Ro Allen in Bendigo. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Victoria’s Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Ro Allen visited Bendigo on Wednesday as the final stop of a tour of regional Victoria.

The commissioner hosted an LGBTI inclusion workshop at The Hotel Shamrock to discuss what inclusion looks like and to share community experiences, successes and challenges.

With more than 60 people in attendance, the Commissioner hailed the event a success.

The workshop started with an LGBTI 101 presentation, that takes people through what the acronym means, dispels myths and discussed transgender issues and pronouns.

“There were a mixture of community health services, Victoria Police and state government representatives,” Allen said.

The commissioner said Bendigo benefits from being a central, regional area that has a number of LGBTI events, including the Bendigo Queer Film Festival and Bendigo Pride.

“One of the takeaways from the workshop is that LGBTI people said they have to work better together,” Allen said.

“You have so many out and open groups. There are safe cafes. You even have your own film festival. Warrnambool would kill for a film festival,” the commissioner said.

People’s experiences of isolation, harassment and discrimination formed part of the workshop and will be drawn upon to inform future work in this space.

“Everything that comes out of the workshops will come into the whole of government LGBTI strategy,” the commissioner said.