Pride in our profession? YES!
The Department of Education and Training hosted a special event at Education House on 22 September, to coincide with the Pride Festival. Themed “How to be a better ally”, special guests were invited to discuss how DET as a department and as an exceptionally large employer can better support LGBTIQ+ employees.
Special guests included Bonney Corbin from True Relationships, David Tucker from the Queensland Police Service and Shelley Argent from PFLAG.
The QTU proudly hosted an information stall and sought the opportunity to discuss with DET employees how the department and the QTU can better support LGBTIQ+ employees, families and students. We also took the opportunity to build on our QTU LGBTIQ+ network (www.qtu.asn.au/ lgbtiq-member) and distribute our rainbow QTU materials.
The QTU commends DET on the supportive strategies currently being implemented during the marriage equality postal survey, recognising that the survey and the associated campaigning has the potential to be damaging and stressful.
The Queensland Government has also released The Queensland Public Sector LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Strategy. The strategy can be found at www.forgov.qld.gov.au/lgbtiq
The introduction of this document reads: “A diverse workforce is one of the Queensland public sector’s key strengths. Genuinely diverse and inclusive workplaces consistently report higher employee engagement, resilience, productivity and performance, all of which lead to better outcomes for the organisation and its customers.
"People of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex variations make a significant contribution to the public sector’s overall diversity. It is estimated that up to 11 per cent of Queensland’s population are LGBTIQ+, which equates to around 23,000 public sector employees.
"While everyone may know someone who identifies as a part of the LGBTIQ+ community, research shows that not all LGBTIQ+ people feel comfortable or safe bringing their whole selves to work. Evidence shows that people continue to experience discrimination, harassment and stigma based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, and feel excluded and invisible in their workplaces. This strategy is about changing that experience.”
Penny Spalding Assistant Secretary, Women and Social Welfare Issues
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 7, 6 October 2017, p10
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