Trans and gender diverse community recognised and celebrated

The Trans Day of Visibility flag raising.

The City of Ballarat has stood proudly with the transgender and gender diverse community and celebrated their contribution to the city in a dedicated ceremony.

A flag-raising was held on Thursday at the Queen Victoria Square, followed by an afternoon tea inside Ballarat Town Hall.

International Trans Day of Visibility is held annually on 31 March, with the City of Ballarat this year holding its flag raising on 28 March due to the Easter break.

The day is dedicated to celebrating transgender and gender diverse people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as being a celebration of their contributions to society.

Speaking at the event was Abbie Clark, a trans woman who transitioned in Ballarat in 2019 and has been leading the charge with, the national directory of trans and gender diverse services and community groups.

The event is one of four celebratory events in 2024 that have been identified by the LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee and led by the City of Ballarat.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it was crucial that LGBTIQA+ communities felt supported, connected, visible, and shared a strong sense of belonging.

“It is so important that we recognise and celebrate the significant contribution our LGBTIQA+ community makes to Ballarat being a vibrant and diverse community,” Cr Hudson said.

“As a Council we are putting a lot of work into being an inclusive city and recognising our LGBTIQA+ community is a vital part of that.”

The Trans Day of Visibility follows the Ballarat City Council receiving and noting the LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Plan Year One Outcomes Overview at the February ordinary meeting.

The report summarises the City of Ballarat’s progress and outcomes achieved in the first year since adopting the LGBTIQA+ Inclusion Plan 2022-2026.

There are 56 actions to be completed in the first two years of the Inclusion Plan, 17 of which were completed in the first year.

Notable highlights that were achieved in the first year of the plan include:

  • Hosting three Swim and Gym nights at the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre which were successfully rolled out and well attended.
  • Hosting eight separate celebrations on LGBTIQA+ Days of Significance.
  • Establishing the City of Ballarat’s Ballarat Pride Facebook page.
  • Working with libraries to have a themed display of books on each day of LGBTIQA+ significance and working to book more LGBTIQA+ authors and illustrators.
  • Planning a creative installation as part of an expanded Pride Month program for June 2024.

The City of Ballarat will also celebrate Ballarat LGBTIQA+ Pride Month by hosting a range of events for the LGBTIQA+ community in June.