PACFA meets with Equality Australia

08 February 2024

PACFA’s President Nigel Polak, Leadership Group Convenor of the Diversity in Gender, Body, Kinship and Sexuality Interest Group (GBKS) Dr Gávi Ansara, and CEO Johanna de Wever recently met with Equality Australia (EA) to discuss gender-affirming healthcare and PACFA’s Commitment to its organisational values of authenticity, compassion, connection, and humility.

On Tuesday 16 January 2024, Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh and Legal Policy Advisor Danielle Yung met with Nigel, Gávi, and Johanna to hear about the challenges that non-binary and binary trans people and people with other marginalised forms of gender diversity face in accessing necessary healthcare due to systemic and institutional discrimination, violence, negative and inaccurate media depictions, and other societal pressures that often cause severe harm to non-binary and binary trans people and people with other marginalised forms of gender diversity. The meeting also emphasised the importance of collaboration among various organisations and the need for professional voices to support care that prioritises the voices and human rights of people with direct personal lived experience.

It was agreed that the professional skills of PACFA members are relevant to the work of EA; they are eager to meet again and collaborate with PACFA over coming months and in situations where the specialised clinical excellence of counsellors and psychotherapists are sought. These include person-centred skills that centre the needs and wellbeing of people with lived experience by treating them as the best authorities to consult about their own needs and experiences. Counsellors and psychotherapists can also align with ethical standards of practice by respecting and safeguarding people’s fundamental human right to gender autonomy, self-determination, and acceptance.

Equality Australia was also interested to hear about the work of GBKS and PACFA’s respect for lived experience.

The Diversity in Gender, Body, Kinship, and Sexuality Interest Group (GBKS) aims to raise awareness, advocate for, and promote promising practice within PACFA, both within the category of 'LGBTQI+', and also for a range of cultures, communities, and people whose genders, bodies, sexualities, and kinship are excluded or marginalised by terms like 'LGBTQI+'. For more information about GBKS, and to read about its Leadership Group members, please visit this page.

Equality Australia is a national organisation dedicated to equality for LGBTIQ+ people, combining legal, policy and campaigning expertise with thousands of supporters to ensure LGBTIQ+ people are treated with dignity and respect. This aim aligns with PACFA’s Code of Ethics, including putting clients first instead of imposing anyone else’s viewpoint, non-discriminatory practice, and respect for diversity. For more information, please visit the Equality Australia website.

To read PACFA’s Strategic Plan, including its purpose, mission and values, please click here.