Friday 17 February, 2023
The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring that LGBTIQ+ community members feel safe, included and respected.
A team of organisations with a strong track record of working with LGBTIQ+ communities will create and run two
landmark safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ young people.
Minister for Equality Harriet Shing announced that Drummond Street Services will lead a partnership with Cafs (Child and Family Services Ballarat) and Wellways to deliver this project.
The LGBTIQ+ safe spaces will offer mental health and wellbeing services tailored specifically for LGBTIQ+ young people, allowing them to access welcoming and inclusive support when they need it, close to home.
They will also give LGBTIQ+ young people in the region more opportunities to connect with peers and older role models, to increase their sense of belonging.
The Labor Government has awarded the group $2.85 million to deliver a three-year trial which will establish two physical safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ young people located in Ballarat and Geelong, along with outreach services for young people on the Surf Coast.
Further details of how the safe spaces will run will be decided in consultation LGBTIQ+ people through steering committees that will include LGBTIQ+ organisations, LGBTIQ+ young people and others from across rainbow communities.
Drummond Street Services, Cafs and Wellways have been selected to develop and deliver the safe spaces initiative through an open grants process, based on their extensive experience providing mental health and wellbeing services and for their work with LGBTIQ+ young people.
The safe spaces initiative responds to a community-led proposal that identified the need for further targeted LGBTIQ+ wellbeing support services in the region.
The program is part of the Government’s broader efforts to drive inclusion and equality for LGBTIQ+ communities
through its 10-year plan, Pride in Our Future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022–32.
“Cafs remains a strong ally with the LGBTIQ+ community in the Central Highlands and we welcome this opportunity to continue to provide services and connections that are safe and offered in a space dedicated to young LGBTIQ+ people in Ballarat.
Safe Spaces is a ground breaking initiative and Cafs is pleased to work in partnership with Drummond St and Wellways to ensure services are delivered in a collaborative and supportive way for the LGBTIQ+ community”.
Wendy Sturgess, CEO