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Rainbow Hub brings together regional LGBTI communities

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COTA SA’s Rainbow Hub is hosting a social event in Burra for the first time to meet with the local LGBTI community.

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Project Officer with the Rainbow Hub, Jackie Wurm, said this program is in partnership with local organisations to provide an opportunity for community members of all ages to come together and interact.

“It’s a chance to meet more people and hear their stories and also to share a bit about what the Rainbow Hub offers,” Wurm said.

After successful events in Victor Harbor and Mount Gambier, the team moves to Burra on Monday 16 May to meet with local LGBTI community members of all ages.

Wurm said it is important for COTA SA to reach beyond metropolitan areas to increase the diversity of voices and feel a part of the community.

“When we’re advocating for LGBTI rights and issues, we want to be able to speak from an informed perspective about South Australian wide issues, not just from a metro perspective”.

“If one in 10 or 11 people are LGBTI, then you know there are quite a few people in regional communities who are part of our community.

“We hope that they can feel welcome to come and connect.”

The events are an open invitation exclusively for LGBTI community members but Wurm said it is important for allies to help spread the word about these initiatives.

“We’re calling on people who aren’t LGBTI to be an ally for people so they might be able to point someone in our direction in the future, even if they can’t attend our events, or maybe don’t feel safe enough at this point,” she said.

The goal of these events is to reach more people so “people don’t feel they have to be as invisible”.

“People have often throughout their lives, had to play down their sexuality or hide it to avoid discrimination,” Wurm said.

“We’d like people to feel safe, being part of the wider world, being themselves, wherever they are, and contributing in the fullest sense to our community, so everyone can benefit.”

COTA SA will also be running the Rainbow Horizons Project in partnership with the Rainbow Hub, which is about building a model for inclusive end-of-life care planning.

It involves a small discussion group with LGTBI people to discuss their considerations and experience of end-of-life planning, care and dying.

Wurm said that this model is important to help shape a compassionate community model and open conversation to “inform ourselves and those around us of our wishes so that the process can be as good as it can be”.

“We may not have children who can advocate and support us. Or we may be estranged from family. So it’s really important that we are able to support each other and work out what might be some of the best ways to do that,” Wurm said.

To register for the Burra event, contact the free call line 1800 182 324 or events@cotasa.org.au.

More information and resources for both LGBTI community members and allies can be found on COTA SA’s website.

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