The ‘Breaking the Silence’ research project focuses on the unique experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people living in Western Australia. Research focusing on the intersection of Indigeneity and gender/sexual diversity is severely lacking in Australia. This summary report provides information for organisations that provide health and social support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQ+, including the extent to which diverse health, social and emotional wellbeing; education and community services meet the needs of participants
- The report recommends that Commonwealth, State and Local Governments to collect and share data on proportion of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people who are represented as victims of crime, violence and in homelessness statistics.
- Health, mental health, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) education, social support, legal, community and housing organisations need to develop policies that not only emphasise and enable cultural safety but also acknowledge and respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ safety.
- Community members including Elders and Senior community leaders are supported through education and respectful discussion led by the CEO’s, Executives and other professionals in ACCHO’s to consider and advocate for the needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people.
Findings from both community and organisations reveal the diversity within the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ communities and the need for the development of responsive, inclusive, culturally and LGBTIQ+ safe services that move beyond reliance on a few ‘stand-alone’ Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ workers. The need to instead enable system wide, cultural change across all levels of organisations and service delivery in support of sustainable and embedded policies, service models and processes to effectively meet the diverse needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients who are LGBTIQ+.