Marching towards inclusive health care

PrideFEST is over for another year, ending in an array of lights, music, rainbows and glitter promoting equity and fairness for WA’s LGBTI communities.

This year marked three decades since the discrimination of homosexuality in Western Australia, after more than 300 people protested on the steps of State Parliament.

Staff celebrated a second year marching in the Pride Parade.

From that historic event Pride WA was born, and one year later Perth celebrated with its first Pride Parade.

Thirty years on PrideFEST, now a month-long festival of arts, culture and community events, ended with its most ambitious Pride Parade yet.

WA Primary Health Alliance took part, celebrating its second year as a supporting partner of the festival, promoting a commitment to diversity and inclusion across the primary care sector.

Twenty-two staff marched their way through the streets of Northbridge, highlighting the continuing work with WA’s LGBTI communities to develop a health system that is equitable and inclusive.

WA Primary Health Alliance Engagement Support Officer Nicola Blacker said as a first time marcher, the atmosphere was electric.

“It was amazing to see such diversity represented in parade entrants and the crowd and have so many people come together to celebrate Pride,” she said.

More than 20 staff marched their way through the streets of Northbridge.

“In the spirit of the theme it was poignant to reflect on the fact that 30 years ago such public displays of pride, solidarity and inclusion weren’t possible as homosexuality was still illegal in WA.

“I think it’s so important to remember that the pride parade isn’t only about celebration – it grew out of a protest against the active discrimination LGBTI people faced and while we’ve come a long way since then, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“I’m really proud, and privileged, to be part of an organization that is actively working towards making that a reality.”

In 2018, WA Primary Health Alliance commenced its journey towards achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation, which involves meeting the six national standards of LGBTI inclusive practice.

The Rainbow Tick signals that an organisation has reached a high standard of diversity and inclusiveness.