FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT AS PRESENTED AT THE AGM, 4 Nov 2005:
Members, volunteers and friends, what a fabulous year we've had at the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. In many ways the year has been challenging, but we've also learned enormously and have had great fun along the way.
We began the year by identifying two key focal areas for 2005: access to assisted reproductive technology, adoption and surrogacy; and same-sex relationship recognition. These have kept us very busy, and I congratulate the Fertility Access Rights Working Group (FAR) and the Love Makes A Family (LMAF) team, and the Policy Working Group for their amazing efforts in driving these two issues.
In tackling these issues, the Lobby has been active on a number of fronts.
In February we hosted a forum with Rosanna Flamer Caldera, Co-Secretary General of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). The forum aimed to gather support for the Brazilian resolution to change the United Nations' stance on sexuality, and Rosanna's passion and commitment were inspirational.
During the Midsumma Festival we surveyed our community's thoughts on the issues of relationship recognition and access to assisted reproductive technology and adoption. The results led to the writing of the report 'Not Yet Equal', launched publicly in August, which contains a decisive set of statistical data that can be cited when lobbying federal, state and local governments. Many thanks to Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria for their assistance with the report, and to the ALSO Foundation for data entry.
The launch of 'Not Yet Equal' kicked off a series of events, including Midwinta Vows and Equal Love, that were organised for the National Day of Action on August 13th. Victoria had the biggest gathering nationally at these two events, and we sent a very clear message that the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 must be repealed. We plan to raise this issue on August 13th every year.
In June this year, the Victorian Government set up a process of consultation with the general community about human rights through its new Human Rights Consultation Committee. The consultation process ended in November. The Lobby was responsible for a strong push for submissions to this committee stating the pressing need for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues to be represented within a human rights framework in Victoria.
We also commenced a fruitful relationship with Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, and are involved in their project of setting up a 'clearing house' of health information, literature and resources.
This year we have seen some small but significant wins in the battle for our rights:
The announcement at the beginning of the year that 'Homosexual Provocation as Defence' would be removed from law. That it was not presented to parliament until October demonstrates that the changes can be slow, but that they do occur.
The apology received from tennis star Lleyton Hewitt following his vindictive remark against a tennis umpire. The Lobby's response to the 'Lleyton Hewitt incident' prompted international recognition for the VGLRL, and showed that a small team of volunteers can make a significant impact.
The release of Max McCosker, who was arrested in Fiji for having consensual homosexual sex. The work we did in support of Max, whilst not overtly public, highlighted our ability to respond quickly to unexpected situations.
We will continue to push for change as long as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) Victorians continue to be vilified and discriminated against. The Lobby continues to be represented on
the Attorney General's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues;
the Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers Committee (through which we were able to deliver some training this year); and
the combined Attorney General's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Issues and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Gay and Lesbian Health.
The achievements of the Lobby could not occur without the support of many volunteers, and as such there are many people to thank.
I would like to thank all who have worked on the Committee of Management this year. There have been a number of changes throughout the year to our Committee, but from everyone the tireless effort and commitment to the cause have been outstanding.
To all who have volunteered, assisted or supported the VGLRL in any way, I salute you. We are very fortunate that there are many of you, and that there have been many times you've come forward to assist: without you, the VGLRL would not exist. Thank you all so very much.
Finally, there are several current members of the Committee of Management who are not standing for 2006. From all of us, thank you for your effort over the past year, and thank you for all that you've done that's allowed the Lobby to continue to thrive and achieve. And to my colleagues who will continue on as part of the Committee of Management, a multitude of thanks. We are an amazing team, and your dedication and support of our goals and mission are of the highest possible order. You are all wonderful people who offer so much - thank you from the bottom of my heart.
COMMITTEE FROM 2004 AGM:
Alastair Lawrie (to...
Felicity Martin (to...
Jessie Ward (to...
Liana Buchanan (to Dec 05)
Lyn Morgain (to Dec 05)
Female Co-convenor: Vacant
Male Co-convenor: Pete Dillon
Secretary: Lynne Daniels
Treasurer: Lee Matthews
COMMITTEE MEMBERS CO-OPTED DURING THE 04-05 YEAR
Aron Paul, Barbary Clarke, Judy Small and Robyn Hamilton.
WORKING GROUPS DURING THE 04-05 YEAR
Alliances: Aron Paul (Chair)
Communications: Pete Dillon (Chair), ...
Events: Lee Matthews (Chair), Alison Kenwood, Penny Byrne, Pete Dillon (Chair of Equal Love founding committee, and NDA event).
Equal Love Campaign: David Johnston-Bell (Chair), Allison Thorne, Claudia Priori, John Klopprogge, Jonathan Wilkinson, Stephen Kress.
Policy: Jessie Ward (Chair),...
Strategic Review: David Johnston-Bell
Volunteers & Membership: Ron Thiele (Chair)...
Website: Alistair Popple
A SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING WAS HELD ON 31 MAY 2005
The VGLRL held a Special General Meeting to present to the membership stage one of a three-stage process of constitutional reform. Stage one of the reform involved membership processing changes, the allowing of communicating with members via email, housekeeping changes that would allow for better day-to-day management of the organisation, the introduction of Life Memberships, and a more formalised approach to the Committee nomination and voting system. This stage was approved by the membership. As a result, elections to the Committee of Management are now conducted by postal ballot and committee terms are extended to two years (excluding this year). This year, half of the Committee – two lesbians, two gay men and one open position – will be elected for two year terms.
A marked up version of the PREVIOUS constitution highlighting all changes can be found here>>
OUTCOMES OF 2005 AGM:
Life Memberships were awarded to members of the original steering committee who went on to create the Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby:
Alanna Duffy, Braith Bamkin, David Gray, Greg Axtens, Janet Jukes, Monica Ferrari, Penny Byrne, Peter Di Sciascio, Shaun Miller and Tony Butler.
COMMITTEE FROM 2005 AGM:
OFFICER POSITIONS FROM 2005 AGM:
Female Co-convenor: Aly M
Male Co-convenor: Ron Thiele
Co-secretary: Graeme Moffatt
Treasurer Lee Matthews
OUTCOMES OF 2005 AGM:
Find a full copy of the 2005 Annual Report