2023 Winner Statements - Pride in Health + Wellbeing

2023 Winner Statements

2023 Australian Pride in Health + Wellbeing Awards Recipients

Service Provider of the Year
Gold Tier Service Provider

Here at Uniting our four values are that we are imaginative, that we are bold, we are respectful and we are compassionate. We cannot be any of those things if we are not an inclusive organisation.

And so, we’ve invested in many ways to ensure that anyone who comes to receive a service or support from Uniting knows we are an inclusive organisation.

That we take the rainbow of human experience seriously, and that we ensure it is embedded in everything that we do.

That we celebrate and respect diversity.

That we love the colour and vibrancy that diversity brings to our organisation.

Thank you so much to Pride in Health + Wellbeing, and thank you to the wonderful Uniting team who have done so much to bring us as Uniting Victoria Tasmania to this place today.

Bronwyn Pike AN, CEO Uniting Vic.Tas

Gold Tier Service Provider

cohealth is incredibly proud to be recognised for our efforts in LGBTQ+ equality and equity, in this year’s ACON Pride in Health and Wellbeing Awards. Our Youth Mental Health teams – Youth Residential Recovery and Youth Outreach Recovery Service were nominated for the LGBTQ Inclusive Innovation Award, and cohealth was honoured with the Gold Service Provider, alongside Uniting VIC.TAS and St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney.

Youth Mental Health were nominated for their values of diversity and inclusion, striving to provide a culturally safe and inclusive service to all diverse young people who walk through their doors. The pride flags, gender-neutral toilets, pronoun chalk wall and visible Rainbow Tick accreditation certificates help LGBTQ+ young people feel safe, seen and included. The employment of lived experience staff from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the celebration of dates like IDAHOBIT and Wear It Purple, all contribute to feelings of acceptance, confidence and safety for our service users and staff.

The Gold Service Provider award is an outstanding achievement and one of the highest recognitions obtainable. It is based on the Health and Wellbeing Equity Index, taking into account factors such as LGBTQ+ inclusivity and disclosure training and resources, service planning and provision, cultural safety, visibility of LGBTQ+ inclusion, and continuous improvement. This is an honour, and cohealth is proud to continue to be recognised for our efforts in LGBTQ+ equality and equity on top of our win for Service Provider of the Year in 2022.

We greatly appreciate these awards and see them as encouragement that we are heading in the right direction, but we also understand that there is more work to be done. And external recognition or not, we will never stop doing the work. LGBTQ+ people carry the burden of poorer health outcomes across a variety of psychosocial risk factors, and across the spectrum of mental, physical and social wellbeing outcomes. Gaps still exist in the health, wellbeing and human services sectors for sexuality and gender-diverse people.

Nicole Bartholomeusz, CEO

Gold Tier Service Provider
Most Improved Service Provier (tie)

It was a great honour for St Vincent’s to once again take part in the Health and Wellbeing Equality Index. This important program has allowed us to identify our areas of success and highlight ways we can continue to develop our services for staff, patients and consumers of diverse sexualities and genders.

We are especially pleased to have received recognition as a Gold Service provider in our second year, and to have received an award for most improved service. Both of these accolades reflect the hard work of our entire staff in developing new initiatives, sharing and scaling what is working, and responding to identified areas of need. With each year that we undertake the index, we become more aware of the evolution of the communities we serve, and in responding to that evolution we notice a workplace that is safer, more inclusive and above all more proud.

I would especially like to call out the work of our Pride@SVHNS group, made up of a wide variety of staff from across our network who have contributed with hours of work, creativity and expertise to ensure that all our inclusion work, from Mardi Gras floats to policy development are reflective of our ongoing commitment in this space.

I am optimistic that the healthcare environment in Australia will continue to recognise and eliminate the systemic barriers to health faced by people of diverse sexualities and genders. St Vincent’s looks forward to working with all index participants and other health services to share, learn and continue to grow towards this goal.

Anthony Schembri AM, CEO

LGBTQ Ally of the Year

It is such a honour to receive the 2023 HWEI LGTBQI Ally Award amongst such amazing candidates.

At St Vincent’s it our goal to celebrate people (whether they be patients, residents, consumers or our 30,000 carers) for who they are. We know that above all else, excellent health care is inclusive health.  At St Vincent’s, we stand on the shoulders of the Sisters of Charity who were radical and courageous in changing the face of health in Australia over 180 years.

I am proud to in my small way start to challenge norms around sexuality, diversity and belonging if it makes our workplace safe and a place of inclusion. I encourage all other HR professionals to do the same – by examining their policies, procedures and traditional ways of doing things to ask the question – does this truly include and celebrate our people?

Being an ally in this space means being open to challenge and change and at St Vincents, we are thrilled to be also recognised as the Most Improving Health Service. We invite you to share with us – what should we improve next!?

LGBTQ Inclusive Innovation Award

I love being a pharmacist because it provides me with an opportunity to deliver the best possible person-centred care to the clients. It encourages me to strive to improve the care I provide. I am grateful and thankful for my work being recognised with the LGBTQ Inclusion Innovation Award at the 2023 Pride in Health and Wellbeing Awards. A hallmark of person-centered care, this award recognizes excellence in LGBTQ inclusion in multidimensional care settings. Receiving recognition for my work is a humbling experience for me and I am honoured. I express my gratitude to Pride in Health and Wellbeing and Chemist Warehouse for recognising that I am worthy of this award. Throughout my research on the role of pharmacists in trans and gender-diverse healthcare, I have had the opportunity to connect with inspiring and dedicated transgender support groups and organisations. I also have had the privilege of engaging with amazing community members who entrusted me with their stories. I am extremely thankful and appreciative of their support. I firmly believe that community involvement is crucial to improving healthcare services for the entire LGBTQIA+ community. By collaborating with community members, I am committed to enhancing the awareness and clinical knowledge of pharmacists and pharmacy students in relation to transgender healthcare. I do believe however that there is still a long way to go to our society achieving inclusivity and equity in healthcare for LGBTQIA+ individuals. This can however be achieved through developing and implementing national and global healthcare policies, restructuring healthcare systems, and providing education for all healthcare professionals on LGBTIQA+ health.This accolade has brought joy to my day and encouraged me to keep pursuing excellence in my work. I am thankful for the support and trust of the CWH team, my PhD advisors – Professor Beverley Glass and Associate Professor Robin Ray, pharmacist colleagues, pharmacy students, members of the trans and gender-diverse communities, and friends and family. 

LGBTQ Role Model Award

As a proud Bi cis man, I am passionate about advocating for equality and inclusion for all my fellow LGBTQIA+ community members to create a working environment that celebrates diversity. As out community members, I believe by sharing our stories and experiences, we can help others understand our struggles and triumphs, challenge stereotypes and misconceptions and create a more accepting and inclusive society.

Receiving this role model award has allowed me to reflect on my journey, and on how far I’ve come personally and appreciate the paths we navigate are so different for each of us. As I reflect on my motivations, I recognise I am in a privileged position to represent and speak out on behalf of others who may not feel safe to be their authentic self in the workplace.

Although this is an individual award, I would like to acknowledge the combined work and contributions of my PHN colleagues, both community members and allies, working towards creating and sustaining positive change in the workplace.

Formation of our PHN’s LGBTQIA+ Ally Collaborative has been a fantastic initiative where we’ve been able to increase staff awareness about the importance and benefits of LGBTQIA+ inclusion. We are already making measurable impacts against identified needs that are lead and driven by our staff. These impacts can have flow on effects to our primary care workforce and broader community.

I am proud to work for a progressive organisation such as The PHN that recognises the strengths and skills of our community, listens to our needs, and fosters an environment where all voices, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, are celebrated. I believe by increasing visibility, using inclusive practices, educating others, and making people feel safe and respected, we can help create a world where everyone is accepted and celebrated for who they are.