The Local Government Act directs that councils play a critical role in encouraging and supporting active participation in civic life and ensuring that their delivery of services is both accessible and equitable. Councils are also required to act consistently within the framework of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and are bound by statutes relating to equal opportunity.
Although the legal and social frameworks are in place, not all local governments demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness across their culture and practice, both internally with staff and externally with community members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer/questioning (LGBTIQ).
In 2015 the VLGA established the Rainbow Working Group in order to explore LGBTIQ diversity and inclusion in local government. This group will work alongside Rowena Allen, Victoria's Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality to develop a resource of best-practice case studies on LGBTIQ inclusion in local government. The Roads, Rates, Rubbish and Rainbows toolkit will be published online and in hard copy.
Resources on LGBTIQ inclusion in local government are available here:
- Sean Mulcahy (Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby), LGBTI inclusion in local government (video) (print)
- Anna Brown (Human Rights Law Centre), LGBTI inclusive practice and the law (video) (print)
- City of Darebin & City of Hobsons Bay, Terminology and language (print)
- Liam Leonard (GLHV) and Colette Harris (City of Stonnington), Introducing the Rainbow Tick (video) (print)
- Rodney Croome (Australian Marriage Equality), Advocacy (video) (transcript)
- Robert Simms (former Adelaide City Councillor), The journey from council to Parliament (video) (transcript)