Proud Beaches Forum highlights

Thanks to everyone who came along to Surf Life Saving Australia's Proud Beaches Forum, hosted by Lifesavers with Pride on Saturday.  Held on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, this was an ideal opportunity to gather and position life saving as an organisation of choice for the LGBT community.  We had over 40 people participate, including members from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.  It was great to see the word about lifesaving as being progressive, welcoming and inclusive getting through to our great organisation.

Thanks to the following speakers for all their help and support;

  • Our Panel of LGBT lifesavers from three different states, identified their experiences within their clubs as well as from the organisation as a whole.  
  • Andrew Purchas, former lifesaver and boat rower, and founder of the Bingham Cup and the Pride in Sport Index identified how the LGBT community has navigated the sporting world in the last few years, and provided data to support this inclusion.
  • Bowie Stower from Proud2Play showed us how and why sporting clubs around the country are making a difference to be more inclusive for their LGBTIQ members 
  • Beau Newell from Pride in Sport provided a framework for sporting organisations, such as the SLS states and national office to oversee the implementation of more LGBTIQ inclusive programs
  • Gregory Frank from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, discussed legislation around discrimination, and also referred to the new Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion guidelines released by Sports Australia
  • Jain Moralee from Twenty10 provided practical understanding of LGBTIQ issues, and an awareness of how actions can inhibit our LGBTIQ members
  • Alex Blackwell, Australia's highest capped Cricket captain presented a personal account of her experiences in professional sport and provided excellent motivation for us.
  • And finally our Lifesavers with Pride President Gary Driscoll, spoke about the importance of creating a more inclusive lifesaving culture for our LGBTIQ members.

The event was followed by networking and drinks at Tamarama SLSC.

We look forward to the word spreading about our event and for some of the discussions to take fruition at all levels of the organisation.  SLSA will soon circulate soft copies of the handouts, slide packs and contacts for all interested parties.

Lifesavers with Pride are keen to engage with any clubs that may wish to discuss more, the benefits of creating a more inclusive and welcoming site for their current and new LGBTIQ lifesavers.

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