First IFA-LGBTI Symposium

Jill: From 21 to 23 June 2016, the International Federation on Ageing [IFA] held their Conference in Brisbane. For the first time ever we presented an LGBTI Symposium. It was successful to the extent that LGBTI communities are now officially on the agenda for the next IFA Conference in Canada in 2018. On the Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Catherine Barrett, Brian Day O.A.M., Pauline Crameri (Val’s Cafe) and I presented papers at the Symposium. We addressed the Federal Government’s National Strategy for LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care. Dr. Barrett addressed the Strategy and its development. Brian and I then shared our personal histories of then and now about our lives – to help explain why LGBTI communities have been given a “special needs” status under the legislation. Pauline then spoke about the implementation of the strategy. Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE in the USA chaired the Symposium. On Thursday morning Mark Hughes, Samantha Edmonds, Angela Littleford, and JR Latham presented papers on various aspects of life impacting on our communities, while Michael Adams presented an overview of LGBT older adults in the USA. After our presentations on Wednesday, we celebrated Brian’s 76th birthday that very day, and his award in the Queens’s Birthday Honours list [far better that a Queen get the award then rather than on Australia Day] of an Order of Australia Medal. We had two rainbow birthday cakes that set the tone for helping to celebrate Brian’s award and birthday.

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