Keeping all ACT schools safe and inclusive

21 September 2017

As Australians participate in the marriage equality survey I am asking all ACT schools to be safe and LGBTIQ+ inclusive for their young people.

All ACT schools, both government and non-government run, are diverse environments that reflect the difference in our community. Students present to schools with a range of personal characteristics including diversity in gender identity and presentation, sexual orientation and intersex status.

Our diversity is beautiful and children should be encouraged to be themselves without experiencing prejudice.

All schools have a duty to provide a safe, respectful and inclusive environment free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence.

Of course school leaders and staff, and parents and carers are free to hold their views on marriage equality but this cannot be allowed to occur in a way that damages the welfare of young LGBTIQ+ people.

The ACT Government is committed to respecting, welcoming and celebrating diversity. The government will soon launch the new Safe and Inclusive Schools Initiative to equip schools with access to resources and support to provide a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTIQ+ people. The Safe and Inclusive Schools Initiative will be available to all ACT schools, government and non-government run, who seek access to it.

If there are students or staff in schools who need support help is available:

  • ACT Government Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (02 6205 1971)
  • Kids Helpline for counseling and related support ( or 1800 55 1800)
  • Headspace Canberra for youth mental health support ( or 02 6201 5343)
  • Beyondblue for mental health support ( or 1300 224 636)
  • UnionsACT/Slater & Gordon for free legal advice for LGBTQI workers ( or 02 6225 8116)
  • Diversity ACT for LGBTIQ+ services, support and resources ( or 02 6231 3126)
  • A Gender Agenda for advocacy and peer support ( or 02 6162 1924)
  • Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT for gender and sexuality health services ( or 02 6247 3077)
  • AIDS Action Council for heath and related services and as the contact for the CBR LGBTIQ Community Consortium ( or 02 6257 2855)
  • Each regional community service provider, such as Belconnen Community Services who run the Bit Bent LGBTIQ+ social support group.