Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Summary of PFLAG 2020 Brisbane Summit

By Miles Heffernan

The Q-News initiative of having a 2020 summit took place on 21 June 08 thanks to PFlag’s Shelly Argent (and 2020 Summiteer) and a team of facilitators. Inspired by the Federal Government Initiative, we got to thinking what are the issues that face the GLBTIQ community in the next 12 years.

Shelly Argent was impressed with the day saying “We achieved more than expected. The room was full of positive energy and co-operation. It was an excellent mix of people that support the community including many heterosexuals who were keen for change.”

Professor Clive Moore kicked off the day by charting the changes of gay law reform and how it sometimes lagged behind community standards.

Then anti-discrimination champion Commissioner Susan Booth gave her take on the protections the Queenslanders have compared to our Interstate friends, particularly in the area of vilification. Ms Booth also pointed out where some laws need changing including the “homosexual advance” defence. This law allows for a straight person to claim reduced or no responsibility if they beat or kill someone at the time a gay or lesbian makes an advance at them.

The facilitators and topics were:
MARS and Stonewall’s Dr Wendell Rosevear (and also a 2020 Summiteer)– Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Male Sexual Assault;
The Centre for Human Potential’s Paul Martin – Gay and Lesbian Suicide and Self Harm;
QAHC’s Brett Stevens – on the increase in HIV diagnosis over recent years;
Open Doors’ Lisa Thorpey - Youth Issues;
Activist Kath Wilson – Discrimination within our community;
QAHC’s Hillary Knack – Health and Women’s Issues; and
The Employment Advisor’s Miles Heffernan on Building Communities

Thanks to QUT and Professor Alan McKee who organised for the room to be donated. Without a doubt, the day’s success was made from delegates who come prepared with outcomes on the mind.

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