The Pride in Practice Conference – Diversity into Consciousness
With diversity an ever increasing need in the workplace, Dameyon Bonson, a Mangarayi and Torres Strait Islander man believes that it is only through inclusive practices that this can this be fully realised. If an inclusive world can provide better health outcomes, so too can an inclusive workplace. In 2013, Dameyon founded Black Rainbow Living Well for Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention and Wellbeing. In this session, Dameyon will draw on his lived professional experience in the corporate, government and NGO sector, as an Indigenous gay man, to provide workplaces with the absolute fundamentals of healthy diversity in the workplace.
Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion. Specialists in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity, Pride in Diversity has established itself as an internationally recognised program and a partner to many LGBTI employer support organisations across the globe.
The Pride in Practice Conference will take place from Monday 30th November – Wednesday 2nd December. To download a full copy of the Full Program here.
White-washing Domestic Violence in Australia
Last week I woke to the front page of the of an eastern seaboard newspaper with a Legendary (for rugby and rightly so) Darren Lockyer leading a ‘spontaneous’ groundswell of top Queenslanders” calling on folk to do everything in their power to stop domestic violence. Domestic violence in the NRL notwithstanding, you can read more about that here, BUT, bugger me dead every single one of these 9 folks on the front page are non-Indigenous. Last week was also the Our Watch Awards put on by the Walkey’s. The winners, non-Indigenous. Michelle Aleksandrovics and Minelle Creed from SBS’ Living Black Radio were up for a nomination with “Breaking Community Silence on Violence Against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women”. The ONLY Indigenous coverage in any category. The conversations were with two Indigenous women and three Indigenous men, myself included. Indigenous females experience 38 times the rate of hospitalisation than other females for domestic violence and yet the only coverage of the violence was not worthy of recognition.
“These awards would lead someone to think that domestic violence is white middle-class issue only” – Quote
FACT: Across a 12-month period an estimated 42,300 Indigenous Australian women had experienced one or more incidents of physical violence
Myself, and a few others, are getting quite incensed at the way the response to these social issues construct create a narrative the removes the positive and self determining agency of Indigenous people and forfeits position in the conversation in favour of non-Indigenous Australians. Credit where credit is due. Just about every social cause in Australia you can find Indigenous people at the pointy end of the stick, i.e. in the high percentile of the ill fated recipients, be it domestic violence or suicide. But time after time after time that stick is stuck in the sand and we become invisible. Insert obligatory non-offensive prefix of “I like white people, hell I even look like one” quote – My mother and her family are white. So are my husband and his family. But fair shake of the sauce bottle. I’m fair dinkum when I say that the whitewashing of social issues that relate to life ending and life-threatening circumstances can longer be. This about being anti-white or pro-domestic violence it is about fighting this scourge as a community, and that means Including Indigenous people, with Indigenous women at the front. Namely, Michelle Aleksandrovics and Minelle Creed, but also Social Commentators Celeste Liddle and Kelly Briggs, CEO of Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Violence Antoinette Braybook, Lawyer Louise Taylor and the chair of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Megan Davies.
FACT: A 2011 survey reports that 86 per cent of Indigenous Australians had experience with domestic violence, compared to 63 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.
Please, this is not to take away the great work of Rosie Batty, Lisa Wilkinson and all the Our Watch Award winners and indeed the front pagers but, Indigenous females experience 38 times the rate of hospitalisation than other females for domestic violence. SO COME ON.
If there is anything that our country has learnt is that non-Indigenous Australians cannot solve the problem of Indigenous Australians without actual Indigenous Australians. So let’s fix this bloody awful mess up TOGETHER. Reconciliation isn’t just a bridge walk, a t-shirt, an action plan or something to wear on your wrist, its actually stand side by side and saying, ‘I got you’, to each other. And for the guys out there beating up women, murdering women, raping women, and just generally being awful to women, JUST STOP. Get some help. You need it.
CALL 1800 RESPECT (737 732) or checkout their website https://www.1800respect.org.au
Suicide in first nations LGBTI community has not been widely spoken of, or included in health promotion.
Dameyon Bonson talks to Living Black Radio about his findings and why he works with the first nations Gay Lesbion, Bi, Trans and Intersex coomunity to prevent suicide and self harm, particularly for young people.
2014, was a ripper of a year. Thanks to those who have supported me along the way.
1 National Workshop, 5 National Presentations, 1 National Keynote, and 1 International Keynote.
Oh, and I trended.
Plus I received an invitation to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Roundtable and an appointment to the National Advisory Committee for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project, all achieved in 2014.
Recognition at an international level to workshop intersecting oppressions facing the Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nation LGBTI Community in Montreal next June at the 28th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
Three articles published for the Good Men Project.
Front page of the Star Observer and an Op Ed.
Book review published in the Medical Journal of Australia and a chapter coming out next year.
And I started my own consulting business and @HeyPalAUS
2014, was a ripper of a year.
Q & A from Webinar #10:
The 5 Things we wish ALL Teachers knew about … How to welcome back a student who experienced suicidality
This was my question :
1. What is the universal definition of “Suicide Prevention” or how does Canada define it?
The range of efforts and resources that those in mental health make available to enhance someone’s safety from suicidal behaviour is generally how suicide prevention is defined.
Here at the Centre for Suicide Prevention we believe that prevention is the only solution to suicide. We teach prevention by educating people with the information, knowledge and skills necessary to respond to the risk of suicide. Suicide Prevention is the term typically used to describe Suicide PIP or Prevention, Intervention and Postvention. Prevention in and of itself, ideally, would obviate the need to have the subsequent stages in suicide awareness, intervention and postvention, in place. Sadly, this has not been achieved as yet but it is a goal.
For the remaining 5 Webinar 10_Q A
Here is the link for all TEN webinars in this series.
Many thanks to the Centre for Suicide Prevention, Calgary – Canada
1. We withdraw in crowds.
2. Small talk stresses us out, while deeper conversations makes us feel alive.
3. We succeed on stage — just not in the chit-chat afterwards.
4. We get distracted easily, but rarely feel bored.
5. We are naturally drawn to more creative, detail-oriented and solitary careers.
6. When surrounded by people, we locate themselves close to an exit.
7. We think before they speak.
8. We don’t take on the mood of their environment like extroverts do.
9. We physically can’t stand talking on the phone.
10. We literally shut down when it’s time to be alone.
“Solitude matters, and for some people, it is the air that they breathe.” – Susan Cain
Cultured Queers/Queer Cultures [DRAFT]
Title: Decolonising Post-settler Indigenous Masculinity.
Like many things, culture included, masculinity has changed over time. It too has shown to be dynamic. Tenga (Hawaii 2008), McKeney (Turlte Island 2014 ), Driskell (Turtle Island 2011) and Hokowhitu (New Zealand 2012) are notable international scholars of Indigenous masculinities and highlight this throughout their work. However Indigenous masculinity within a post-settler Australian context has never really been formally challenged or unpacked from an Indigenous Australian male perspective. My question is how much of an influence has colonial settlement in Australia affected pre-settler ideas of Indigenous masculinity. When we look at pre-settler roles and responsibilities available, there is evidence that some defy today’s gender norms. So what does that tell us about the contemporary Indigenous masculinity ? Is it perhaps that perhaps that hegemony of masculinity has made us, as Indigenous males inefficient because we hold our actions and behaviours accountable to colonial views and gender and sexuality ? By using Indigenous Standpoint Theory (Martin 2007) as decolonising practice I will endeavour to implement an auto-ethnographic lens and ask that we re-vision Indigenous masculinity and that we re-think and re-imagine our roles and relationships. But, most importantly we explore what the implications, are, both negative and positive, when our being cannot be disconnected from contemporary society.
When oppression is underlying cause of mental health unrest in Indigenous people we need to name it a mental injury, not an illness.
It’s not something that was caught or a disease. It’s something that has happened.
Eradicating oppression is the first step to the eradication mental injury and mental health unrest.
Eradicating oppression is suicide prevention.
© Indigenist™ 2014