Date: Thursday 09 November 2023
Time: 3.00pm – 4.30pm AEDT
Venue: Level 14 FCFOA, 305 William Street Melbourne Vic 3000
Speakers: Son (they/them), Nicole Nguyen (she/they), Caleb (they/them)
Price: $10 ticket fee
About the Presenters:
Son is the CEO of Transgender Victoria, a peak advocacy and wellbeing focused not-for-profit organization led by trans and gender diverse communities.
Son has a background in film/media production, and research/writing/teaching in Academia. They come from white working-class roots in far North Queensland and regional South Australia, and they are a staunch ally to bio and chosen family with Arrernte and Ngarrindjeri lineage.
Son is neurodiverse, non-binary and a parent to grown and growing kids. Some of Son’s special interests include categorizing data, gardening, bees, dogs and building shelters.
Nicole is the Training Coordinator at Transgender Victoria. They have a strong motivation to support the development of more compassionate and inclusive spaces for all. Outside of her work at Transgender Victoria, she has a history of advocacy and educational content development experience rooted in LGBTQIA+, mental health and street harassment matters. They also possess a biomedical background from Honours studies studies which has greatly shaped their approach within their work. In other aspects of their life, they love playing board games and going on food adventures with chosen family and friends.
Caleb is a Training Facilitator at Transgender Victoria. They are an artist and performer whose practice is centered around creating complex depictions of queer identity and relationships in the modern world. They are passionate about changing the narrative around transness in order to emphasise the joy and the freedom that comes from being queer and remove the fear that exists both within and outside of the trans community.
On Thursday 09 November 2023, the Family Law Pathways Network (FLPN)- Greater Melbourne in collaboration with Transgender Victoria organised an in-person event titled: Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusivity Education Session.
The event which took place at level 14, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Melbourne, was well attended by legal and non-legal practitioners.
The event started with an acknowledgment of country by Kathryn Lyons (Senior Manager Family Law Services- Catholiccare Victoria) and introduction of the three presenters, Son, Nicole, and Caleb from Transgender Victoria.
All three presenters’ photos below, took turns to explain the concepts and misconceptions of Trans and Gender diverse people.
The presenters stated that Transgender Victoria was established in 1999 and incorporated by early 2000s with the aim to:
· Advocate for trans and gender diverse community for positive change in human rights and policy development
· Support trans and gender diverse peers through initiatives and programs and
· Educate the wider community about trans and gender diverse experiences and issues.
The presenters explored areas such as language including what TGD is and isn’t and pronouns, lived experiences and discrimination, why inclusion matters and how to be more inclusive of TGD needs. This was facilitated in an engaging and informative way with participation encouraged from attendees.
Some important considerations that were shared included:
· We should aspire to achieve justice through systemic equity
· Presentation & identity may be different, don’t assume.
· Some people may use different pronouns depending on their feelings and experiences at any given time.
· Inclusion matters as it can improve staff productivity and retention, workplace wellbeing and Mental health.
The presenters also drew attention of the audience to state and federal laws that support inclusivity, and they include:
· Sex Discrimination Act (1984) 2013 Amendment
· Equal Opportunity Act (2010) 2021 Amendment.
The presenters gave some useful tips for inclusion, and they are listed below:
· Don’t assume gender
· Use pronoun and name as stated by person- safety & confidentiality
· Made an error? Simply apologies and self-correct
· Inclusive forms: remove mailing title and gender marker
· Question if gender identity is relevant
· Be affirming and empathetic
· Every individual is just that
· The aim is dignity and respect, there are different paths to get to this outcome for every individual.
The highlight of the event was the collective engagement in the discussion of the subject matter by all attendees as shown in the photos below: