The Equal Rights & Queerphobia Awareness Talk finally took place after Owen Bandura was denied permission to hold discussions at his state school. A similar talk had been planned for last month but it was cancelled at the last minute.
The hour long seminar pulled a small crowd of around thirty people; Bandura spoke with empathy and courage.
‘If any of you are being bullied, don’t be trapped in a vicious mindset. I beg of you, do not sit back and let yourself be tortured, particularly the younger members of the audience. Tell someone about how you’re feeling, the teasing and the physical abuse, tell your friends and family, no matter how alone you feel, there will always be someone you can relate to’.
Bandura touched on pressing mental health problems that are affecting bullied LGBT youth.
‘Suicide is very final, and there may be people that are close to the edge. Nobody wants you to kill yourself, no one wants you to be gone, this is all temporary’, he said.
Andrew Markey, a member of the Cross Campus Queer Network travelled from Perth to partake as a guest speaker.
“I think it’s incredible that a guy who identifies as straight, is from a rural area, and is part of ’Generation I’, has stood up for his peers like this”, Markey said.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551800.
Updated: The text of this article was updated to correctly identify Andrew Markey as a member, not a representitive of the Cross Campus Queer Network.