On Wednesday June 10 2020 Liberal Party Member for Chisholm Glady Liu MP spoke in Parliament about how mental health services and suicide prevention were a priority for the government.
She also took the unashamed liberty to promote five Christian services and churches in her electorate, whilst overlooking any non-Christian or secular services.
The coalition government is doing its bit in this space, but I cannot let go by an opportunity to speak about the excellent work of some organisations in my electorate of Chisholm who are doing the hard work to assist those in need. Organisations such as St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Crossway Baptist Church, NewHope Baptist Church and UnitingCare East Burwood Centre provide numerous services to people struggling through these times, and I’m proud to work with these great organisations to ensure that everyone in Chisholm is able to get the help they need.
Without too much effort I located one non-faith based mental health referral service operating within her electorate in Box Hill: Eastern Melbourne PHN. There may well be more such services. I’m sure her staffers are sufficiently capable of researching this.
Whilst it’s disappointing that my elected representative is exclusively promoting Christianity, it doesn’t entirely surprise me given her conservative religious values.
The devastating part of what Gladys Liu has done here is promote a range of services, some of which are complicit in extreme negative mental health outcomes for segments of the community, most specifically LGBTIQ+ people.
I have taken the opportunity to send a message to Gladys Liu advising her of Eastern Melbourne PHN and asking that she prepare a comprehensive list of mental health services in Chisholm that extend beyond Christian churches or church-based services.
Hopefully next time Gladys Liu is reporting on services in Chisholm, she remembers her responsibilities to her electorate do not include advantaging religion. With any luck her speech might even not backfire on her.
If you know of a non-Christian and/or non-faith based mental health service in Chisholm, let me know.
Pride Inclusion Programs are social inclusion initiatives of ACON. ACON was established in 1985 as the AIDS Council of NSW and is now Australia’s largest HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation. An important part of ACON’s mission is to help make the places where our community members live, work, study and play more inclusive of LGBTI people, improving the mental health and wellbeing of our community through the reduction of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.
Pride in Diversity is one of these programs:
Pride in Diversity is the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity. Pride in Diversity publishes the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTI workplace inclusion from which Top Employers for LGBTI people is determined.
Pride in Diversity, together with ACON, proudly acknowledges the dedication and support from our foundational members who were the early leaders in Australia for recognising and pursuing LGBTI workplace inclusion.
– Australian Federal Police (AFP) – Department of Defence – Goldman Sachs – IBM – KPMG – Lend Lease – Telstra
Principal Partners generously support Pride in Diversity over and above membership through sponsorship or substantial support of signature events and/or publications. We sincerely acknowledge and thank our Principal Partners for 2017. Pride in Diversity Principal Partners (via membership) are recognised on the List of Members page.
– Accenture – Deloitte – Dell – Deutsche Bank – Goldman Sachs – IBM – Lendlease – Macquarie Group – Out Leadership – PwC – The Star Entertainment Group – The University of Queensland
In 2017 IBM declared their “support of the LGBT community” by introducing a rainbow logo:
Mark Allaby is IBM’s Financial Market Expert:
As of May 31 2018 the public ASIC register indicated Mark Allaby was still a Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute:
In March 2017 The Australian reported that Mark Allaby had resigned as a board member of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, but either that news story was lacking factual accuracy, or LMI had breached their requirements to update ASIC of a change in board membership.
To help understand the ideology of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, it is helpful to know that it is an initiative of the Australian Christian Lobby. This is evidenced in the ACL’s July 5 2018 newsletter:
It is also evidenced in the WHOIS record for lmi.org.au, which shows the domain name is currently (and was previously) registered to the Australian Christian Lobby:
>>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2018-07-07T08:19:45Z <<<
Alongside LMI’s Mark Allaby is Lyle Shelton, also a Director on the board:
Lyle Shelton is the immediate past Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He stepped down from the role, and the organisation’s board, on Feb 2 2018 to pursue a career in politics as a senatorial candidate for the Australian Conservatives.
Martyn Iles, the current ACL Managing Director, also happens to be on the LMI board as Secretary:
Adding to the litany of anti-LGBTIQ equality personalities on the LMI board is Lyle Shelton’s disgraced ACL predecessor, Jim Wallace:
The ACL and Lyle Shelton have a strong record of opposing equal rights for LGBTIQ people and eroding their dignity. This has been an obsession of Lyle Shelton and the ACL going by an analysis of Lyle’s Twitter output while he was employed by the ACL.
The Lachlan Macquarie Institute board is peppered with people whom many would consider to be the arch enemies of the LGBTIQ community.
Mark Allaby’s presence as a Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, an organisation that in no way distances itself from the hateful and intolerant values of the Australian Christian Lobby, makes it clear that he shares the values of the board members he sits amongst, and of the organisation that enables his board.
LMI claim they “prepare Christian men and women for leadership and public service”:
As a centre for leadership and public service, we offer a range of short and long programmes for people of varying ages and professions. Each programme targets specific areas of public engagement, including public service, policy, politics, law, education, not-for-profit, and church. Programmes combine Scripture, social analysis, Christian apologetics, lawmaking, political science, and philosophy.
It is beyond belief that as an employee of IBM, a foundation member of ACON’s Pride in Diversity program, Mark Allaby shares an iota of his employer’s values when it comes to LGBTIQ inclusion and diversity.
It is beyond belief that Mark Allaby could be considered a role model in providing respect and dignity for his transgender and gender diverse co-workers or clients.
It is beyond belief that Mark Allaby could, with any shred of sincerity, afford respect for his co-workers or clients in same-sex marriages, considering the gargantuan campaign the ACL promoted and funded to oppose the passage of marriage equality.
It is beyond belief that IBM, by employing a person who is a Director of an organisation that prepares people to erode the legal equality of LGBTIQ Australians, could be sincere in its responsibility as a foundation member of ACON’s Pride in Diversity Program.
It is beyond belief that ACON are genuinely committed to “improving the mental health and wellbeing of our community” by keeping IBM as a member of their Pride in Diversity Program while Mark Allaby is simultaneously an employee of IBM and associated with the prominent anti-LGBTIQ-equality Lachlan Macquarie Institute.
ACON needs to sort this mess out, because until they do, their programme will remain a disgrace.