First National LGBTI Professional Development

HIPPY Australia embraces diversity and is committed to the values of inclusivity, equity and respect as we work together towards the empowerment of families, no matter their make up, across Australia.

HIPPY Australia recently participated in Working Effectively with LGBTI People training run by Sharon Jones and Lou Carter, the Line Manager and Coordinator at HIPPY Kentish in Tasmania. Sharon is the CEO of the Kentish Regional Clinic, the HIPPY provider based in Sheffield.

Through the training, we reflected on how we work with gender and sexually diverse communities and how we can ensure safe and inclusive environments so that everyone feels rightfully welcome.

We would like to give special thanks to Sharon for sharing her own powerful story and bringing her knowledge and experience from decades of courageous activism and advocacy to the training.

We would highly recommend that you consider contacting Sharon and inquiring about what her training could offer you. You can contact Sharon through the Kentish Regional Clinic/CORES website:

Centre For Rural and Remote Mental Health - S2: E2 RURAL LGBTIQ COMMUNITIES

In this episode we discuss what it is like to be part of the LGBTI community in a rural area. For people who identify as LGBTI, those aged 16-27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide and twice as likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The challenges for accessing appropriate care for this community in rural and remote areas is an additional challenge.

Click on the link below to access the full story and podcast:

Out of the Shadows suicide awareness walk captures the need to listen to our loved ones

INSPIRATION: Keynote speaker Sharon Jones and event MC Giovanna Simpson at the 2018 Out of the Shadows suicide awareness walk. Picture: Lachlan Bennett

INSPIRATION: Keynote speaker Sharon Jones and event MC Giovanna Simpson at the 2018 Out of the Shadows suicide awareness walk. Picture: Lachlan Bennett

A column of candlelight snaked through Burnie on Friday night as Coasters took the time to remember those they’d lost to suicide and support their loved ones.

Cars halted as hundreds of people shrouded in an incandescent glow walked from Burnie Park, across the Bass Highway and to West Beach.

This annual ritual is known as the Out of the Shadows suicide awareness walk and it’s defined not by grief, but love, hope and reflection.

The event featured musical tributes, a reflection poem, support services and inspirational speeches.

Sharon Jones of Mole Creek shared her experience of growing up in outback Queensland while grappling with her gender and sexuality.

“I was suicidal by the age of 12,” she said.

“My first cry for help to my parents wasn’t listen to and I came back from it thinking I would never talk about it again.”

But Sharon did talk about it again and finally emerged as a stronger person.

“In 2016, after 30-odd years of battling with suicide, I’m free and I never expected to get there,” she said.

With the right support, the right help and learning to reach out, I think we can all turn our lives around.

Sharon Jones

Melissa Lubke also shared her experience of grief through her art installation Lachrymatory.

The installation consisted of a booth with teardrop light bulbs where viewers can process their emotions and write a personal message to a loved one.

“It’s kind of my interpretation of how I process my grief,” Mrs Lubke said.

“In the process of writing you actually engage something deep in your heart … but also I want them to realise they are not alone.”

Takesha Wells was among the crowd of people who attended the Out of the Shadows suicide awareness walk.

“I’ve had a lot of people bail out on me over the years,” she said.

“I don’t like the feeling of someone taking their own life. I like to raise awareness and if that means walking in the cold, that’s what I’d like to do.”

For 24/7 support, contact:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14

  • Beyondblue 1300 224 636

  • Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467

  • Emergency Services 000 (Triple Zero)

  • MensLine 1300 789 978

  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800