International Lesbian Day, held on October 8, is a day for lesbians the world over to come together to celebrate lesbian history, diversity and culture.
Recognised annually, the day gives an opportunity for women, families and friends to connect, celebrate and also raise awareness about the importance of community.
Although the exact origin of the day remains uncertain, it almost certainly began in Australia/New Zealand.
Some say the day began in 1980 when a Lesbian Day March was held in New Zealand.
The first Australian event was held at the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne on October 13, 1990. It featured musicians, market stalls and readings during the afternoon. Following that, the women held a dance with live bands later in the evening. Melbourne lesbians then celebrated the day on or around October 8 for the next several years.
In recent years lesbians encourage the community to either get together or show support by donating to charities supporting lesbian women.
International Lesbian Day is all-inclusive. It’s a day to be shared by lesbians and also allies of lesbian rights.
Meridian is committed to improving health and wellbeing services and supports for women across the spectrum of sex and gender diversity and who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to women. This includes women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, gay, queer, asexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex.
In 2019, Women’s Centre for Health Matters with support from Meridian published a report on health and health needs of same-sex attracted women in the ACT.
359 same-sex attracted women completed the survey, and 32 women attended the focus groups. Three women were interviewed over the phone. Key demographic information about the survey participants is provided below.
LBQ Women's Healthy Relationships Project
This exciting peer-led six-week program empowers lesbian, bisexual and queer women in their relationships and identities. This peer-led, designed and facilitated project aims to prevent violence in LBQ women’s relationships by providing women with skills and information that helps them to build and maintain healthy relationships. Taking a strengths-based, prevention approach, the program supports women to build and sustain healthy boundaries, develop a mutual understanding of consent and advocate for their needs within relationships. This project is supported by the ACT Government’s ACT Women’s Safety Grants program.
Due to the impact of Coronavirus, delivery of this program has been delayed with new dates to be finalised soon. For further information on this program or to stay up to date, please contact us.
Westlund Counselling provides professional, safe and inclusive counselling for women, their families and allies seeking support to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Our Counsellors are very experienced in providing support on: sexual orientation and gender identity; emotional and physical health; relationships; and employment. Find out more about Westlund Counselling here.
Sobar: SMART Recovery provides weekly online group catch-ups for LBTIQ+ women in Canberra to take control of their relationship with alcohol. Hosted by a SMART accredited facilitator with the support of counselling staff from Westlund Counselling, this health promotion program created by Meridian and funded by ACT Health helps community members check-in, focus on their goals and maintain positive behaviours around alcohol consumption.
If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation, please call the police on 000.
Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCSACT) provides intervention services for LGBTIQ+ community members experiencing domestic violence. To access this service call 02 6280 0900 (24/7 telephone service). You are welcome to call reverse charges. If it isn’t urgent, another contact option is to email [email protected]; this email is only monitored during business hours.
SHFPACT delivers clinical services, supports and education programs on sexual and reproductive health.
Women’s Centre for Health Matters works to improve women’s health and wellbeing in the ACT and surrounding region through health promotion, social research, community development, capacity building, information provision, education and advocacy.
Come along and join us for a Morning Tea to celebrate our Floriade Garden.
The event will also be an opportunity to meet the Meridian President and hear about Meridian's exciting plans for 2023 and beyond.
This is an opportunity to catch up and connect for all the community.
Asexual Awareness Week is an international campaign that seeks to educate about asexual, aromantic, demisexual, and grey-asexual experiences and to create materials that are accessible to our community and our allies around the world.
Intersex Awareness Day is an internationally observed awareness day designed to highlight human rights issues faced by intersex people.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia launched two new resources; an Inclusion Guide To Respecting People With Intersex Variations and Raising The Bar How To Be An Intersex Ally.
To mark Intersex Awareness Day on 26 October, two resources promoting understanding, respect and inclusion for intersex people have been launched by Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA), Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA) and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA). (26 October 2020)
The short two-page guide ‘Raise the Bar’ provides pragmatic advice on how to be an intersex ally. Coupled with the ‘Inclusion Guide to Respecting People with Intersex Variations’, these resources are a practical path to achieving inclusion and respect. Recognising a decade of talk about ‘LGBTI’ people, the resources aim to raise the bar, and make inclusion of this distinct population both tangible and meaningful.
“Inclusion occurs when people are not only comprehended, welcomed and respected, but also where the issues facing intersex people are meaningfully addressed. These new tools provide practical steps towards achieving an inclusive and welcoming professional environment,” Morgan Carpenter, co-executive director of IHRA said.
“These guides will help individuals and organisations respond to the individual circumstances of intersex people, respect the diversity of the intersex population, use language appropriately and keep up-to-date with good information,” Morgan Carpenter said.
Intersex people have innate variations of sex characteristics that differ from medical and social norms for female or male bodies. Intersex is an umbrella term for a diverse range of different traits that can be determined prenatally, at birth, during puberty and at other times. People with intersex variations grow up to express diverse identities, including LGBT and non-LGBT identities.
“These new guides help tackle intersex and misconception through knowledge and education. The checklist on terminology can help create more sensitive, inclusive and effective services and research,” said Tony Briffa, President of IPSA.
“We developed these resources with IHRA and IPSA to promote research and consultation with intersex-led organisations as experts on their health and human rights,” LHA CEO Nicky Bath said. “The practical list of ‘DOs’ and ‘DON’Ts’ will help individuals and organisations build alliances that promote positive change.”
‘Raise the Bar’ invites individuals and organisations to understand some of the more common intersex variations, such as androgen insensitivity, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, 47 XXY, and 5α reductase deficiency.
These resources were developed in collaboration between the Darlington Consortium members (Intersex Human Rights Australia and Intersex Peer Support Australia) and Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (the pathways resources) and LGBTIQ Health Australia (inclusive practice resources).
We're welcoming back the local community and visitors to the Canberra region by recreating a destination event to kick off the annual SpringOUT Festival.
A one-day outdoor event in Glebe Park filled with entertainment from Australia’s finest performing artists, a village of market stalls representing our diverse community organisations and local businesses, plus a showcase of Canberra’s finest food and wines produced within the region.
Non-Stop Entertainment from some of our finest LGBTIQA+ Performing Artists
A showcase on Canberra’s finest Food and Wines produced within the region
Over 60 Market Stalls of our LGBTIQA+ community and local businesses
Our event icons represent our talent, our culture, our diversity and our family.
An Australian vintage LGBTQ+ film screening "Adam", with live discussion.
Drink included on arrival, and light refreshments provided.
Doors open at 6pm, event starts at 6.30pm.
World AIDS Day is a day to unite and encourage our communities to talk about HIV/AIDS, and to remind and educate us that the HIV epidemic is still a major health issue. Together, we show our support for people living with and affected by HIV and remember those we have lost to AIDS-defining illness.
On the 1st of December each year we celebrate the progress that we have made in response to HIV. The research, care, treatment and prevention currently in place give us hope for the future, we are heading in the right direction. However, now more than ever, we must ensure that no one is left behind.
More details to come.