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