In 2019, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby launched the ‘Gippsland Pride Initiative’, a series of three events spanning from International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia in May to the first Australian Pride Cup of Roller Derby and Inaugural Gippsland Pride Gala in June.
These activities were informed by state and local LGBTQI+ Suicide Prevention consultation efforts, state and national legislation and policy, Council health and well-being objectives and current community and media activities relating to the LGBTQI+ community in Gippsland.
Where the national average participation rate of LGBTQI+ individuals in sport is 2%, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby club (with ~25% of our members identifying as LGBTQI+), are determined to be a part of a positive and necessary change in the conversation and the living experience for the Queer community in our region.
The concept was simple:
- Tackle the barriers to inclusion through awareness/education
- Engage with the community in a positive sporting context to encourage visibility and participation
- Create a space of safety, celebration and socialisation independent of the sporting field.
In post activity survey and review, the ambitious project exceeded all measures of success and engagement, with calls for continuation of the Gala coming from far and wide.
You can access the 2019 Gippsland Pride Initiative Report HERE.
The Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc is born!
Following the incredible success of the project, the roller derby club passed a unanimous motion supporting the external formation of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc - an incorporated association continued by outgoing President Caitlin Grigsby, independant to the efforts of GRRD.
In October 2019, The Gippsland Pride Initiative welcomed 7 serving committee members to the association, established to continue and develop efforts for LGBTQI+ people in Gippsland and beyond.