On 18 March 2019, the LGBTIQ Justice Working Group held its eighth meeting.

The list of members, terms of reference and communiques are available.

Specific matters considered

Working Group members discussed matters relating to:

  • the re-introduction of amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 to remove barriers for people who seek to alter the sex recorded in their birth registration
  • the development of new legislation to prohibit conversion practices, together with research and educational work underway by the Government to tackle conversion practices.

These are both priorities the Working Group have confirmed as falling within the program of reforms they wish the Government to pursue over the next two years.

A representative from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) attended to provide an update on a review of funding agreements being conducted by DHHS to ensure that services funded by the government are delivered in a non-discriminatory way, in particular to LGBTIQ Victorians. DHHS are reviewing DHHS Service Agreements, and the Victorian Common Funding Agreement. Both reviews are due for completion in 2019 and involve consultation with key stakeholders, in particular agencies that utilise or are funded through the agreements. An option that will be considered as part of the reviews is including a non-discrimination clause in the agreements.

The Working Group also discussed the need for Victorian Courts to be more inclusive of LGBTIQ people. The Gender and Sexuality Commissioner gave an update on 101 inclusive training the Commissioner has delivered to the judiciary and court staff. The Commissioner has delivered five training sessions so far. The Working Group resolved that the Commissioner and members would contact the Judicial College to progress this work.

The Working Group also resolved to engage with the Victorian Pride Centre about legal assistance for LGBTIQ people.

The Working Group will next meet on 2 May 2019.