On 17 May, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Resthaven Coordinator Community Services, Jodi, shares her story as a member of the LGBTI community.
Jodi says, ‘I believe, by allowing myself to be visible as a member of the LGBTI community, it can allow others to feel safe and welcomed within Resthaven.’
‘Knowing that the organisation I work for is committed to providing a safe and inclusive space for everyone makes me feel proud and valued.’
Jodi started with Resthaven in 2005, working in various Community Services roles at several different Resthaven sites. She finds her work fulfilling, saying, ‘I love having the opportunity to make a real and positive difference in the lives of older people and their families.’
‘I also love being in a position where I can mentor and support other members of staff. I was really pleased to be part of the LGBTI Reference Group at Resthaven.’
‘I have also had the pleasure of representing Resthaven, with my colleagues and my partner, at Feast Festival* events in November 2019. This included the Southern Pride March and Family Fun Day, and Picnic in the Park.’
‘I was very proud that Resthaven participated in Feast, and pleased that then-CEO, Richard Hearn (who retired in June 2020), attended both events. This support allowed Resthaven to be more visible and accessible to the LGBTI community.’
‘It was unfortunate that the Feast Festival was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, I remain hopeful that Resthaven will be able to participate again very soon.’
‘Whilst I am confident and safe in being an out and proud lesbian, I know that, for some older LGBTI people, the discrimination and trauma they have experienced in their lives makes it hard for them to feel safe and be open about their gender identity and sexual orientation when they are accessing aged care services.’
‘I’m really pleased that Resthaven recognises this and promotes occasions such as Feast and IDAHOBIT, to increase awareness and educate workers and the community.’
‘I look forward to being part of the Resthaven team providing inclusive and outstanding care to older south Australians and their carers for many years to come. Well done Resthaven!’
*Feast is Adelaide’s only not-for-profit Queer Arts and Cultural Festival that celebrates Pride and Diversity. Feast began in 1997, providing a safe and inclusive platform for the LGBTI+ community to share and express themselves through art and culture.