The New South Wales Police Force has a policy and program area supporting members of sexuality, gender diverse and intersex communities. The 'GLLO' program - Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers - have served the LGBTIQ communities for almost 30 years. They are located in many police stations across NSW and actively liaise with their local LGBTIQ groups and stakeholders (see below to contact a GLLO).
The NSW Police Force has recently updated its policy on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex, continuing its commitment to working in partnership with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning communities across NSW. Read our policy (PDF)
Each year the NSW Police Force supports a number of key community events such as International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in May, Wear it Purple Day in August, Transgender Day of Remembrance in November and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in February/March.
Police officers from a range of commands across the state support community engagement events such as Wear it Purple, building trust and confidence in police amongst LGBTIQ communities. In addition, these events provide opportunities to increase awareness and educate police about LGBTIQ community issues, and assist in implementing diversity and inclusion strategies internally.
Policies and programs focus on crime prevention, community engagement and workplace inclusion.
The NSW Police Force is a member of Pride in Diversity – a non-profit employer support organisation assisting a range of corporate and government agencies to become more inclusive and supportive of LGBTIQ staff. As part of this commitment, we participate in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). This year, the NSW Police Force achieved Silver status on this Index, recognised as an employer highly active in LGBTI inclusion, doing a substantial amount of work in this space.
Recently, the NSW Police Force released its first ‘Transgender and Gender Diverse Employees Policy’ to support the growing number of staff and new employees identifying as gender diverse or transgender. This policy addresses key health issues and priorities identified by transgender and gender diverse people across the state, including up to two weeks leave, in addition to standard leave entitlements, to support both them and their workplace through their transition.
Accompanying this policy are comprehensive management guides to Commands support employees and teams throughout the process.
Welcome Here Project
The NSW Police Force is a member of the Welcome Here Project, promoting our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTIQ people.
Achievements in the NSW Police Force LGBTIQA+ portfolio: 2021
2021 – A year of achievements in the NSWPF Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex portfolio
Message from the Corporate Sponsor: AC Gelina Talbot:
This year has been extremely challenging for most people and I would like to acknowledge and thank the community of NSW for working with authorities to respond to the pandemic. Policing in this environment has also been challenging and our GLLOs (LGBTIQ Liaison Officers) have done a remarkable job in continuing to advocate and promote LGBTIQA+ awareness and inclusion in this complex environment. Our ‘GLLObies’ – awards for outstanding GLLOs and allies – in November identified 13 outstanding officers who went above and beyond their substantive duties to ensure members of the LGBTIQA+ communities and NSWPF employees were supported this year. Congratulations to all officers nominated and awarded for these efforts. As we move closer to World Pride 2023 I am confident that the NSWPF is in a very good place to support this international PRIDE festival and, as Commander for World Pride, I will make it a priority to ensure events are safe, fun and secure for all participants.
Below are some highlights of our year, 2021.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
- Four new online modules were developed and piloted amongst over 40 police officers, adding to the existing mandatory LGBTIQ awareness module which continues to be completed by every employee of the NSWPF.
- A blended learning program was developed and piloted to train GLLOs (LGBTIQ Liaison Officers). This was completed by 30 officers and will soon be submitted for official endorsement as the new training program for GLLOs.
- A tailored training program (one day) for Youth Officers is well underway in development as is consultation with Twenty10 to promote collaboration in its delivery and ongoing development.
- A total of 52 officers completed GLLO training this year including a course in May at the Police Academy in Goulburn and a course in November/December in Auburn, Sydney.
- Recruit presentations: We presented to 3 classes (349-351) via Teams with guests: Jain Moralee from Twenty10 and Izzy Calero from Wear it Purple in August, Eloise Brook from The Gender Centre in September and more recently, Albert Kruger from Mardi Gras joined us to talk to Class 350. We also played a recorded interview with Alison Gould, advocate for transgender and gender diverse people, focussing on being transgender in the workplace.
- Mardi Gras – Despite the challenges posed by COVID related restrictions the 2021 Mardi Gras Parade went ahead at the Sydney Cricket Ground very smoothly and all feedback suggest it was a very successful event. NSWPF participated as a contingent of GLLOs, Allies and LGBTIQ staff. T shirts were produced and worn by some participants, displaying the LGBTIQ network name: PRIDE in POLICE. These were very well received. The contingent was full (only 40 were allowed this year), and Belinda Parsons from the Police Band joined the contingent to perform a song in the performance space. A small protest on the field threatened to disrupt their performance however Mardi Gras marshalls very quickly contained the disruption and the contingent proceeded with dignity.
- IDAHOBIT in May was commemorated with a campaign featuring a recorded video promoted internally and on social media. This video featured a number of LGBTIQ staff and allies sharing their experience and support for LGBTIQ inclusion at work.
- Wear it Purple in August was conducted in lockdown however planning ensured a virtual campaign went ahead to mitigate risks associated with COVID. This campaign featured 40 posters showcasing officers from all over NSW, of all ranks, sworn and civilian, each quoting a supportive message about LGBTIQA+ young people. In addition, a Teams interview with Wear it Purple’s Izzy Calero was attended by over 70 staff. Facebook frames and email signatures were also designed and distributed, as were stickers and post-it notes. The resources carried the 2021 theme of ‘Start the conversation. Keep it going’ and were used internally to support awareness and fundraising activities by staff.
- Transgender Awareness Week in November began with our inaugural Transgender Flag raising event which was very well attended by Region Sponsors, Commander Human Resources, Superintendents, GLLOs and allies. We were also lucky to have with us Eloise Brook from The Gender Centre and transgender advocate Alison Gould. The flag was raised every day for that week to remind us of the need to be inclusive and supportive of transgender people in the community and at work. For Transgender Day of Remembrance a recorded interview with Alison Gould featured in a webinar hosted by the new PRIDE in Police LGBTIQ employee network. This interview offered valuable insights into how workplaces and employee networks can better support people who are transitioning gender.
OUR NEW LGBTIQ EMPLOYEE NETWORK PRIDE IN POLICE:
- The NSW Police Force LGBTIQ+ employee network has already conducted two events this year: a formal launch in September with guest speakers: Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson from Victoria Police and Aron Spicer from Lendlease, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance webinar featuring Alison Gould as a special guest speaker. The network has over 60 members and is growing. The PRIDE in Police committee has also met twice already and planning is well underway for participation in Mardi Gras Fair Day and Parade in 2022. This committee works alongside the GLLO Advisory Committee whichmeets at least 4 times annually to provide advice and direction on the GLLO program and related LGBTIQ portfolio issues.
LGBTIQ STAKEHOLDER FORUMS:
- Two forums were conducted this year with excellent attendance from across the state, thanks to Teams technology and uptake. These meetings continue to provide a valuable method of consultation and feedback for the NSWPF LGBTIQ portfolio. At the recent meeting in November, a standing agenda item focussing on Hate Crimes was added providing an opportunity for the Engagement and Hate Crimes Unit to inform a wider LGBTIQA+ audience and to gather feedback.
- In between forums individual meetings with Penny Sharpe and Nic Parkhill and teams were held to maintain communications.
- In addition, earlier in the year (pre-lockdown), I was able to visit Armidale Secondary College’s Rainbow Club, ACON Northern Rivers staff and Tropical Fruits.
- Beats policy – NSWPF has reviewed this policy and updated the historical context to provide more meaningful background which will assist police in managing these locations. The intent of the policy remains ensuring the safety and security of all users of these public locations. The policy is now located under ‘B’ for Beats in the Police Handbook.
- Transgender communications - We have drafted some instructions for police to facilitate better communications with transgender and gender diverse people, particularly when their identity and presentation do not align with formal and legal documents. Included are tips for communicating appropriately such as correct use of pronouns. Also included are possible scenarios involving COVID vaccination certificates which have been challenging for anyone who cannot access Medicare or without their current name registered on Medicare. The draft is currently seeking input from other parts of the organisation such as Criminal Records and State Intelligence Command. Once this input is included we will consult with key community stakeholders for their views.
WELCOME HERE AND GLLOS IN YOUR AREA POSTERS:
- The NSWPF has been a member of ACON’s Welcome Here Project for a few years now however a new project initiated by one of our GLLOs prompted the idea of a road-trip to re-invigorate the Welcome Here campaign in our commands. Assisted by new ‘GLLOs in your area’ posters carrying the Welcome Here logo, I personally toured a number of regions meeting with Commanders and staff to ensure the stickers and posters were visible to community members and staff.
- Southern Region’s Welcome Here visits: Bulli, Wollongong, Lake Illawarra, Nowra, Queanbeyan and Wagga. The highlight of the trip to Wagga was finally meeting Holly Conroy, founder of Wagga Mardi Gras and amazing advocate for transgender people.
- Western Region: Dubbo, Coonamble, Moree and Walgett.
- Northern Region: Planning to visit the Hunter Valley Police Area District area in early 2022 and a further trip through Northern Region April-May 2022.
GUEST SPEAKING AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:
- Superintendent Adam Whyte, our South West Metropolitan Region Sponsor, represented NSWPF on the Woolworths Welcome Here panel in August whilst Sergeant Bernie Sloane and Jacqueline Braw were guest speakers at the Western Sydney Rainbow Connection’s Policing in a Rainbow World event as well as one of the Pride in Justice’s network events this year.
- Also looking to the future, we are due to review our policy on Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex and will be consulting with all of you in relation to this review. This hasn’t come at a better time given World Pride is almost here and we will be planning for that.
- There is a lot of work ahead for us but we feel we are in a good place and looking to train up more GLLOs and ensure all our officers working at LGBTIQ events such as Mardi Gras and World Pride are properly briefed.
NSW PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY ON GAY AND TRANSGENDER HATE CRIMES:
- NSW Gay and Transgender Hate Crime Inquiry – 1970-2010: We have submitted our report to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry on Gay and Transgender Hate Crimes 1970-2010 and we welcome the announcement of a Judicial Inquiry.
Strike Force Parrabell
We are pleased to publish the final report by Strike Force Parrabell, including an Academic Review conducted by Flinders University.
Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge the diligent work of all who contributed to the reports, both from within the NSW Police Force and Flinders University.
Both sets of findings comprise a review of 88 deaths between 1976 and 2000, each listed as potentially involving motivations of gay-hate bias. Both reviews focussed on whether gay-hate bias could be established, with a view to developing recommendations for improvements to policing.
Strike Force Parrabell was created with an overriding objective:
To bring the NSW Police Force and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer community closer together by doing all that is possible from this point in history.
The NSW Police Force acknowledges without qualification both its and society’s acceptance of gay bashings and shocking violence directed towards gay men, and the LGBTIQ community between 1976 and 2000. The review of these 88 deaths by Strike Force Parrabell is not designed as commentary upon the level of violence directed towards the LGBTIQ community during these times.
It is clear and beyond question that levels of violence inflicted upon gay men in particular were elevated, extreme and often brutal. The victims of many crimes fell outside the scope of Strike Force Parrabell due to their survival. Many of these people were fortunate to live.
Based on societal values and attitudes at the time, I acknowledge the likelihood of historical bias, whether in small groups or more widespread across the organisation.
This, however, is absolutely not acceptable in the culture of a modern-day NSW Police Force and I can assure the community there are policies, procedures, and systematic checkpoints in place today that negate inaction due to bias.
On behalf of the NSW Police Force – I acknowledge an absolute requirement to never let history repeat.
With that in mind, the report includes a series of recommendations for the NSW Police Force, which strive for best practice, and aim to continually strengthen its relationship with the LGBTIQ community.
Historically, police and the LGBTIQ community had quite a tumultuous relationship, as demonstrated in 1978, but in recent times, we have progressed in leaps and bounds. We now enjoy a strong and inclusive relationship, but we know it can always be stronger and more inclusive, and I made many of the recommendations with that in mind.
Finally, I pay my respects to the 88 victims and their families, and acknowledge the compassion and strength of the LGBTIQ community for their perseverance in the fight for justice for all victims.
Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell
NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Sexuality, Gender Diversity, and Intersex
GLLOs - LGBTIQ Liaison Officers
GLLOs – LGBTIQ Liaison Officers and Region Sponsors, Sexuality, Gender Diversity & Intersex
GLLOs (originally called Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers) are contact officers for the broader sexuality, gender diverse and intersex communities. Their training includes specific information on the history of the relationship between police and LGBTIQ communities, challenges and sensitivities experienced by some community members to engage with police, and effective responses to people who become victims of crime. They also assist other police to respond to homophobic and transphobic incidents and work with the Engagement and Hate Crime Unit and other specialist areas. Another aspect of their role is to champion LGBTIQ inclusion at work and provide support to LGBTIQ staff.
To contact a GLLO, call your local police and ask to speak with a GLLO – LGBTIQ Liaison Officer. Many police stations have a GLLO but these officers may not be available immediately. Please do not wait to report a crime – report it immediately to your local police. You can request follow-up support from a GLLO.
NSW Police Force apologises to the '78ers
In 2016, a formal apology was delivered to the ‘78ers’ by the Corporate Sponsor for Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Intersex, Supt Tony Crandell. This was an apology for the way the first group of Mardi Gras protesters were policed back in 1978 and acknowledged the pain and hurt that the police actions caused at that event. This text of this apology follows:
Community Safety Tips
The New South Wales Police Force takes the issue of hate motivated crime seriously and encourages the reporting of all incidents. The available evidence suggests that during periods of high visibility eg Mardi Gras festival season, there may also be an increased risk of abuse and even violence. Please take note of the safety tips below to look after yourself and your friends. Report anti-social and violent behaviours to the police immediately.
Harm to the victim and the community
- Awareness is your best defence.
- Remove yourself from a situation if you think, or feel, something is wrong with it. Listen to your instincts.
- Walk near the curb and avoid parked cars, side streets and alleys
- Be aware of who is in front of, and behind you
- Cross the street if you feel threatened
- Be aware of who gets off public transport with you
- Have your keys in your hand before you reach your car or your home
Plan Your Night
- If you are going out and "frocking up" for the night (for example, in ‘drag’ or something revealing) wear something over your outfit, such as a jacket or overcoat, or consider changing at your destination
- Catch a taxi to and from your destination
- Arrange to meet people and walk there together.
What To Do If You Are Attacked
- Verbal harassment may be a prelude to an attack. It can be upsetting and embarrassing to be called offensive names, and it can also be a reflexive response to return the insult. Try to avoid this.
- If you are a victim of assault you should:
- Be assertive, but not aggressive
- Remain calm
- If trouble starts, yell to draw attention to your situation
- Create distance between yourself and danger by running to safety.
Do Not Be A Silent Witness
- Call the police on Triple Zero (000)
- Avoid physical intervention, but try to scare off the attacker/s
- Intervene safely – gather people to the scene, blow a whistle if you have one or yell to attract attention. Offenders are rarely proud enough of their actions that they will continue with an audience
- If you see or hear someone being attacked, DO SOMETHING, do not ignore it.
Reporting The Crime
- Fear of reprisals,
- Mistrust of police,
- Fear of being "outed" as a result of participating in the court process, and/or
- The perception that the incident is not serious enough to report to police.
25 Years & GLLO-ing
In 2015 the NSW Police Force celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the GLLO Program. 25 years and GLLO-ing is a colourful display of history, featuring highlights over the 25 years.
The history of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers – GLLOs – is explored and displayed highlighting milestone events and achievements. The oldest program of its kind in Australia, GLLOs have served the LGBTI communities for over 25 years. Profiles of some of our longest serving GLLOs and our newest additions are complemented by colourful photographs of GLLO events during this period.
To commemorate 100 years of women in policing in NSW special tribute was made to our female GLLOs and allies who have helped to create a supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTI officers, staff and the community members we serve.
This display has now been installed at the police Academy in Goulburn to ensure that all of our recruits and visiting officers are made aware of the colourful and rich history behind the GLLO Program.
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