Education Minister says supporting transgender students is a work-in-progress

Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide

Western Australia’s Education Minister Sue Ellery has described supporting transgender students as a “work in progress” following the recent suicide of a Perth teenager, whose death was highlighted in the media.

Speaking to The West Australian earlier this week Ellery said schools needs to hold “respectful discussions” and ensure that they were inclusive.

“It’s all about how we make sure that schools are inclusive,” Ellery said. “And also who is providing support for students who might be coming to terms with their own sexuality and making sure that those around them are supportive as they go on that journey.”

While the Education Minister is voicing her support for transgender students, the McGowan Government has ceased funding the Inclusive Education program that provided professional development to teachers.

The program, which began life as Safe Schools, was renamed when the Western Australian government took over the funding of the program from their federal counterparts. Last October the government pulled the pin on the initiative, a decision that was labeled short-sighted by critics.

Statistics from the National LGBTI Health Alliance show that people who are transgender are 11 times more likely to attempt suicide. LGBTIQ+ rights organisation just.equal has called on the McGowan Government to fully fund the program, alongside addressing a wide range of law reforms relating to people who are transgender, non-binary, or gender diverse.

OIP Staff

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