Throughout May, FCVic will have a focus on how financial counsellors can support the LGBTIQA+ community. This starts with the May 3 training – ‘Working with LGBTIQA+ community members’ –, includes celebrating IDAHOBIT on May 17 and will be supported by a month-long effort to share helpful resources with members in the Gazette.
What can members expect in the ‘Working with LGBTIQA+ community members’ training?
We have been working closely with Rainbow Health Australia to ensure this session is tailored to the financial counsellor experience and are very excited by what we have planned. Presenters Matthew Parsons and Kerry Simple will be joined by an expert panel with a wide variety of professional and lived experience:
- Lynda Horn – Senior Financial Counsellor, Thorne Harbour Health
- Brian Kerr – Senior Financial Counsellor, Good Shepherd
- Norm McMurray – Superannuation Advocate, Berrill and Watson Superannuation and Insurance Lawyers
- Ricki Spencer – PhD candidate, The University of Melbourne; public advocate for transgender and First Nations communities, and for people living with a disability
By tapping into the wealth of knowledge held by our presenters and panellists, the session will examine the relationship between sexuality, gender identity and financial precarity, and will use this context to explore how attendees can make their financial counselling practice more LGBTIQA+ inclusive.
We know that some of our members may have completed LGBTIQ-inclusivity training before – particularly in an agency context. However, we believe that the financial counselling-specific lens of this session – and the huge amount of expertise held by our presenters and panellists – will ensure it is extremely valuable regardless of attendees’ previous training experience.
And what is IDAHOBIT about?
May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex discrimination and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) – a day to grow visibility, educate on inclusion, and change the world for LGBTIQA+ communities. The date marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization removing homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems in 1990 – it is hard to believe this happened so recently. IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to reflect on inclusive practices to ensure that the LGBTIQA+ community has access to appropriate and safe services that are free from discrimination.
Why is this focus on supporting the LGBTIQA+ community through inclusive practices important for the financial counselling sector?
In February, FCVic staff all undertook Rainbow Health Australia’s ‘Putting LGBTIQ Inclusion Into Practice’ training. One important takeaway from this training was that LGBTIQA+ communities have unique health and wellbeing needs, and that these needs are often not met early on as LGBTIQA+ folks may shy away from service that is not seen to be inclusive or culturally safe. Further to this, we were showed research in which the majority of surveyed LGBTIQA+ folks didn’t want to have to engage with LGBTIQA+ specialised services; they wanted to be able to walk into or connect with local, mainstream services that are LGBTIQA+ inclusive.
There is a well-documented link between belonging to the LGBTIQA+ community and financial precarity, so we hope by creating an inclusive, culturally safe sector for LGBTIQA+ folks to engage with, there will be less chance of people shying away from accessing services until they are in acute distress. Ideally, creating an inclusive, safe sector means earlier engagement with services, lessening the depth of financial hardship experienced and leading to better long-term outcomes.
To ensure financial counselling services are culturally safe for LGBTIQA+ community members, it is important to keep a focus on continued professional development, through the avenues of formal training and informal learning (i.e. reading news articles, watching videos, or studying new resources such as language guides). That’s why we want to take every opportunity to share resources the team have found helpful and, to this end, FCVic will use the weekly members newsletter, The Gazette, to share new resources our team has found useful throughout the month of May.
Here are just a few of our favourite resources we have used to learn more about LBGTIQA+ inclusion:
Language Guides – language is incredibly powerful, particularly in the LGBTIQA+ context, and these guides can help navigate inclusive language use immensely.
Say It Out Loud has a quick, digital Language Guide to assist with inclusive practice, as well as a downloadable guide via the same link.
Minus18 also have a comprehensive LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Language Guide to download.
Videos – from people sharing their lived experience to being guided through what everything means, there are plenty of great videos to learn from out there.
TEDx Talk: ‘All the little things’ – Panti
Minus18: Trans 101 – The Basics
Articles and research – get into the nitty gritty of LGBTIQA+ learning with these in-depth resources.
What is being intersex, and how does it fit into the model of intersectionality? (via Intersex Human Rights Australia)
As queer Indigenous people we know a thing or two about days of action – IDAHOBIT (by Sandy O’Sullivan via IndigenousX)
Rainbow Health Australia has a wealth of research and reports to read on their website.