Tasmanian advocates welcome commitment to inclusion in schools

The Tasmanian Government decision to foster greater LGBTIQ+ inclusion in Tasmanian schools with a budget allocation of almost half a million dollars has been welcomed by LGBTIQ+ community leaders.

The funds, made available as part of the Premier’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, will go towards the existing Valuing Diversity Framework currently being implemented in schools by LGBTIQ+ support and training organisation, Working It Out, and are in addition to existing State Government funding for that program.

Working It Out, CEO, Dr Lynn Jarvis, welcomed the funding news.

“Working It Out is delighted to receive additional funding for our vital work in helping make Tasmanian schools safe, supportive and inclusive places for young LGBTIQ+ people.

“When schools are inclusive it means LGBTIQ+ students have improved mental health and can reach their full educational potential.”

“It also means the entire school community experiences less disruption from prejudice, discrimination and bullying.”

Working It Out will receive $450,000 over the next two years.

Equality Tasmania President, Rodney Croome (pictured), also welcomed the funding, saying it was great the government had included specific funding for young LGBTIQA+ people.

“We are pleased the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to child and youth wellbeing extends to LGBTIQ+ young people.”

“It is a wonderful coincidence that the funding has been announced at the same time as Wear It Purple Day which is a national day for supporting LGBTIQ+ young people.”

“The funding made available for fostering inclusive schools shows how far Tasmania has come since it was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality, but is also a reminder of the challenges to be overcome before all young people are treated equally.” Croome said.

Here in Western Australia, the state’s Inclusive Education program (formerly known as Safe Schools) was not renewed for funding by Education Minster Sue Ellery in 2020.

“While it is a valuable resource, few schools were using the face-to-face Inclusive Education WA service,” Minister Ellery told OUTinPerth.

“Given those numbers the content will be available online next year.”

“Schools have indicated a preference for flexible delivery in professional development.”

In light of the news local parent Brooke Bennett, who has a transgender child, wrote an opinion piece for OUTinPerth that outlines the potential for increased stress on both parents and students in the absence of the program.

OIP Staff

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