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Raising the rainbow flag to celebrate diversity for IDAHOBIT Day
Issued: 
May 17, 2024

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a day committed to enhancing awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights violations and promoting a culture of tolerance, respect, and freedom for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since its inception in 2004, IDAHOBIT has highlighted the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, celebrating its diversity and resilience.

Wellington Shire Council proudly displays the rainbow pride flag to observe IDAHOBIT, joining other cities and towns around the world in marking this important day.

Wellington Shire Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Gayle Maher led today’s early morning flag raising in Yarram, expressing Council's pride in supporting IDAHOBIT Day, sharing that we are committed to equal opportunity for all, and especially for young people living and working in Wellington Shire, but struggling with acceptance of their identity.

“Our residents are central to everything we do, and we continue to strive for a community that upholds the values of inclusivity and respect”.

“Finding and supporting opportunities for local people to feel safe in their own skin is something I am extremely passionate about, and I am excited to be raising the pride flag on behalf of Council this morning”. Cr Maher said.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye shared those sentiments, also highlighting the significance of flying the flag as a stand against the still prevalent discrimination that can exist in our communities.

“By coming together, we send a strong message against discrimination, moving towards a culture where everyone can live openly and freely, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Mayor Ian Bye emphasises that supporting IDAHOBIT remains a top priority for Council. Noting that days like today serve as a reminder of the progress made as a community, while also highlighting the ongoing work needed to ensure our services and facilities are safe and inclusive for everyone.

“I urge everyone to take note of the people around them, not just today but every day. Everyone in our community deserves respect and the freedom to express their true selves without fear, and nobody should feel like they must hide their identity in the place they call home.” Cr Bye said.

While we celebrate and embrace the LGBTQIA+ members of our diverse community, we must also acknowledge the persistent issues of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Such discrimination harms us all, and our council declares it unacceptable. A belief echoed across Council and its Councillors.

For people wanting to learn more about IDAHOBIT Day, we encourage you to go to IDAHOBIT Australia. For LGBTQIA+ community members needing support, Rainbow Door (1800 729 367) operates from 10am-5pm every day. Wellington youth can also contact Headspace 5184 5000 to find out about local LGBTQIA+ support groups.

Deputy Mayor Gayle Maher with Cr Garry Stephens at Yarram Memorial Park.
Mayor Ian Bye and Cr Carolyn Crossley with the Wellington Shire Youth Council team.

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