‘My Identity, My Choice’ celebration on 3 December

DATE: 9 December 2020

‘My Identity, My Choice’ celebration on 3 December

The event featured presentations from key industry leaders, who talked about a broad range of subjects.

Yooralla’s ‘My Identity, My Choice’ project has concluded after 12 successful months, with a celebratory Zoom event on International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) on Thursday 3 December.

The event featured presentations from key industry leaders, who talked about a broad range of subjects.

Dr Jeffrey Chan, the National Senior Practitioner in the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in Australia, explored the Charter of Rights of People with Disability and how they relate to the work of Yooralla’s LGBTIQA+ program.

Dr Chan said that Yooralla and Inclusion Melbourne had “brought disability LGBTIQA+ out of the closet”.

Another keynote speaker at the event, Dr Ruth McNair, the driving force behind the improvement of lesbian and bisexual women's health and wellbeing in Australia, presented the latest facts and figures to come out of the Pride organisation, regarding LGBTIQA+ inclusion in disability services.

Dr McNair , who was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her significant service to medicine, and as an advocate for the LGBTIQ community, commended the work of the program, saying “it is important to have a big organisation, such as Yooralla, thinking about LGBTIQA+ inclusion and get the whole organisation interested”.

Yooralla’s own Customer Rights and Empowerment (CRE) Practitioner, Jeanette Lee, spoke about the significance of IDPwD. Of her own journey, Jeanette said “it has taken a few years to say I am proud to be a person with disability. I have overcome barriers and have strength and reliance. Disability has helped me become the person I am today”.

Nathan Despott, Project Partner from Inclusion Melbourne, delivered the final presentation during the formal celebrations. Nathan, who has successfully campaigned against conversion therapy, presented a Q&A session, with Yooralla customer Mitchell Price, about some of the barriers for LGBTIQA+ people with disability in country areas.

Nathan and Mitchell’s message from LGBTIQA+ people with disability is that “they are all human, want to be treated the same. Don’t be afraid to talk to us or let us talk to you. At the end of the day, you will find there are some amazing people with disability that are LGBTIQA+”.

Yooralla’s Chief practitioner , Rod Carracher, said that the ‘My Identity, My Choice’ program was a great piece of work across a 12 month period, that focused on the work of Yooralla employees and how we can support our customers to consider their identity and explore their identity in whichever way they choose.

“It is pleasing to say 150 customers and employees participated in this program with the aim to seek and explore and express their identities.

“While we may be celebrating the end of the [program], it is the start for Yooralla about how we can continue to support customers and have a workforce who are supportive of the choices that customers make,” he said.

While the program has concluded, the CRE team will continue to educate the Yooralla workforce and support LGBTIQA+ customers, to ensure that diversity and equality are achieved at Yooralla.

If you have any questions or have customers at your service who may benefit from connecting with our CRE team, please contact:

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