indigenist

Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing


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Panel Discussion – #ATSISPEP My contribution, edited for this posting.

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Diversity Consciousness – Inclusive Workplaces Increasing Health and Productivity 

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.

SESSION 4: Diversity of Consciousness, Black Rainbow 

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Pride in Diversity | Equality 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.

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The Call To Action – Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention (video)

The Call To Action – Indigenous Suicide Prevention

The suicidality of the Aborginal and Torrres Strait Islander LGBQTI people is an unknown. International ananlytis shows that at the intersection of being both Indigenous/First Nation/NAtive and of LGBQTI indentity places us as the most at risk group in the world.
Your support can help respond to that. It will help save lives and increase the quality of life for so many.

Our Video 

See more at: http://startsomegood.com/blackrainbow

Suicide in first nations LGBTI community has not been widely spoken of, or included in health promotion – Radio Interview on @LivingBlakSBS 

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/384379/t/Black-Rainbow-LGBTI-Suicide-Support/in/english

The Black Rainbow Living Well Foundation aims to support Indigenous LGBTI Australians in living well. 

QUITE tragically, as you are reading these first few words there is a high probability somebody will attempt to end their life by suicide. There is even a higher probability that that somebody is part of the LGBTI community, particularly if they are at the point of self-realisation and disclosure. If that person is an Indigenous Australian, the probability amplifies yet again.

How do I know this? Because that’s what the evidence suggests. LGBTI people are said to have the highest rates of self-harm and suicide of any population in Australia. Same-sex attracted Australians are said to exhibit up to 14-times-higher rates of suicide attempts than their heterosexual peers. Yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 996 suicides reported across Australia between 2001 and 2010 among Indigenous peoples. We are told that 1.6 per cent of all Australians die by suicide but for Indigenous peoples, this rate is more than 4.2 per cent, or one in every 24.

How do I know this? Because that’s what the evidence suggests. LGBTI people are said to have the highest rates of self-harm and suicide of any population in Australia. Same-sex attracted Australians are said to exhibit up to 14-times-higher rates of suicide attempts than their heterosexual peers. Yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 996 suicides reported across Australia between 2001 and 2010 among Indigenous peoples. We are told that 1.6 per cent of all Australians die by suicide but for Indigenous peoples, this rate is more than 4.2 per cent, or one in every 24.

As mentioned, the evidence only suggests this because we are coalescing the data from two different groups and hypothesising the math. In other words we aren’t really sure.

But we need too be sure. We need to know.

Internationally we know that 47.3% American Indian and Alaskan Native adolescent men in Minnesota who identified as gay had considered suicide, compared with 23.6% of their straight peers, and that 23.2% of gay youth had attempted suicide, compared with 11.1% of their straight peers. These are fearful statistics of lives lost and lives in distress.

Determining the size of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population is difficult. However, recent studies by Gates and Newport (2012) in the United States estimated the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBTI at approximately 3 to 4 per cent.

According to the ABS, “Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population there were an estimated 294,000 children and young people, representing 4.2 per cent of the total Australian population aged 0 to 24 years.” Therefore in using the American figure of 3 to 4 per cent, there is potentially  10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander who are LGTBI and whose needs are yet to be identified and met.

Phase 1

Creation of The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group

*** A national scoping project will be facilitated by myself and relevant stakeholders to engage a reference group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Trans and/or Intersex (LGBQTI); Including Brotherboy and Sistergirl. Membership will also extend to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who identifies as Heterosexual.

*** The name of this group will be The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group.

The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group will:

*** Connect and identify key stakeholders to generate discussion with and create relationships.

*** Identify a national support stakeholder network that is able to undertake half-day workshops to determine the health issues, healing needs and the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI persons, and

*** As a group we will travel to Canberra in the second half of 2015 to meet with government and non-government departments and organisations for guidance and financial assistance and to make The Black Rainbow Living Well Foundation a reality.

*** The Monies raised above and beyond $25,000 will go toward a national gathering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTI persons. The gatheirng will be to workshop reponses to the health issues, healing needs

Phase 2 

To date my (joint) proposal “Intersecting Indigenous Rainbows – International LGBT First Nations and Two-Spirited People in Suicide Prevention” has been accepted for presentation and workshop by the Scientific Committee of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. This is a collaborative international workshop to be co-facilitated by a Two-Spirit Aboriginal Canadian.

I will attend the 28th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to be held from June 16th to 20th, 2015 in Montreal.

I intend to visit with other leaders in Indigenous suicide prevention across Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Ontario including those working specifically with Two-Spirit people. These plans are already underway.

In 2015 a self funded insider research paper I undertook and wrote titled “Voices from the Black Rainbow: The inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI Sistergirl and Brotherboys people in health, wellbeing and suicide prevention strategies” will also published.

Phase 3 

Co-write a report and produce the first ever, international document on the comparative analysis of social determinants of health facing Indigenous LGBQTI and how to best enhance resilience, at a global and community level. We will draw on the preliminary findings of the workshop in Montreal.

We intend to deliver this report, in person, to the United Nations for consideration.

Phase 4 

The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group will identify a national network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and stakeholders to support and assist in a 
national gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI persons that will determine, and unpack appropriate and agreed healing activities which can generate empowerment, healing and leadership that will inform national health plans and strategies.

This will also be when we will travel to Canberra.

Phase 5 

If successful in meeting with these stakeholders the national workshops will be rolled out and will inform a localised briefing paper identifying the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI community.

This paper will be used as an advocacy tool for the national gathering with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI community.

This gathering will be an opportunity to unpack the issues (highlighted in the briefing paper) and identify best practice responses.

A Call to Action

The suicidality of the Aborginal and Torrres Strait Islander LGBQTI people is an unknown. International ananlytis shows that at the intersection of being both Indigenous/First Nation/NAtive and of LGBQTI indentity places us as the most at risk group in the world.

Your support can help respond to that. It will help save lives and increase the quality of life for so many.

You can follow us at Black Rainbow on Facebook www.facebook.com/BlackRainbowAustralia

We are also on Twitter @BlkRnBow

Coming soon on Instagram blackrainbowaus

See more at: http://startsomegood.com/blackrainbow

Tipping Point Goal: $25,000

Total Funding Goal: $100,000

Tipping Point goal

Phases 1 – 3 will be achieved at tipping point

Phase 1 – Creation of The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group

Phase 2 – Delivering workshop at 28th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to be held from June 16th to 20th, 2015 in Montreal

Phase 3 – Co-write a report and produce the first ever, international document on the comparative analysis of social determinants of health facing Indigenous LGBQTI and how to best enhance resilience, at a global and community level.

Once $25,000 has been reached all monies beyond will go toward achieving the following

Phase 4 

The Black Rainbow National Leadership Group will identify a national network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and stakeholders to support and assist in a 
national gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI persons that will determine, and unpack appropriate and agreed healing activities which can generate empowerment, healing and leadership that will inform national health plans and strategies.

Phase 5 

If successful in meeting with these stakeholders the national workshops will be rolled out and will inform a localised briefing paper identifying the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI community.

This paper will be used as an advocacy tool for the national gathering with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI community.

This gathering will be an opportunity to unpack the issues (highlighted in the briefing paper) and identify best practice responses.

Ultimate goal

The ultimate is for the Black Rainbow Living Well Foundation to become a national entity.

From this campaign it is hoped to achieve national gathering for members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTI community to attend to workshop solutions and ways forward to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing (mental health) our community.

To achieve this we will need to deliver the finalized report to Canberra and have audience with the Australian government and other national stakeholders to rally support; both in kind and financial.

See more at: http://startsomegood.com/blackrainbow

Our Video 


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A welcomed response from WA Minister – Hon. Helen Morton. Thank you. Dameyon

A welcomed response from WA Minister H.Morton, thank you Dameyon
My letter to Minister Morton :
Dear Minister Morton,
I hope this finds you well.
We’ve met a couple of times. I came up to you at the SPA conference earlier this year to thank you for instigating the community action plan (CAP) approach to suicide prevention. We first met in Derby at the Aboriginal Medical Service. I was the Aboriginal CAP Coordinator for the Kimberley Region.
I’ve just seen your media release regarding funding for local Suicide Prevention projects.  As an Aboriginal Gay Man I am absolutely thrilled for this occasion. Currently, I am the only person in Australia working in the Indigenous LGBT suicide prevention space and this will assist so much. The rates of suicide of our particular group we are only able to hypothesise on because there has been no formal research. I work independently so I can focus on this issue.
My goal is to establish an National Foundation in the next  12 – 18 months to provide specifically to our group of people.
Approxamitaley 3 to 4 per cent of any population identifies as LGBTI, and therefore it is likely that 3 to 4 per cent of Aboriginal people identify as LGBTI.  So there are there are approximately 10,000 Aboriginal LGTBI people and our needs are yet to be identified and responded to. Our mental health and social emotional wellbeing is compounded by both our experiences as Aboriginal people and as LGBT people. I hav presented on this topic 7 times this year to highlight this issue. I am happy to say that Pat Dudgeon is a great advocate and too is Tom Calma, of the work I trying to achieve.
I wanted to personally reach out to you and say thank you. I am so glad this day has come and we can get on with saving more peoples lives.
I recently wrote an Op-Ed on Indigenous LGBT suicide prevention, I’ve attached for you to read.
Thanks again,
Dameyon
The Minister’s Response – Minster H.Morton


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Suicide in first nations LGBTI community has not been widely spoken of, or included in health promotion.

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.

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/384379/t/Black-Rainbow-LGBTI-Suicide-Support/in/english


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2014, was a ripper of a year. Thanks to those who have supported me along the way.

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.

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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.

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Decolonisation and Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity – Workshop

Decolonisation and Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity

Within Indigenous Australian cultures the discourse on sexuality and gender outside of western constraints is extremely limited. When sexuality is discussed it is more often than not in the registers of pathology that in turn speaks to a heterocentric discourse. This session will use a six stages of decolonisation process, by Dr Lorraine Muller, as a response to the cultural challenges and to identify strengths in Indigenous *LGBT people. LGBQT is presupposed as counterfeit descriptor that misconstrues pre-settler colonial Indigenous gender variance and diverse sexualities. This session will explore the idea of “Neo-Cultural Gender Expression and Identity” as a dynamic part of our cultural evolution.