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.

EVENTS:

  • 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.

POLICY:

  • 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.