Gippsland Lakes Community Health (GLCH) recently held its 43rd Annual General Meeting at the Bairnsdale Sporting and Convention Centre in Lucknow.
It was a great celebration of the organisation’s achievements during the past 12 months, which included recognition for more than 30 staff members who have been with GLCH for 10, 15, 20 and even 25 years!
GLCH is one of the largest local employers in the East Gippsland region, with more than 400 employees engaged across its five locations in Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Bruthen, Nowa Nowa and Metung. And as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, GLCH is set to release new employment opportunities, to coincide with the rollout of NDIS on 1 January 2019.
The impressive efforts of GLCH’s Health Promotion team were also acknowledged at the AGM; including their recent win against St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital, for the “East – Love Where You Live” project, which received a Victorian Public Healthcare Award; and the “Healthy Eating for Life-Changing School Culture” project, which is a finalist in the Gippsland Primary Health Network Awards.
The highlight for many, however, was the guest speaker, Fiona Butlin, who generously shared her personal experience as a transgender person.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are an estimated 11 percent of the population, but experience disproportionately lower health outcomes, directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and abuse in their everyday lives, for being LGBTI.
GLCH wants this to stop, and are making positive changes within the organisation to become even more inclusive to LGBTI people; this includes its current journey towards achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation, which is a commitment to seeking feedback around what is being done right, what is being done wrong, and to educating the board, managers, and staff about the findings.
The AGM’s guest speaker Fiona is a member of the Gippsland LGBTI Network and the Central Gippsland Health Service Diversity Committee. Fiona is committed to supporting and encouraging change and more inclusivity, particularly among the health services in Gippsland, and she is currently completing a Certificate in Community Services, which will help her to continue her important work in this area.
Fiona’s generous sharing of her own experiences helped the audience better understand the personal impact of discrimination, and the importance for people, particularly in service and frontline roles, to be mindful of how they welcome and treat transgender clients, to ensure their experiences with service-based organisations are positive.
To learn more about GLCH and its achievements, employment opportunities or support of the LGBTI community follow Gippsland Lakes Community Health on Facebook.
Pictured left to right: Tania Ryan (Diversity Advisor, Gippsland Sectoral Development Team), Fiona Butlin (guest speaker), and Sue Medson OAM (CEO, GLCH)