indigenist

Advocating for Indigenous Genius, Indigeneity and Wellbeing


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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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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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Reconciliation and Decolonisation in Suicide Prevention

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.

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.

However, when we aggregate the data for the Kimberley region and take one particular town during 2012, there were 40 young people who died by suicide. That’s nearly 100 times the national average. Now, I’m not suggesting that these young people were members of the LGBTI community. However, when the social determinants affecting Aboriginal people are seen as a causation of suicidality, the question does have to be asked, what is the amplified risk if they are LGBTI?

To explore what happens when the Indigenous and LGBTI world comes together, intersectionality theory is a way of understanding and uncovering any potential health inequalities. It is also a great way to highlight those previously unknown, caused by a kaleidoscope of social inequalities, whether it be race, gender, class, and/or sexuality.

For the LGBTI community, homophobia, either perceived or actual, is a precursor to one’s level of psychological distress. And if, as suggested, same-sex attracted Australians are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, then homophobia, transphobia, cisgenderism, biphobia, sexism, and hetereosexist behaviours play a big part in how well someone lives, and someone dying.

For Indigenous Australians, other factors are at play and overlaid. These include racism, social location, socioeconomic disparities and intergenerational trauma. The psychological distress caused by these determinants can lead to complex mental health and drug and alcohol issues, such as manifestations of violence toward oneself (self-harm) or others: domestic, family and lateral violence.

So I have raised and discussed the issues and attempted to converse about the tragedy of suicide in the least sensational or emotive way. So where to from here? I’d like to know, because I don’t have the answers. However, I do have some starting points. First, I’m going go start by sharing with you a quote. A quote that is often referred to as the Lilla Watson quote: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Participating with the view of being part of the liberation of Indigenous people is the single most overlooked and fundamental principle of genuinely inclusive work. Being part of the liberation is also knowing when you are required and a good indication of that is when you have been asked. Don’t let an over-zealous sense of entitlement to charity or benevolence be your motivation. Also pay attention to the research. Cultural continuity is a protective factor to suicide.

The great Writing Themselves In series, Growing Up Queer report and the current research by Dr Delaney Skerritt provides opportunity for us, as Indigenous researchers and members of the Indigenous LGBTI community, to come up with strengthening solutions. The time is ripe for those who are willing to come on this journey with us, to support us and share your resources with us. I personally believe that the issues facing the Indigenous LGBTI community, once identified and workshopped to discover actions to respond, can be added as an amendment or appendant to national strategies and health plans. Structures already exist for us to coexist within. And if the collaborative work is underpinned by liberation, an enhanced sense of reconciliation can truly happen within the LGBTI community.

I am the founder of LGBTI Indigenous Australian social network Black Rainbow and these are my thoughts on the lack of solid mental health data available among LGBTI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

This first appeared in the Star Observer and can be found here : Reconciliation and Decolonisation in Suicide Prevention


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[NEW INVITATION] Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR) 2014 Conference

Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR) 2014 Conference being held from 3-5 December 2014 at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia.

“Using decolonisation as a framework to engage with gender variant and sexuality diverse (LGBQTI) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders”

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http://www.smhr2014.com.au

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There is very little Indigenous anthropological material regarding the historical place of LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy Indigenous Australians.

 Black Rainbow

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There is very little Indigenous anthropological material regarding the historical place of LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy Indigenous Australians. What has been accessible is predominately framed within sexual health or to be specific a HIV/AIDS context; not our histories or roles and functions. Black Rainbows aims to make visible Indigenous LGBQTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy peoples.

Here in Australia there is limited information/resources/stories accessible of Brotherboys in Men’s Health. There is also limited information in the general space of positive social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention.

The representation of other colonised nations’ multiple sexualities and genders has a place informing the discussion regarding Indigenous Australian LGBTI Sistergirls and Brotherboys. On the Black Rainbow facebook page, what is shared is what is available. Some reports are out of print and have had to be sourced from overseas (Did you meet any Malagas by Dr Dino Hodge was purchased from Amazon) or hunted down through archives (Malaga to Malaga by Gary Lee which was purchased as scanned PDF copies from a Canberra library).

I have been heartened by discovering The Postgrad Sista: A Blog about Indigenous Gender Diversity and become good friends with the author. In the Guest section of Indigenous Consultancy you will find a couple of blogs by The Postgrad Sista.

Cultural considerations that prohibit certain things being shared and conversations and sharing does also happen away from non-Indigenous spaces.

Black Rainbow is run from Broome, WA.

Please feel free to share anything you come across and you can either message directly on here or email BlkRnBow@gmail.com

Black Rainbow is part of a larger network and conversation and its primary function is about visibility and keeping the conversation going. In under three months it has managed to do just that. Last week Black Rainbow was the front page of the most circulated gay and read gay street press, the Star Observer.

Check it out here : http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/deadly-initiative-black-rainbow-flies-flag-proudly/11814

Black Rainbow exists primary as a resource of information sharing, conversation and visibility. It will no doubt grow as it too is organic and it is hoped that it will grow beautifully.

It is not the voice of Indigenous Australian LGBTI Sistergirls and Brotherboys but one of the many mechanisms for those voices.

Thank you for your interest in Black Rainbow, your membership is much appreciated.

The Black Rainbow Facebook Page

 Our Facebook page is here : www.facebook.com/BlackRainbowAustralia

Here are some posters Black Rainbow developed. 

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A paper on Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention looking for publishers or journal

Voices from the Black Rainbow – Indigenous LGBQTI in Suicide Prevention

Abstract : The suicide rate for Aboriginal people can fluctuate between 4 to 12 times the national average. Similarly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and Transgender Individual (LGBQTI) health literature note LGBQTI populations are also a high risk of suicidality. A review encompassing 15 years of Aboriginal and LGBQTI health literature was undertaken; including the current National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (NATSIHP) 2013-2015, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013 (ATSISPS) and national LGBTI Health Strategies; Growing Up Queer (2014) and Writing Themselves In I, II, III (1998, 2004, 2010). The review noted a paucity of information on the causation of any potential suicidality at the intersection of Indigeneity, gender variance and diverse sexualities. This study captured voices of Aboriginal LGBQTI peoples through workshops called “Yarning Circles” (Bessarab and Ng’andu 2010); online surveys circulated via Aboriginal LGBQTI networks; and “tweet yarns” (Parker 2014). The online surveys and Yarning Circles established that overwhelmingly participants had not seen any health, wellbeing and suicide prevention strategies or activities for the Aboriginal LGBQTI community, and that this group would like to see some preventative measures in place.

These findings suggest the current Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Strategy and national LGBQTI Suicide Prevention Strategy need amending to reflect the unique needs and solutions for Aboriginal LGBQTI communities.

©Indigenist


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I’m a self funded Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention researcher, please assist if you can

World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 Indigenous LGBTI Suicide Prevention fundraiser
Hi, I am a self funded Indigenous LGBQTI Suicide Prevention researcher. I raise money through tee spring to continue my research and endeavour to attract more funding to the Indigenous LGBQTI Suicide Prevention space. Currently, I am the only person looking specifically at this population group. I am a gay Indigenous male and we are losing to many of our mob to suicide. If you can, please buy a t-short from here

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©Indigenist