The Morrison Government will provide an additional $122,500 to Switchboard Victoria to provide volunteer visits to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) senior Australians under the Community Visitors Scheme.
Switchboard Victoria is a community-based not-for-profit organisation that provides peer-based support services for LGBTI people, their families and friends and is the leading service provider for supporting senior LGBTI Victorians.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM announced today funding for Switchboard Victoria would be increased to fund 65 volunteer positions.
“It is critical that support for senior LGBTI Australians is strong, accessible, and sensitive to individuals’ needs,” Minister Wyatt said.
“This funding means the incredible team of dedicated Switchboard volunteers can provide help to those who are socially isolated or at risk of loneliness.
“Our capacity to reach out and lend a helping hand is a measure of the strength of our community.”
Switchboard is the only LGBTI specific provider of the Community Visitors Scheme in Victoria.
Minister Wyatt said it was vital LGBTI people had the same opportunities to access support as all other Australians.
“I am passionate about securing equal rights and equal access to services for all Australians, especially LGBTI Australians,” the Minister said.
“We know senior LGBTI people are more likely to have experienced stigma and discrimination during their lives.
“I congratulate Switchboard on its tireless work to help ensure they can live their later years to the full, with friendship and good company.”
The Morrison Government has recently released the LGBTI Aged Care Diversity Action Plan which helps to address the specific barriers and challenges senior LGBTI Australians face in accessing aged care services.
The plan will help guide providers to ensure their services are inclusive and culturally safe for all consumers in their care as well as help senior LGBTI people express their needs when speaking with aged care providers.