2016

President’s Report

It is with pleasure that I provide the 2016 President’s Report.

This year we have continued to build on previous achievements and sustained a strong voice with respect to our constituent communities.

Our outreach this year has included a stall at Midsumma; Pride March, a series of events at Hares and Hyenas; a number of conference and workshop presentations; submissions; and attendance at community and municipal events. The work on the book has been a particular highlight.

2016 has been particularly challenging for GLBTIQ individuals and their allies at home and abroad. In Australia, debates around marriage equality and Safe Schools continue to create distraction and ultimately impact adversely on our communities. It is hard to understand how our politicians on both major sides of government have failed to protect the rights of gender and sexually diverse people and as a result have continued to contribute to homophobia and transphobia.

Furthermore, our constituents continue to experience higher levels of mental illness and suicide. And as a result of general community ignorance are often marginalised.

Globally we have also witnessed a range of events including the bombing of a gay night club in Florida; ongoing hate crimes in the Middle East and the general move to the conservative right in a number of countries raising angst that legislation may be revoked or freedoms hard fought for may once again come under scrutiny.

Another, more basic challenge for groups such as AGMC Inc. has been the capacity of community volunteer groups to provide the level of support needed to maintain a strong presence and deliver a range of activities that will meet the objects of the organisation and its members. Resources take time to produce; events don’t happen without a team of people behind them; campaigns need passionate people to drive them; Social Media initiatives need people to curate and manage the content; support programs and outreach require people to plan and deliver them; playing a strategic political role requires people with a particular skill set; and responding to current and emerging social policy trends requires the human resources and time to create the media releases and online posts, arrange meetings with key people of influence and the time to attend events and meetings with key stakeholders.

It has been a very busy year and I am most appreciative of the efforts made by Committee members who have given generously of their time and talent.

Our interstate activities and networks have been really appreciated. I note the work being led by Benjamin and Gávi in Sydney which has resulted in several successful events this year including the film Chasing Asylum and the national faith and civil marriage equality forum at Parliament House.

You are a very talented bunch and the GLBTIQ community is very lucky that you are working alongside them to provide education, advocacy and support on their behalf.

I also want to take this opportunity to recognise the many partners who have helped us along the way. These include VAC who provides us with a space to hold meetings, direct mail and keep resources; the Victorian Ethnic Communities Council, Hares and Hyenas, Deakin University and Chasers. This in kind support enables us to reach out to some of the most marginalised in our community.

As we move into 2017 I am aware that several committee members will be moving on due to their personal and work commitments. All the best for your future endeavours.

To Tony Romanelli in particular, thank you for taking on the role of Secretary/Public Officer. You have provided a very important service and on behalf of the Committee and membership I thank you for all you have done this year. Your work on the Grant is particularly appreciated.

In closing, thank you for your generosity of spirit; for the time, resources and talent you so freely give; your families and friends (who have also supported our activities); the laughter and fun you have contributed; but most of all for the courage you show to live your lives with integrity and in a manner that motivates others. Thank you for the opportunity to lead the Association over the past three years. It has been an honour and a privilege.

Dr Tony Mordini

President 2016

AGMC Inc.

2017

2017 Annual General Meeting
President’s Report

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. It was the year to tend to the nest egg and show off some plumage. I believe that the National Committee at AGMC have done just that this year!  This year was the year of increasing our profile and also considering our future strategies, approach and of course, funding.

Earlier in the year, we had a much needed strategic session to consider our options and move us into a more prominent position. For the past 10 years, AGMC has been diligently working in the background to advocate for our multicultural and multifaith (MCMF) LGBTI brothers and sisters. However, we’ve never really been in the limelight for it and so the downside of this, is that for the past 10 years, we’ve been largely unseen by the wider LGBTI and/or multicultural communities and leaders.

So what did we get up to in 2017? Here’s a quick run down:

  1. We are in the finishing stages of our book, which cover the diverse and wonderful history and stories from multicultural and multifaith LGBTI people – it will be launched in Midsumma 2018, so keep an eye out for AGMC!
  2. We provided advice and consultations to various groups, including the NorthWest Mental Private Health Network (NWMPHN) Suicide Prevention and Intervention Project, the Family Violence Data Collection Framework, and the Pride Centre.
  3. Irene and Maria attended the National FECCA Conference in Darwin, to continue our slow, but steady inroads in advocating within multicultural communities and to multicultural leaders
  4. We attended the Victorian Government Round Table for Multifaith and LGBTI
  5. We held a Service Mapping Session with Red Cross, to determine what services and support are around in Victoria for our MCMF LGBTI individuals and communities.
  6. We established and/or increased our connections with VGLRL, Red Cross, Asian Australian Alliance, Victorian Government and of course the Marriage Equality team.

Speaking of marriage equality – the postal survey certainly threw us into a greater gear.

AGMC joined up with other MCMF groups to form the YES Alliance – and I was also asked to be their spokesperson. We spoke on the steps of Parliament and called for support from our multicultural communities to vote YES and support marriage equality. AGMC also formed relationships with groups such as Democracy in Colour and GetUp who – like everyone in the LGBTI community – have been working hard during this time.

I would like to provide a special mention to Yellowkitties – with the assistance of Irene – put together a newspaper advertorial for the Chinese newspapers, as well as a short video of an Asian mother of a gay son, candidly talking about her experience and why she was voting YES. While the advertorial was widely shared in social media, it was never accepted by any Chinese Newspapers. This is a stark reminder that AGMC has a lot of road to cover with our mission for equality and acceptance within the MCMF communities.

AGMC has many things planned for the future. In 2018, we will be holding our national conference – after 10 long years! We will also be rolling out our Training workshops to help build competency and working with MCMF LGBTI.

In the immediate future – we have the Indonesian documentary screening “Proud to be me”, organized by Budi, running tomorrow night at the Treasury Theatre. In December 2017, AGMC will host its first “United We Feast” – a dinner to unite all the MCMF groups to combat social isolation and build connections with each other.

All this hard work could not be achieved without our national committee who donate their own time (and sometimes money) to fulfil AGMC’s mission and ideals. Additionally, it is only through kind donations and memberships, that AGMC has some funds to make our connections and advocate on the behalf of MCMF LGBTI communities and individuals.

I really look forward to the future of AGMC and I hope you will continue to support us.

Best wishes, and with great appreciation,

  

Dr Judy Tang
President, Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc.
30th October 2017