Rowena Allen has been appointed Victoria’s first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Minister for Equality Martin Foley announced today.
The Commissioner will champion the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians within the Government. The creation of the role was a Labor election commitment.
Ms Allen is an effective, experienced and longstanding advocate for LGBTI Victorians and has held leadership positions in the community and government sectors.
Ms Allen has been a member of three Victorian Government LGBTI ministerial advisory groups and chaired the ministerial advisory committee on LGBTI Health and Wellbeing between 2007 and 2009.
As founding CEO of UnitingCare Cutting Edge, Ms Allen established Victoria’s first rural support group for young LGBTI people, giving her a particular understanding of the issues faced in rural and regional areas.
Ms Allen currently chairs the Adult, Community and Further Education Board and is a former Chair of the Victorian Skills Commission, the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVIC), and former member of the Hume Regional Development Australia Committee.
Ms Allen has been recognised for her community service: in 2003 she received a Centenary Medal and in 2009 she was inducted into the Victorian Government Honour Roll for Women.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley
“I am delighted to announce Rowena Allen’s appointment and am sure she will be a powerful advocate and agent for change on behalf of Victoria’s LGBTI community.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is combating discrimination and homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, which significantly affect the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Victorians.”
Quotes attributable to Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen
“I am incredibly honoured to be appointed the first Victorian Commissioner for Gender & Sexuality and am looking forward to using my skills and networks to effect positive change for my community.”
“Many Victorians would be unaware that LGBTI Victorians experience discrimination every day in schools, workplaces, health settings and the broader community.”