Campaign supporters (back from left) Corey Irlam, Shannon Wright, Nic Parkhill, Ian Macdonald, Laurel Dammerel, and Bryne Moy. Centre from left, Simon Poisson, Jeht Burgoyne, and Stacey Andrews. Front from left, Mandy Hodgson and her children Jasper Stead, 3, (front left), Lily Stead, 5, (front right) and friend Max Carra, 2, (centre) and Bev Klaack (red shirt).
Campaign supporters (back from left) Corey Irlam, Shannon Wright, Nic Parkhill, Ian Macdonald, Laurel Dammerel, and Bryne Moy. Centre from left, Simon Poisson, Jeht Burgoyne, and Stacey Andrews. Front from left, Mandy Hodgson and her children Jasper Stead, 3, (front left), Lily Stead, 5, (front right) and friend Max Carra, 2, (centre) and Bev Klaack (red shirt). David Nielsen

Beats Bowls and Blingo helps ACON

LISMORE’S favourite new once-a-month Sunday event, Beats Bowls and Blingo, hosted the local launch of the Aids Council of NSW (ACON) national Wear it with Pride campaign yesterday.

The campaign has been funded by the Federal Government to the tune of $395,000 to allow ACON to spread the word about same-sex law reforms to the Northern Rivers’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

In July last year, the Federal Government amended 85 pieces of legislation which discriminated against same-sex couples in areas such as employee entitlements, privacy rights, tax, superannuation, child support and insurance.

The new education campaign aims to increase awareness and understanding of these reforms among members of Australia’s LGBT community.

Wear it with Pride national campaign manager Cory Irlam hit town with a wardrobe of designer T-shirts created by 85 artists – each representing one of the 85 changed laws.

Mr Irlam promised it wasn’t a North Coast pre-winter junket, but a necessary information and education program given the complexities of the laws involved.

“While most of our community know about the reforms, some may not be aware of steps needed to gain the benefit of those law changes,” he said.

“For example the changes to the superannuation laws are not compulsory and therefore automatically recognised by all super funds.

“People need to check with their individual companies and change providers if necessary.

“To access the changes to the pharmaceutical benefits, people need to register for it.

“Or older people might not know that if their partner goes into a retirement village, the home no longer has to be sold if they are still living there.”

Angela Pollard, manager of the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre, urged anyone who was unsure about the implications of the laws to visit the centre.

“Anyone with questions about these laws and how they impact upon them can come in and find what they need,” she said.

“There are a lot of people out there in our towns and villages who don’t know.”

ACON Northern Rivers manager Dermot Ryan said he hoped the campaign would inspire local LGBT community members to find out more about the new laws.

“Despite the continuing debate around same-sex marriage and adoption, these new laws represent an important milestone for human rights in this country,” Mr Ryan said.

“They also mean a range of new and amended entitlements for same-sex couples, so I encourage all local LGBT community members to visit the website or to contact ACON’s Northern Rivers office for more information about the impact these new laws will have on their lives.”

Reforms:

18 public office laws

7 parenting laws

12 workplace laws

12 relationships laws

8 social security laws

16 financial laws

7 health and ageing laws

www.wearitwithpride.com.au



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