The ‘Rainbow Project’
Juno Vesta a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQA+) Youth led group, is working towards making Stawell a safer community for LGBTIQA+ people.
With the support of the Grampians Community Health, Northern Grampians Shire and the Central Grampians LLEN the group approached local Stawell Businesses to display a small rainbow flag in their windows, symbolising a safe place for LGBTI people to shop, eat and relax.
The members stated the project made them feel at home and accepted. A Juno Vesta member stated “some businesses were quite enthusiastic about the project which made me feel very happy.” Juno Vesta believes the Rainbow Project has been a great conversation starter for the community and the involvement with the Northern Grampians Shire was crucial. The Northern Grampians Shire supported Juno Vesta with the Rainbow Project and encouraged businesses to be involved by placing their logo on the support letter which showed their commitment to making Stawell a safe community.
Juno Vesta would like to implement this project in other towns including Ararat in the near future. Juno Vesta is encouraging businesses and community groups to join in with the Rainbow project and place a rainbow flag on their window front.
The Rainbow Project will make other LGBTIQA+ people feel safer in the community. New reports suggest that nearly 30% of young people are now identifying as LGBTIQA+. Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity. They reported experiencing: Verbal homophobic abuse 61 %, Physical homophobic abuse 18% and other types of homophobia 9%
“We understand there is a lot more work that needs to be done, but to see a youth led project making such a difference is incredible” Said Gemma Beavis, chair of the Rainbow committee at GCH.
Juno Vesta is supported by Grampians Community Health and the Central Grampians LLEN.
If you are aged between 12 and 25 and are interested in joining Juno Vesta, please contact Gemma on 52587400.
The Stawell group meets every Monday afternoon at the Grampians Community Health building, 8-22 Patrick Street, from 4pm.