Journey to Rainbow Tick Accreditation
In September 2019 Anglicare Victoria received Rainbow Tick Accreditation. Recognised nationally, Rainbow Tick accreditation is awarded to organisations that achieve the very highest standard of LGBTIQ+ inclusive practice and service delivery.
Being a diverse and inclusive organisation goes to the very heart of our work, and supports our strategic intent to transform the future of vulnerable children and their families. We support the right of equality, fairness and decency for all Victorians.
Diversity offers an increased breadth of perspectives and depth of understanding, further enabling the provision of high-quality inclusive services to our communities.
This achievement has been a team effort across the whole of AV, led by the members of our AV PRIDE working group. This journey enabled AV staff to reflect on the importance of respecting each other and our differences. We are not all the same but we are all equal.
The Rainbow Tick stands for solidarity
Research shows that members of the LGBTQI+ community have poorer health outcomes than the general population because they experience a higher level of discrimination. As a result they are more likely to avoid or delay seeking care.
When clients who identify as being part of the LGBTQI+ community see that AV is Rainbow Tick accredited, they are assured that they will receive an informed and inclusive service. Becoming Rainbow Tick accredited sends a message that our clients can access services where their sexual orientation or gender identity and/or intersex status will be valued and their needs will be understood. It also assures our volunteers and staff that AV is a culturally safe and supportive workplace.
The Rainbow Tick makes us stronger
The Rainbow Tick aligns with and strengthens AV’s values. Specifically:
- At Anglicare Victoria we treat every client, volunteer and employee with respect and dignity.
- At Anglicare Victoria, we’re committed to making sure that our workplace and our services are inclusive for all who need them, including the SAGD community.
- At Anglicare Victoria we aim for clients, employees, volunteers and stakeholders to feel 100% comfortable when dealing with us.
The journey towards Rainbow Tick accreditation
Everyone at AV including Board members and staff in the smaller regional offices embraced the decision to move towards being more inclusive. Many employees committed time and energy to achieving it. Key actions included:
- The AV PRIDE (Promoting Respect and Inclusivity for Diversity and Equality) Working Group was established to work collaboratively across the Agency to support the Rainbow Tick process. It was made up of 16 members who gathered on a monthly basis to discuss activities.
- All organisation policies, procedures and guidelines were updated to include inclusive language and consider factors impacting on LGBTIQ+ clients and employees.
- Employees were surveyed and asked to provide feedback on the inclusiveness of the organisation. The results were used to guide the LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Practice Training program, internal communication plan and the Rainbow Tick’s project plan.
- AV provided training and development for all employees and volunteers: approximately 800 staff, including board members and senior management, have participated in training in the last 2 years. Training was conducted by Rainbow Health, StarLady, Rainbow Network and Minus18.
- AV celebrated many important PRIDE days such as International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) day and Wear it Purple Day and participated in various community events.
Midsumma Carnival 2019 and 2020: AV’s presence at this community festival demonstrates that the organisation is welcoming of all. People that visited the stall were keen to find out about AV’s services and enquired about becoming foster carers. People wrote lovely messages of hope to young people in residential care and it allowed young and gender-diverse people to ask questions about employment opportunities at AV.
In March 2020 AV participated for the first time in Melbourne’s PRIDE March in 2020. Led by CEO Paul MacDonald, this demonstrated AV’s commitment to LGBTIQ+ inclusion.
“I saw past and current clients at the Pride March. Marching in solidarity demonstrated to our clients that we as Anglicare staff support, advocate and empower the LGBTIQ+ community. You could see how proud they were to see us there…marching for them!”
AV’s journey towards inclusivity continues
Since obtaining the Rainbow Tick in late 2019, Anglicare Victoria has continued to work hard to affirm the dignity and value of LGBTIQ+ clients, employees and volunteers and ensure LGBTIQ+ staff, volunteers and clients feel confident that they will not experience discrimination in our workplaces or within our services.
The AV PRIDE Working Group has become a Steering Group with broader membership and scope to oversee the embedding of inclusive practice and the implementation of a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The organisations genuine commitment to inclusion and diversity for clients, volunteers and staff drives much of what we do, say and how we act at AV.