We’re here to help LGBTQ people who have experienced prejudice related violence and harassment by providing a range of support services and resources.
If it’s an emergency always call Triple Zero (000). If it’s not urgent, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. You can also make an anonymous call without giving your name by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Domestic Violence Liaison officers (DVLOs) have special training in working with people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. Most police stations have a DVLO. For more information click here.
Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) are specially trained to address LGBTI issues. For more information on GLLOs, click here.
If you’re not happy with the service you have received from the police, the NSW Police Force has an internal complaints process. For more information please visit the NSW Police website.
We can help you report an incident to police. For more information, please contact your nearest ACON office.
Fair Play is a community initiative to help partygoers understand their legal rights and how to keep safe during the Mardi Gras Festival. It’s a partnership project by the Inner City Legal Centre, Mardi Gras and ACON to provide accurate legal resources and education to sexuality and gender diverse communities.
Fair Play is committed to respecting human rights through the principles of harm reduction and is interested in your safety, along with providing you with as much information as possible.
The Fair Players are a team of specially trained volunteers who are on site at key Mardi Gras events to share legal and safety information, monitor the operations of police and provide support to people who have been searched or questioned by police.
For more information about Fair Play, please visit fair-play.org.au.
To sign up and volunteer as a Fair Player, you can visit fair-play.org.au/volunteer/.
We provide confidential fee-based short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTIQ people seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Volunteer counsellors use a solutions focused model and a range of therapeutic approaches to better equip people to deal with life’s challenges.
Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances, and priority is given to people on low incomes or with limited options.
LGBTIQ counselling in Sydney is available Tues and Thurs evenings. For appointment options in regional NSW please contact the relevant office.
Unfortunately this service is not suitable for:
- People who use violence
- People with unmanaged or unsupported mental illness or substance use
To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.
If you are experiencing prejudice related violence or harassment here are some options for counselling and support:
- ACON provides counselling as well as social work support to help people resolve complex or ongoing violence and harassment matters. Call 9206 2000 to make an appointment.
- QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. For more information click here.
- ICLC can provide legal support such as assistance with preparing an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. For more information click here.
- Lifeline provides 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians experiencing a personal crisis. For more information click here.
Community Legal Centres (CLC) provide free legal advice, referrals and some representation to people who live and work in their area.
Community Legal Centres NSW: (02) 9212 7333
Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) provides a state-wide specialist free legal advice service for anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ throughout NSW.
(02) 9332 1966
NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Gay and Transgender Hates Crimes Between 1970 and 2010
Submissions close Thursday 30 April 2020.
In a dark period of New South Wales’ history between 1975 and 2000, it is estimated that 84 gay men and 4 transgender women were killed by acts of anti-gay and anti-transgender violence. In some cases, these deaths were attributed to improbable “accidents” and unlikely “suicides”. More than 20 cases remain unsolved leaving families and loved ones without answers, closure or justice.
Hundreds more survived these violent attacks. Many of these incidents were brutal, including stabbings, strangulation, bludgeoning, shooting, sexual assaults and frenzied attacks. As well as anti-LGBT bias, many of these crimes were fuelled by HIV stigma.
Since 2015, ACON has been working with a range of community partners on a range of responses to address the grief and trauma brought on by these events, that is still being felt by many in our communities. In the search for justice and healing, ACON reviewed a list of 88 gay and transgender hate killings, and key findings from this review was released in the report In Pursuit of Truth and Justice Report, published in May 2018.
The NSW Parliament acted on these findings by initiating a formal Inquiry in September 2018 to better understand the extent and impact of violence, whether LGBT people in New South Wales were effectively protected and justice delivered, and whether the current response to hate crimes is adequate. The first round of submissions were collected between September and October 2018 and three hearings were held in November.
The NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues released its Interim Report in February 2019. Read the Interim Report from the first phase of the Inquiry here.
Inquiry Reopened: October 2019
In October 2019, the NSW Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues re-opened the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into LGBT violent hate crimes, in an effort to hear from more submissions from people in our communities. It is currently taking submissions from people community members and anyone else who would like to share their experiences or views. You can make a submission via the NSW Parliament website here.
What is the Inquiry looking into?
The ongoing inquiry will look further into the criminal justice system and whether there were any impediments that impacted the protection of LGBT people in NSW, and the delivery of justice to victims and survivors of hate crimes as well as their families and loved ones. It will also examine how past impediments have been addressed by current policies and practices, and also what role the ‘gay panic defence’ played in the culture of violence and harassment, and the judicial system.
Who should make a submission to the Inquiry?
The Inquiry wants to hear from people who have experienced hate-motivated violence, or have loved ones that have experience prejudice-related attacks and/or abuse.
The Inquiry wants to hear from a cross section of the community, including:
- People residing in regional/rural NSW
- People residing in metropolitan areas
- Same-sex attracted people
- Trans and gender diverse people
- Culturally and linguistically diverse people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
The list above is by no means exhaustive. If you experience hate-motivated violence, the Inquiry wants to hear from you. This is an important opportunity to have your say.
What to include in your submission?
A submission need not be an essay or a professionally drafted document. Oftentimes, a letter will suffice. Be sure to include as much detail as possible. The more information you can provide, the more it will help inform the Inquiry and the development of responses. As a guide, here are some important things you should include:
- Share your experiences of violence and the impact on you
- What support did you receive
- Your interactions with police and the justice system
- Your views on whether the LGBT community was protected and if justice was served
- Your thoughts on how to support people with healing
- What would you like to see changed or improved to better respond to anti-LGBT violence today
Need assistance with your submission? We are here to help
ACON is here to support our communities in making a submission to the Inquiry. If you you like further assistance, support and information, please contact Michael Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 9206 2116.
Where can I make a submission?
Submissions close Thursday 30 April 2020.
In May 2016, Waverley Council passed a motion to allow ACON to fund and develop a public artwork in Bondi to remember survivors and people lost to historical prejudice-related violence. The memorial aims to help heal the trauma these terrible events have caused for the families and friends of the victims as well as the LGBTQ community. The memorial will also serve as a reminder of the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity in our community.
Find out more at www.bondimemorial.com.au
Safe and Strong: An LGBTQ+ Guide to Facebook and Instagram is a resource produced by Facebook and Instagram in partnership with ACON and Trans Pride Australia. The resource, released during the 2020 Sydney Mardi Gras season, features handy tips and practical measures on managing safety and exercising self-care while using Facebook and Instagram.
File Type: pdf | File size: 8MB
We’re here to help make the places where our community members live, work, study and play more inclusive of LGBTQ people and people with HIV.
Through our support services, training programs and strategic partnerships, we work with a range of organisations and agencies to help ensure that LGBTQ people and people with HIV feel included and supported.
We’re Family Too (2012) is a ground-breaking report that documents the effects of homophobia on same-sex attracted (SSA) people from Arabic-speaking backgrounds in NSW, while also drawing attention to racism and stereotyping within NSW’s LGBT community.
The report also examines how SSA people from Arabic-speaking backgrounds in NSW provide support for each other, and it notes a range of initiatives that can address the effects of homophobia and racism in our communities.
We thank all the respondents and contributors for participating in this valuable and pioneering research.
We are working to update the report and second edition will be released soon.
‘We’re Family Too’ Report in the Media
- SBS2: Wed-locked – Fake Marriages in Australia
- SBS: ‘Rughum and Najda’
- Star Observer: ‘Report ignites debate on homophobic violence’
- ABC Breakfast: ‘New Report on Homophobia in Arabic-Speaking Communities’
- ABC AM: ‘Gay Arab-Australians subjected to abuse’
- SMH: ‘Insults, shame and family violence all form part of a gay Arab’s life, says report’
- Star Observer: ‘Report: Arabic Australians face homophobic violence’
- Gay Star News: ‘Gay Arabic Australians face homophobia, says study’
- Good Weekend: ‘Dangerous Liaisons’
SUPPORT & ASSISTANCE
Below are links to agencies and organisations that can provide information and support for SSA people from Arabic-speaking backgrounds and their families:
ACON’s popular Safe Place Project was reviewed in 2017 and updated in 2018 to the Welcome Here Project.
The Safe Place Project started in 1992 in response to high levels of street based violence directed at Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people. Local businesses signed up to become a ‘Safe Pace’ by putting a sticker in their shop front to let LGBTIQ community members know they could seek refuge if they were under the threat of violence.
In light of the changing trends in LGBTIQ violence the focus of the project has been shifted from ‘safety’ to creating ‘welcoming’ and inclusive places.
To find out more and apply click here.
Welcome Here Online Map
Find a Welcome Here near you:
ACON proudly celebrates and supports sexuality and gender diversity.
The LGBTIQ Diversity Days Project is all about celebrating and honouring LGBTIQ days of significance and we invite you to join the party!
The goal is to get as many people as possible taking action on each of the ‘Diversity Days’ and increasing visibility of LGBTIQ diversity.
Celebrating diversity contributes to the creation of inclusive and safe communities.
Please click here to find out about the Project, how you can join in, and to download free promotional resources.
Want to get a reminder of upcoming Diversity Days? Sign up here.
Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist Australian employers with the inclusion of LGBTQ employees.
As a member-based program, Pride in Diversity works closely with HR, diversity professionals and LGBTQ Network Leaders in all aspects of LGBTQ inclusion within all sectors of the Australian workforce.
No matter your starting point, we work with your team to understand the importance of LGBTQ inclusion and to map out a strategy that will enable you to successfully work towards best practice.
Australian Workplace Equality Index
The Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) is the definitive national benchmark on LGBTQ workplace inclusion and comprises the largest and only national employee survey designed to gauge the overall impact of inclusion initiatives on organisational culture as well as identifying and non-identifying employees.
The Index drives best practice in Australia and sets a comparative benchmark for Australian employers across all sectors.
The AWEI is a free offering and organisations do not need to be a member of Pride in Diversity to participate.
Pride In Practice Conference
Pride In Practice is the only national conference dedicated to LGBTQ workplace inclusion. Run over three days, it incorporates various streams of LGBTQ workplace awareness and inclusivity.
Hear from industry experts on best practice and gain insight into the award winning initiatives of the Top 20 Employers and network with industry peers.
Pride in Health + Wellbeing is a national membership program that provides year-round support in the provision of LGBTQ inclusive services for those working within the health and wellbeing sector. Consider us your partners, your subject-matter experts that you can call on, build a relationship with and rely on for expert advice, training and help.
Pride in Sport is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTQ employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators. The world-first Pride in Sport Index (PSI) benchmarks and assesses the inclusion of LGBTQ people across all sporting contexts.
We’re also a key supporter of the Anti-Homophobia Framework for Australian Sporting Codes.
Pride Training provides learning and development programs to assist health and community organisations increase their knowledge of LGBTIQ people, communities and health issues. Our learning and development offerings use a variety of activities, media and training resources to engage with participants. Specialising in co-design with community members we aim to address the unique needs of our communities with lived experiences.