Better Together Conference

17 Feb 2023

HAAG’s LGBTQIA+ working group were selected to present at the Better Together Conference in Adelaide this year. The conference ran over 2 days, and hosted a mix of short talks, workshops, lectures and panels raising awareness of the diverse experiences and views of people across the LGBTQIA+ rainbow.

Garry White, member of the LGBTQIA+ refence group and community educator presented a short talk on the housing and homelessness statistics for older LGBTQIA+ people, what HAAG can do to assist, and raising awareness that we need the support of the while community regardless of age to address this issue. The session was well attended with multigenerational allies in the room as well as Garry’s cheer squad of Max, Peter and Andrew!

Andrew Rogers presented his own session called ‘Stepping Up for Empowered Ageing’ which also spoke of the power and need for intergenerational LGBTIQA+ communities and friendships.

Fiona Waters also had a last minute opportunity to speak on a panel called ‘10 Years of Rainbow Tick’, which was facilitated by Jami Jones of Rainbow Health Australia. This panel discussed the impacts of a rainbow tick framework on the sector, workers, management, organisations and clients or participants attending services. Fiona spoke about how HAAG engaged in the Rainbow Tick accreditation process, and how as an organization we work to infuse the LGBTQIA+ perspective in the organisation at all levels and not just get the tick and think that is the end of making a inclusive and culturally safe service.

The conference presentations were a success and raised awareness of the housing needs of older LGBTQIA+ people at a national conference, as well as connecting Fiona with individual older people who needed housing support or wanted to become a HAAG member, service providers who wanted professional education, and people who wanted to complete HAAG’s follow up survey.

Finally, big thanks are in order! Members were supported to attend by Liberty Finance who ran a bake sale and fundraised to send 2 members to Adelaide and cover their flights and accommodation to increase the visibility of older LGBTQIA+ at broader community events. Thanks to Liberty Finance for their efforts - it was greatly appreciated.