Voice to Parliament - Statement by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia Board

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament: Statement by LHA Board

On 6 May 2023 the LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) Board of Governance convened a face-to-face meeting on Gadigal Land, Sydney. At this meeting, the Board of Governance discussed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

LHA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past and present. 

LHA celebrates and respects the rich diversity in our communities and significant contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities have, and continue, to make. LGBTIQ+ communities have a proud history of advocating for health and human rights. LHA draws from this history to elevate the voices and visibility of those most marginalised.

As a supporter of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, LHA has accepted the invitation to join the movement of Australian people for a better future and joins the call for the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice enshrined in the Constitution. We also support the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about Australia’s history within the framework of Voice, Treaty, Truth.

LHA acknowledges the health and wellbeing disparities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities and the role that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice can have in reducing these disparities. LHA also hopes that this Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice can support accountability to the Closing the Gap initiative, which is underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect them, better life outcomes are achieved. Closing the Gap recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is essential.

The journey ahead for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the lead up to the referendum will exacerbate the existing health disparities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities. LHA will work with its member organisations and the QLife service to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities now and into the future.

LHA is on its own journey of healing and building strong, transparent and respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy individuals and community-controlled organisations. LHA sees this work as critically important and is committed to listening, learning, and working towards decolonising the frameworks and processes at LHA.



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ABOUT LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, (formerly the National LGBTI Health Alliance), is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse (LGBTIQ+) people and communities. Dropping the “+” from our name only occurs within digital formats that do not allow mathematical symbols, such as within our domain name, handles and hashtags.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.