Just do it !!

G’day. I’m Jill from Queensland and I’m here to help. Not many folk like doing paperwork concerning death or failing cognitive abilities through illness or accident; many leave it too late. This is also important for older LGBTI people. Some folk are even superstitious with regard to talking of death and dying, or serious illness. But it is vital for everyone over 18 years of age to complete a will, a power of attorney (either enduring or, at least a general power), and an advance health directive. Each document can be changed when your individual circumstances change; nothing is set in concrete – unless you lose capacity, i.e. your cognitive ability fails you. In fact, the documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the content is current and relevant to you plus that it contains your wishes.

Remember that with superannuation, most people will have something to cover in a will so that the person / people they want to get their assets and money actually get it. If there was an accident with a third party insurance claim, or there is a major health problem, then it becomes even more essential.

Explanations for the forms and the process are on the government sites on the internet. Read up on each of them. Relating to the Queensland situation you can download the Advance Health Directive, complete it with your medical practitioner and then get it witnessed. Download the Enduring (or General) Power of Attorney read it carefully, complete it or get some legal help, then have it signed and witnessed. The Public Trust Office can assist with making wills, as can your legal representative.

Having your paperwork completed is worth it to save your loved ones and/or friends the heartache of not knowing what to do should anything happen to you. If you don’t have the conversations, the completed documents will hopefully ensure your wishes are carried out. This is a picture of me on the left.TeaCosy-21


Apology from State Government

Today the Government apologised to gay men for the laws that criminalised homosexuality in Victoria. It was a very moving event and Parliament House was packed. This photo is of Noel Tovey AM waiting for the apology. Noel was convicted of the ‘abominable crime of buggary’ at the age of 17 and sent to prison. Now in his 80s he has just had his criminal record expunged. We love you Noel. We hope other states and territories follow suit with an apology and the expungement process. We are currently working on a series of updates on where we are at in each state and territory. You can listen to the apology by clicking on this link: here. If you live in Victoria and would like to find out about the process for expunging a conviction, click here. Also click here to watch a short video of photos from the day.

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Move in May – Stand Up

On the weekend almost 2000 Melbournians participated in the first Move in May event – running and walking around the Botanical Gardens to raise awareness the discrimination LGBTI people encounter. The Move in May concept was developed by Angie Greene (who has a gay brother) and is part of a project called Stand Up – which challenges discrimination. The photo below shows members of the Glamourhead Sharks swim team and members of the Executive of Celebrate Ageing preparing for the walk.



Gay hate crimes review Sydney

Trigger warning: this post contains disturbing information about gay hate crimes.

New South Wales Police have launched ‘Operation Parrabell’, a review of the deaths of 88 gay men in Sydney dating back to the 1970s to the 1990s. The review aims to determine whether gay hatred motivated the victim’s death. About 30 deaths previously identified as unsolved – ranging from declared suicides to savage bashing murders – are included in the 88 cases. They were highlighted in research by former NSW Police gay and liaison officer Sue Thompson and criminologist Stephen Tomsen. The Operation Parrabell team are pictured below and you can read the full article from the Sydney Morning Herald by clicking on the link below. Still feels so wrong to have the words ‘gay’ and ‘hatred’ in the same sentence. 
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Recognition of achievements

A very special congratulations to Edie Mayhew and Anne Tudor who won the “Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: supporting diversity award” at the 2016 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards this week. Edie and Anne have generously shared their experiences of living with dementia, to educate others – they are pictured below (left to right: Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy MP, Anne Tudor, Edie Mayhew and Parliamentary Secretary for Volunteers & Carers, Gabrielle Williams MP.


Righting the wrong – Victoria

On 24 May 2016, the Victorian Government will make a formal State apology in Parliament to those convicted under unjust and prejudiced laws against homosexual acts prior to decriminalisation in 1981. The apology will be made to those who were directly affected by the laws and to Victoria’s LGBTI communities.

This follows the introduction of an expungement scheme in September 2015 after changes to the Sentencing Act 1991. These changes recognised that homosexual sex between consenting adults should never have been a crime.

The Apology is open to members of the public. If you would like to attend, please email equality@dpc.vic.gov.au. You will also be able view the live stream of the Apology on the day from the Parliament website – http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/