Wellways participants, staff and friends gathered earlier this month for the Pride March as part of the fifth Midsumma Carnival in Melbourne, and at the Geelong Pride March Rally in Geelong, which Wellways sponsored.
They assembled under the “Well Proud” banner - a community of staff, volunteers and participants who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and other sexuality and gender diversities (LGBTIQ+) and their allies. Well Proud members got involved in spreading supportive messages of hope for people who may be struggling with their mental health.
“We had around 70 messages of hope in the end and people genuinely loved it. It was awesome to see all the messages hanging in the stall. I was with a woman at the end who cried as she was reading them,” said Kate Higgins, Wellways Regional Manager for Western Victoria.
On a hot Sunday, 3 February, the thermometer hit 38C as everyone marched down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, proudly displaying the Well Proud banner and donning “Out Together”* t-shirts.
The celebrations of pride continued in Geelong a week later, as the Well Proud community marched through the Geelong CBD carrying posters of support reading “Love is all around”, “Perfect the way you are” and “Happy pride”.
*The Out Together project was developed by Wellways to meet the needs of NDIS participants who identify as LGBTIQ+ by providing them with access to LGBTIQ+ peer workers who can draw on lived experience expertise.