingate, Cr Leticia Laing, Mykey O'Halloran, Lauren Brooks, Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari and CEO Ali Wastie at the ceremony on Monday.