How Flourish Australia welcomes LGBTI people

by Warren Heggarty

Some of the things we are committed to, from the Board down, include:

1. Making our services welcoming and working with people in culturally safe and respectful ways;

2. Treating individuals with dignity and respect and providing an environment that is free from prejudice, bullying, harassment and unlawful discrimination;

3. Providing staff with the knowledge skills and training they need to understand and meet their inclusion and diversity responsibilities.

Flourish Australia provides LGBTI specific health services information on our Physical Health and Wellbeing website. We are also part of the ‘Welcome Here’ project:

The Rainbow Network

The Rainbow Network provides opportunities for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* or Intersex, their families, friends and workplace supporters (sometimes called Allies) to connect and share information.

The Network contributes to Flourish Australia’s ability to attract and retain engaged and motivated staff who openly draw on their unique backgrounds, experience and networks and who help us attract others to work with us and to seek our supports.

The Rainbow Network also has an online discussion forum for people within Flourish Australia. This was opened in June 2017 and has proved to be one of the most popular internal discussion forums.  

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Fair Day

In 2016, Flourish Australia participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as a part of the Pride in Diversity Group. For 2017 we decided to take it even further and entered our own float. We planned to do the same for 2018, but being the 40th anniversary, places were limited and instead we participated in the Fair Day. Flourish Australia also recognises IDAHOT, International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and Wear it Purple Day.

Social Citizenship Think Tank 

‘We haven’t yet heard of anybody talking about citizenship in this way’ said Chief Executive Officer Designate Mark Orr at the first meeting of our new think tank in December 2017. ‘It is cutting edge.’ Flourish Australia has taken pains to ensure this is a co-production of as many stakeholder groups as possible. To that end, it includes representatives of LGBTI people. 

LGBTI Recovery stories 

Panorama and its supplements have featured the recovery stories of LGBTI people. For example, Edwina Keelan described her life as a transgender woman in December 2017 and March 2018. Chris Lunstedt told readers of ACTION that in terms of his recovery journey, being gay was one of the aspects of his life that WAS working well!

Thanks to Jade Ryall and Peter Farrugia for their assistance with these articles.

Links to other support services for readers:



2016 Pride in Diversity Crew(Back row from left) Staff members Doris, Jodi, Daniel, Clare, Totsi and (sitting, front row from left) John, Mel and Jade take a group shot before Mardi Gras 2016.

2017.jpgStaff members Peter (front left) and Annie (front right) parade their placards during Mardi Gras 2017.



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