Trans Advocate Brenda Appleton To Head LGBTI Taskforce

Minister for Equality Martin Foley today announced the members of an LGBTI Taskforce that will support the Andrews Labor Government’s efforts to put equality for LGBTI Victorians back on the agenda.

The LGBTI Taskforce will have a Justice working group and a Health and Human Services working group and will advise on current and emerging LGBTI issues, as well as the implementation of the Government’s election commitments.  The Taskforce will also work closely with Rowena Allen, Victoria’s first Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, to develop a work plan, ensuring that the Government’s equality initiatives are driven by genuine community consultation.

Brenda Appleton, a leading activist for the trans and gender-diverse communities, will co-chair the Taskforce with Minister Foley. It  will also include:

  • Anna Brown – Director of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation, Human Rights Law Centre, Convener Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
  • Jamie Gardiner – long-time human rights activist, former member of the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Vice-President of Liberty Victoria and board member of the Human Rights Law Centre
  • Ruth McNair – General Practitioner and Honorary Associate Professor, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne
  • Senior representatives from the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Justice and Regulation, and Health and Human Services, who will help drive a coordinated whole-of-government approach

The Taskforce’s Health and Human Services working group will be co-chaired by Ruth McNair and Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Member for Macedon. The Justice working group will be co-chaired by Anna Brown and Harriet Shing MP, Member for Eastern Victoria Region.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley

“Creating this whole of government taskforce was an election commitment that we are now delivering on. I’m looking forward to working with Brenda and the Taskforce and ensuring we are guided by the LGBTI communities as we remove discrimination from Victorian laws, services and society.”

Quotes attributable to Harriet Shing MP, co-chair, Justice Working Group

“As a Co-Chair of the Justice Working Group, I’m looking forward to Victoria’s legislation becoming fairer for LGBTI Victorians and our families.”

Quotes attributable to Mary-Anne Thomas MP, co-chair Health and Human Services Working Group

“We recognise the specific health needs of Victoria’s LGBTI communities, and this working group will work to ensure equitable access and inclusive service provision across health and human services.”

Whole of Government LGBTI Taskforce

Co-chairs: Brenda Appleton and Martin Foley MP

Members: Anna Brown, Jamie Gardiner, Ruth McNair, Senior representatives of DPC, DJR and DHHS

Justice Working Group

Co-chairs: Anna Brown and Harriet Shing MP

Members: Liana Buchanan, Paul Kidd, Felicity Marlowe, Sally Goldner, Margot Fink, Tony Briffa, Paula Gerber

Health and Human Services Working Group

Co-chairs: Ruth McNair and Mary-Anne Thomas MP

Members: Brent Allan, Jeremy Wiggins, Beng Eu, Liam Leonard, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Rebecca Dominguez, Jacqueline Tomlins, Damien Stevens, Tim Christodoulou, Simon Ruth