Borough raises rainbow flag for IDAHOBIT
Published on 17 May 2022
The Borough of Queenscliffe has reinforced its commitment to diversity and inclusion during a flag-raising ceremony held this morning to commemorate IDAHOBIT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.
For the first time at Council offices, the rainbow flag was hoisted alongside the Australian and Aboriginal flags at the Queenscliff Town Hall in a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Queenscliffe Mayor Ross Ebbels said that the raising of the flag was a visible reminder that the Borough welcomes everyone, regardless of their sexuality, gender identity or appearance.
“It’s quite significant to be the first Mayor at the Borough to stand in front of a rainbow flag and say ‘you are loved’. We take our motto as a ‘safe haven’ seriously – no one should feel threatened or excluded, here or anywhere else,” Cr Ebbels said.
“Seventy-five percent of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia experience some form of discrimination, and more than a third of LGBTIQIA+ Australians have been verbally abused in the past year.
“These statistics are damning, and show that there is still such a long way to go in providing the LGBTQIA+ community the respect and appreciation they deserve. I hope today’s affirmation can contribute in part to progressing that inclusion within our community and beyond.”
Cr Ebbels highlighted the Borough’s 2021–2025 Council Plan – developed by Council in collaboration with the Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale community – which specifically calls for the promotion of diversity and gender equality.
“One of the key priorities in our Council Plan is about promoting diversity and gender equality, and so much of our decision-making and operational activity at Council is now framed through that lens. Our ten-year Community Vision also includes encouraging an inclusive and engaged community as a key pillar.”
This is why Council is proud to sponsor the Uniting Church of Queenscliff’s Sacrededge Festival, an annual conference promoting voices of diversity, the marginalised and the vulnerable. Cr Ebbels spoke at the festival’s launch last month.
“It’s clear that the community cares just as much about making the Borough welcome to all as we do at Council, and I’m excited for this to be the first of many initiatives in which we champion and celebrate our local LGBTQIA+ community.”
IDAHOBIT has been recognised annually on 17 May for almost two decades. The day’s purpose, broadly, is to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and highlight their ongoing battles in combatting discrimination.
Residents can learn more about the day, as well as how to take action, by visiting idahobit.org.au.