FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT AS PRESENTED AT THE AGM, 7 Sept 2000:
The difficulty in looking back over the last year from the perspective of co-convenors is believing that it has only been a year! The year has seen everything from a State election (and a lot of parliamentary activity flowing from that) through to a range of exciting community events. It doesn't feel as though all of this could have occurred in just one calendar year!
The new committee brought with it a change in energy that began with a wonderful planning day. It has to be said upon reflection that many things we had hoped to address later in our plan happened at a faster rate than we'd anticipated.
The State election occurred shortly after the last Annual General meeting. The preparedness of the VGLRL in having a clear Election Policy (prepared by the Election Working Group) enabled us to navigate some tricky waters during that time. We believed that we fulfilled our desired role of providing a conduit of connection between prospective candidates and our community members.
The new ALP government has brought its own challenges, as has working with the independents and the Liberal/National coalition in opposition. The VGLRL maintains its stance of working with the whole community as a non-political party aligned group.
The New Year began with Midsumma, which you'll find plenty written about elsewhere in this report. Suffice to say that the VGLRL had a larger and more active presence than we'd ever had before. We enjoyed good interactions at Street Party, Pride March and Carnival. We continued with our successful Mass Debate and also provided (in conjunction with the VAC/GMHC) 'Don't Believe the Hype – a same-sex relationships hypothetical'.
Everyone there learned something, whether it was about health issues or stamp duty – or even our Attorney General, Rob Hulls, being able to see excellent examples from audience members offering their own stories. This also set the tone for a close relationship with both the Attorney General and the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Halliday.
Both were present to launch our 'Enough is Enough' report in July of this year. Other politicians we've worked with over the year have included Andrew Olexander of the Liberal Party, various senators from the Democrats party and even independent politicians (some with more success than others).
Throughout the year we also consolidated our relationship with a range of community groups, new and old. We've enjoyed a stronger relationship with the ALSO Foundation and PLWHA Victoria. TransGender Victoria (TGV) remains a group with which we've shared many a tactical meeting with politicians over the past 12 months, our two organisation work well as 'sister' bodies.
As new groups arise we see a consolidation of efforts in making Victoria a better place for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people. As this report s being written, the VGLRL is assisting with the establishment of an Anti-Violence Project within our community. We have hopes this will one day be a group that may even overshadow our own.
Another group that we've been able to share goals and work closely with is the newly formed Fertility Access Rights (FAR) Lobby. All three of our Lobby groups have had a more successful year with regards to the media. We've been able to respond quicker, with greater thought and in such a way that we've contributed to a more supportive coverage.
The VGLRL has gone from a group with an acronym that everyone seemed to stumble over, to a presence that seemed to pop up in the media everywhere. We've enjoyed good coverage in the local LGBT media, from the Satellite papers to Bent-TV and JOY Melbourne. The latter has contributed to the VGLRL and all other groups being able to stay in touch with our community, it will be a great loss if a full time licence is not afforded them.
It seems incredible that within a space of 12 months we've dealt with everything from the RSL, fighting to exclude us from the protection of Anti-Genocide legislation, through to our rights with regard to Superannuation. The VGLRL has been able to respond with thoughtfulness on issues from lesbian access to IVF to the Keith Hibbins' manslaughter case.
Certainly the release of the 'Enough is Enough' report came as a highlight for the VGLRL. A group of volunteers haye been working hard on this report behind the scenes since well before the last Annual Report. No greater reward could be enjoyed than the profile that the launch of the report was met with, well as the reassurance by a number of people with all levels of the government, that this document will be a useful tool to refer to in engendering social change.
It does, however, remain a fact that we are simply not afforded the same basic human rights that heterosexual people are. What has changed, but needs to continue to do so, is the awareness, both within and outside of our community, that this is the case. Too many people are still discovering that they lack in rights at the worst possible time – when they need them most.
There remains allies that are simply unaware of the injustices that we experience. This can also simply be done by all of us by keeping ourselves informed and talking to our friends and families. Last year's co-convenor's report concluded with: "the VGLRL is now firmly a part of the lesbian and gay community, both represented and informed by our members and others in the community. We believe we will be able to introduce and support some real and positive change in this state n the near future."
This is even truer for today. We need to continue to work with all political parties, with the new government and our community to ensure that the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are being met as we wish them to be. The signs are good for progress and change. None of it will occur without hard work.
Kenton Miller and Megan Jenner
COMMITTEE FROM 1999 AGM:
Penny Byrne (to Dec 1999)
Peter Di Sciascio
Giselle Horvat (to March 2000)
Robert Pearce (to Dec 1999)
Paul Rees (to June 2000)
Female Coconvenor: Megan Jenner (Aug 99 to Apr 00 and June 00 to the 2000 AGM) and Katy Reade (Apr 00 to June 00)
Male Coconvenor: Kenton Miller
Secretary: Peter Di Sciascio
Treasurer: David Gray
COMMITTEE MEMBERS CO-OPTED DURING THE 99-00 YEAR
Katy Reade and Mic Emslie joined the committee in January 2000. Allison Kenwood in June 2000 and Grant Davies in July 2000.
WORKING GROUPS DURING THE 99-00 YEAR
OUTCOMES OF 2000 AGM:
The original Constitution was changed...read more here>>
COMMITTEE FROM 2000 AGM:
Grant Davies (to Feb 2001)
Jo Tomlins (to March 2001)
Peter Di Sciascio
OFFICER POSITIONS FROM 2000 AGM:
Female Coconvenor: Miranda Stewart (from Dec 2000)
Male Coconvenor: Chris Gill
Secretary: Peter Di Sciascio (to April 2001)
Secretary: Ian Gould (from April 2001)
Treasurer: David Gray
Find a full copy of the 2000 Annual Report