Globe Victoria withdraw prison’s award nomination

Globe Victoria has withdrawn a nomination for a prison from its annual community awards following a community backlash.

First held in 2014, the GLOBE Community Awards aim to recognise the inspiring people and organisations that work to benefit LGBTIQ+ people, but the inclusion of the Ravenhall Correctional Centre in the category of transgender inclusion category sparked a wave of complaints.

Now Globe Victoria have released a statement saying they are “deeply sorry for the distress” the decision caused especially for people whop are transgender or from First Nations communities.

“We are grateful for the guidance and thoughtful engagement of leaders working on behalfwith concerns about of those communities who have reached out to us with concerns about the selection of Ravenhall Corrections Centre in the Transgender Inclusion Award”, the organisation said.

“We acknowledge the systematic issues of racism and violence experienced by the most vulnerable members of our community in places such as Ravenhall Correctional Centre.”

“We also acknowledge the valuable contribution of LGBTIQ staff working in correctional services and stand by them at this difficult time, the weight of the issues that have been brought to our attention overshadow the work that Ravenhall Correctional Centre are doing in LGBTIQ inclusion for staff.”

The prison had been nominated in the new category of Transgender Inclusion alongside Trans and Gender Diverse Bendigo and Beyond, and Your Community Health.

When news of their inclusion in the awards was announced an open letter calling for the nomination to be reconsidered quickly gathered hundreds of signatures, including many previous recipients of the awards.

The letter noted that incarceration of a Indigenous Australians remained a major challenge for Australian society, and the privately owned facillity had previously been investigated for ill treatment of an indigenous prisoner.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are incarcerated in prisons like Ravenhall at staggeringly disproportionate rates in Australia. It is our national shame. The impact of imprisonment is well documented, particularly in the now decades old but still too relevant Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody” the letter read. 

It also drew attention to the fact that many transgender prisoners are held in facilities that do not accord with their gender.

“In Victoria many trans and gender diverse people are currently incarcerated in gender-segregated prisons that do not accord with their gender. It is hard to think of a more violent example of the dangerous imposition of the gender binary than prisons.” the letter said, while drawing attention to the ABC’s Background Briefing report on the issue from 2020.  

The 2021 Globe Awards will be presented at a gala dinner celebration on Friday 11 February 2022.

OIP Staff

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