TRANSCRIPT: Doorstop, Living Proud, Perth - 10/11/23

By TRANSCRIPT: Doorstop, Living Proud, Perth - 10/11/23

10 November 2023


Subjects: Health and Medical Research, LGBTIQA+ Health, Women’s Health

THE HON PATRICK GORMAN MP, ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER: Can I firstly acknowledge the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation and pay our collective respects to Elders’ past, present and emerging.
I’m delighted to be here with Living Proud. I'm the federal Member for Perth. My name's Patrick Gorman. Our very special guest today is the Assistant Minister of Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney.
What I think is fantastic about Ged is not just the fact that it almost feels like every couple of months, I'm doing something with Ged in my electorate of Perth - she's a regular visitor to the West  - but, she is just really committed to getting better health outcomes for the Australian people.  And, also recognising that in any mega system - like the health system - there are always people who have not been given the level of attention that they should have been given. That's one of the things we're looking to address today with the announcement that Assistant Minister Kearney will make.  
I thank Meaghan Holden, for hosting us here. It’s fantastic to have you have us here. It's been good to speak this morning about the partnership with the Commonwealth and where those partnerships could go into the future.  
Ged, I’m going to say, this is at the more serious end of Pridefest. I saw on the top of your notes, you had “Pridefest” written at the top. I want to assure you, as a Victorian, that Western Australia does Pridefest very well. Very loud, very enthusiastically. So, what this might lack in the excitement of some of the other events that are happening over the next few days, it is definitely very exciting in terms of the outcomes and the change that it will make for people's lives.  
I think with that I'll pass over to the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Thanks, Patrick.
Thanks very much. It is delightful to be here. I want to really thank you Meaghan, in particular, for dropping everything and coming along. But also, to everybody at Living Proud for having us today.  Congratulations on 50 years, next year. I really look forward to hearing about the celebrations. It's going to be a festival of Living Proud, I think.
I would also like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we gather and pay my respects to Elders’ past and present.  
Yes, Patrick this is the serious end because we are talking about something incredibly important.  
The National Health and Medical Research Council and the Medical Research Future Fund, two incredibly important federally funded health research bodies, have launched a consultation process on an incredibly important statement.  
Now, this is the Statement on Sex, Gender, Variation of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation in Health and Medical Research. A very long title for a statement but incredibly important.
Why do we do research? Well, we do research to better understand the world around us, and to make sure that that research is used to make people's lives better.  
As my very wonderful friend, Patrick Gorman, Member for Perth, would know, the Albanese Government takes inclusivity incredibly seriously.
I am very proud to be working on a 10-year National Action Plan for the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people.
You can't do anything if we don't know everything that we can possibly know about the community.  
How can we deliver health services if we don't know where you are?
How do we deliver health services if we don't know what your needs are?
How do we deliver health services if we don't know who you are?  
I think the National Health and Medical Research Council and Department of Health and Aged Care launching the Statement for consultation proves that our biggest health research bodies are serious about inclusivity, that the Albanese Labor Government - who funds those bodies - is incredibly serious about inclusivity.
But not only about inclusivity, but about consultation, about community-led research. About making sure that our health system is the best it can possibly be for everybody.  
Without further ado, I would like to launch the consultation phase on the Statement. I encourage you to really take part in it if you can.
I congratulate you once again on all the wonderful work that you do for your community. Thank you for having us.

MEAGHAN HOLDEN, VICE CHAIR, LIVING PROUD: I'd also like to acknowledge that we're gathering today on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar and pay respects to Elders’ past and present.

We are thrilled to have Assistant Minister Kearney and Assistant Minister Gorman here today. Thank you for coming along and for our conversations around our services and our service needs. We really appreciate the dedication and interest in the research and health and wellbeing of our community.

As Living Proud is turning 50 next year, I think we feel we can speak with some authority on the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community in WA and more broadly.

What we do know is that there are significant health disparities for LGBTIQA+ people when it comes to health and wellbeing, as opposed to the broader population. We know that LGBTIQA+ people are less likely to access healthcare services, because of discrimination and stigma. We also know that we have unique experiences of the healthcare system, and often complex health needs. We really struggle as a community to often get appropriate healthcare that is appropriate for our community.

We also know there's significant gaps in data and information to inform service delivery, to inform Government policy, and to inform services like Living Proud to be able to respond to the needs of our community, and to provide informed and safe and appropriate services.  

We very much welcome the Statement that Assistant Minister Kearney has announced today, that really reflects the importance of including people with lived experience, which is vital. A community that has not been included in previous research.

We encourage the community to make comment on the Statement.

KEARNEY: Thank you so much, Meaghan, for outlining why this is so important.  

Once again, I'd like to thank Patrick Gorman. Patrick's always so welcoming and does wonderful work for the community, particularly his electorate of Perth. But also, more broadly in his role as Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister - you've got a really good ear, use it.

Thanks for having us and we look forward to working with you on the consultation phase of this. Thanks to everybody.

Media Contact

Assistant Minister Kearney: 
Gabriel Steger | 0448 896 940
Assistant Minister Gorman: 
Anna Churack | 0448 362 840