It was wall to wall pizzas and wall to wall students when BSSC’s LGBTI community gathered for lunch in the Conference Room today.

Allies and new students were able to meet one other, and Maree Dixon—Bendigo Headspace’s LGBTI plus Diversity Worker—was present to notify students of other support groups she leads.

Asked whether it is harder to be LGBTI, or come out, in a regional area like Bendigo, Maree said, “Society’s attitudes affect parent attitudes and it is parent attitudes that are really significant. But since the SSM vote, Bendigo LGBTI youth have seen they do have important support from this community. However, a really big issue is timely access to health services.”

BSSC LGBTI students have the opportunity to set up a group that meets at school. The general feel in the room was that this would be a good thing to do.

“I think it’s great that the school has the Ally program,” said one student. “It’s been amazing to suddenly realise there are lots of other students who are keen to meet and have similar interests and concerns.”

Maree is willing to facilitate the school group and already runs three support groups through Headspace: a parents’ groups and two for LGBTIQ young people which meet:

12 – 17 yrs Thursday 4 – 5.30

18 – 25 yrs Tuesday 4.30 – 6

Questions? Maree Dixon can be contacted at Headspace on Pall Mall.

BSSC’s Wellbeing Team are available, and all over the College, the ‘Ally’ stickers can be found on the desks or office doors or laptops of staff who have completed the Ally training and want to be positive supporters of our LGBTI community.