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Catherine Mellors - Special Projects Coordinator

Catherine Mellors - Newsletter Feature Website Header

My name’s Catherine (She/Her) and I work as a Special Projects Coordinator at Meridian. I am a Social Worker and Writer by training (and passion) and feel thrilled to be able to contribute these skills and previous professional experiences of working in government, non-government, education and corporate sectors, for the benefit our communities, through my work at Meridian.

I was recruited to Meridian last year to coordinate the establishment of a Service User Reference Group (SURG) for the Canberra Inclusive Partnership (CIP) agencies, of which Meridian is one. Sexual Health & Family Planning ACT (SHFPACT), Northside Community Service and A Gender Agenda (AGA) are our partner organisations as part of the CIP, and together we work with the SURG to improve our service delivery for the LGBTIQA+ community. The program is funded as part of the ACT Government’s Supporting and Strengthening LGBTIQ+ Communities program. We highly value the significant contribution and input of our beloved, kind and passionate SURG Members!

The SURG held its first meeting in November 2020, and since then Members have achieved a significant amount of work including:

  • Participation in the development of SURG processes and protocols and the creation of an annual SURG Work Plan.
  • Co-designed a Psychological Therapies Service Model for Meridian which has been submitted to the Capital Health Network prior to implementation.
  • Contributed to an LGBTIQA+ Housing Position Paper published by Meridian.
  • Contributed to Meridian’s Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
  • Informed Meridian’s Membership Strategy.
  • Informed Meridian’s planning of Fair Day and contributed to the design of Fair Day promotional material.
  • Attended training in Safe Story Telling.
  • Provided significant and valuable feedback, based on personal lived expertise, to CIP agencies.

We are currently looking for 3 new Members to fill vacant positions on the SURG. If you have lived experience as part of Canberra’s LGBTIQA+ community, and you’d like to know more about the SURG, please see here: Service User Reference Group (SURG). Expressions of Interest are due to [email protected] by 30th August.

As well as working with our SURG Members to coordinate their input to the work of the CIP agencies, at Meridian I also have the privilege of being able to channel my passion for social justice and writing, into working closely with the Meridian team and SURG Members to write submissions, position papers and other advocacy and education material for a wide range of audiences. You can check out some of these papers on Meridian’s Resource page here:  Resource Library.

Meridian is a great place to work with, if you have a passion for the health and well-being of our HIV, LGBTIQA+, sex worker communities. Please don’t hesitate to get on board and join us as we work together to chip away at achieving equality, social justice and freedom from discrimination for our communities. There are several ways you can get involved from volunteering with us, becoming a Meridian Member, joining SURG, getting involved as a participant in our programs, or applying to work at Meridian. Please see our web site for more information (meridianact) and don’t forget to follow us on social media: Meridian - formerly AIDS Action Council - Home | Facebook.

Catherine Mellors

3 August 2021.