Twelve LGBTIQ+ groups across Australia will be given a total of $100,000 in funding as part of the second annual ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Community Grants program.
Receiving up to $10,000 each, the twelve not-for-profit organisations will use the funding for a wide range of purposes, including education and training, community development and creation, arts and culture to help support Australian LGBTIQ+ communities.
Grant recipients this year include: All the Queens Men which tackles ageism and homophobia through a monthly LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club; Open Doors Youth Service QLD Inc. which will use the grant to continue important arts therapy sessions for at-risk youth; and The Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association, which strives to improve LGBTIQ+ inclusivity and acceptance in the deaf community.
Photo credit: LGBTI+ Elders Dance Club by All The Queens Men (c) Image by Bryony Jackson
Michelle Jablko ANZ Chief Financial Officer and Executive Sponsor of ANZ Pride said: “We’re thrilled to see the ANZ and Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants awarded to individuals and organisations that are working hard to improve the lives of people in the LGBTIQ+ community. These projects will make a real difference to many Australians and we can’t wait to see their progress in the community.”
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Grant Lowe said: “Community groups and not-for-profit organisations around Australia are doing such great work for LGBTIQ+ causes, and we’re so excited to be able to support them in their projects. This year’s grants have included four trans and non-binary projects, projects aimed at youth and elderly, first nations, mental health, and people living with a disability.”
The partnership between ANZ and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has spanned over 12 years and the grants program is an extension of the partnership beyond official festivities to further support the LGBTIQ+ community.
ANZ & Sydney Mardi Gras Community Grants recipients:
• ACON (NSW) is a health organisation specialising in community health, inclusion and HIV/AIDS responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders. Received funds will help ACON deliver two programs for older LGBTIQ+ people including Community Support Network (CSN) that provides in-home practical support to older people living with HIV and the Community Visitor Scheme (CVS) to support the living facilities of LGBTIQ+ community elders.
• All the Queens Men (VIC) runs the LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club, a social dance project inspired by research revealing that some LGBTIQ+ elders feel unsafe revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access aged care service. Held monthly, LGBTI+ elders attend this free event to learn new dances and connect with other LGBTI+ elders and allies to combat ageism, homophobia and transphobia.
• Asylum Seekers Centre (NSW) is a non-profit organisation that provides practical and personal support to people living in the community who are seeking asylum. Received funds will help to expand activities of the LGBTIQ+ Community Support Group for People Seeking Asylum which currently includes peer support, social dinners, informative presentations, service referrals and access to LGBTIQ+ community events.
• Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (NSW) is a not-for-profit organisation and the national peak organisation representing the interests of AUSLAN Interpreters in Australia. This workshop project is aimed at increasing knowledge, awareness and improving the skills of AUSLAN interpreters by providing filmed resources and collaborative workshops to increase LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the deaf community.
• Defence LGBTI Information Service (ACT) supports and represents LGBTIQ+ veterans and serving members of the Australian Defence Force. The grant will help to buy rainbow wreaths to lay on Anzac Day to pay respects to all who served, past and present, and to honour with pride the LGBTIQ+ service personnel among them.
• House of Silky (NSW) is one of the leading vogue houses in the Oceanic ballroom scene. The growing house is made up of nine queer and trans POC sisters of Asia-Pacifika and African diaspora. House of Silky aims to create a space of refuge, providing AIDS testing booths, discussion panels, healthy competition to motivate the community in reaching their full potential and to see themselves reflected as successful icons and legends in ballroom.
• Kim Leutwyler (NSW) is a Sydney-based artist who explores notions of beauty, gender and queer identity within her art. Having previously been an Archibald Prize finalist, the grant will contribute to a 2-week Augmented Reality exhibition portraying queer Womxn of different races, ages and cultures and will include a free drawing workshop and Q&A with portrait sitters.
• tilde, Melbourne Trans and Gender Diverse Film Festival Inc. (VIC) showcases and supports the work of trans filmmakers and artists, and works that have trans content. The Festival uses film and storytelling to positively contribute to diversifying and increasing trans voices in the wider community.
• Open Doors Youth Service Inc. (QLD) is the leading LGBTIQ+ youth service in Queensland and works with young people aged 12-24 who are at risk of/are disengaging with community and/or experiencing homelessness. The Creative Arts Therapy Project facilitated by ODYS will deliver an exciting and rewarding 6-month creative arts therapy program with the aims to build resilience, social connectedness and encourage positive mental health outcomes to at-risk LGBTIQ+ young people.
• Proud 2 Play (VIC) focuses on increasing LGBTIQ+ engagement in sport, exercise and active recreation, working with all levels of the sporting community, from individual participants and grassroots communities, to state and national sporting organisations. The received funds will contribute to the creation of an online learning module for teachers around LGBTIQ+ inclusion in school physical education.
• Teddy Darling (VIC) plans to host a one-day artist festival and market to provide trans creators and artists with an opportunity to develop and showcase their work, focussing on small-scale handwork, written work, zines, plants, and homemade artisanal goods. Trans musicians will be given the platform to perform to a supportive audience and grow their fanbase.
• Wendybird (QLD) is a LGBTIQ+ led not-for-profit community group working to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+ communities through active community engagement. Throughout all events, volunteers actively engage with and support participants to build connections, increase mental health resilience and help-seeking skills and provide crisis support and warm referrals.