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Parramatta Eels Tackle Homophobia

13 May 2011

Parramatta Eels

The Parramatta Eels get behind This Is Oz
(l-r) Taniela Lasola, Joel Reddy, Chris Walker and Etu Uaisele.

The Parramatta Eels and some of their top players are lending their support to an innovative campaign aimed at reducing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people.

To mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on Tuesday 17 May, some of the star players from Parramatta Eelsthe Parramatta Eels will feature in a series of print and online advertisements promoting This Is Oz, an online photo gallery where participants can upload pictures of themselves with messages that challenge homophobia or celebrate diversity and social inclusion. The web address is www.thisisoz.com.au

The players supporting the project are second rower Taniela Lasola, centre Joel Reddy, winger Chris Walker and backline all-rounder Etu Uaisele.

The campaign is also being supported by Network Ten, ABC youth network triple j, Macquarie University, University of Western Sydney, SX Magazine and SameSame.com.au

To help people in Western Sydney make a contribution to the campaign, special This Is Oz photo booths will be operating at selected locations around the region on May 17 including the Parramatta Mall, Macquarie University's Ryde campus, the University of Western Sydney's Bankstown campus and the Blue Mountains Family Support Service in Katoomba.

This Is Oz is a project of ACON, NSW's and Australia's largest community-based GLBT health and HIV/AIDS organisation.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says he's delighted that the Parramatta Eels are supporting IDAHO and This Is Oz.

"IDAHO gives us an opportunity to reflect on the serious impact that homophobia, transphobia and discrimination has on the health and wellbeing of our community, especially on young GLBT people who are up to 15 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population," Mr Parkhill says.

"Our This Is Oz initiative offers people throughout Australia a simple yet powerful way to speak up and show their support for a society that respects human rights, embraces diversity and accepts people on face value."

"We're extremely grateful for the support of all our This Is Oz project partners, especially this latest contribution from the Parramatta Eels and their players.

"Receiving the support of local sporting heroes is extremely valuable. Their extraordinary profile within the community is a really effective way of getting ordinary Australians to engage with the issue of GLBT discrimination, face up to the impact of homophobia and then hopefully do their bit to help make Australia a place where everyone belongs."

Visit www.thisisoz.com.au to view the Parramatta Eels and lots of other famous and fabulous folk.

NB! High res files of the Eels' This is Oz images are available on request



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For more information or to arrange an interview or photo opportunity, please contact us.

Contact: Andrew Hamadanian, Media and Communications Officer, ACON

Tel: (02) 9206 2044  
Mobile: 0419 555 768 

Email: ahamadanian@acon.org.au


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