Sunbury and surrounds gather to support IDAHOBIT day

The flag raising ceremony at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute (supplied).

Zoe Moffatt

The Sunbury community was out in force on Wednesday, May 17, to show its support for the LGBTIQA+ community at the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) flag raising ceremony.

The rainbow flag was raised to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s removal of homosexuality from the classification of diseases and related health problems on May 17, 1990.

Sunbury Cobaw community health head of partnerships Emma Shannon said raising the flag is a moment of pride for the LGBTIQA+ community.

“It’s become a day where we celebrate diversity… that pride and inclusion and a sense of belonging,” Ms Shannon said.

“It’s always important to support these events… [it’s a] commitment to increasing visibility and inclusive…we should be always supporting.”

Ms Shannon said that while there is more awareness and visibility of LGBTIQ+ people in society, many in the community still experience discrimination and harassment.

“This discriminatory behaviour can lead to poorer health outcomes and a higher likelihood of mental health issues,” she said.

“We have a long-standing and ongoing commitment to LGBTIQA+ health and wellbeing in Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges [through] providing a number of pride groups and community events.

“Like those organised by our WayOut team are aimed at young people, and then we have other groups organised by our Country LGBTI Inclusion Program that are for adults.”

The ceremony was held at the Sunbury Aboriginal Corporation, with rainbow flags lining the fence and about 100 people in attendance to show support and see the rainbow flag fly high.

Jacksons Creek Ward Councillors Jarrod Bell and Jack Medcraft were also in attendance, with speeches from Hume deputy mayor Karen Sherry, Sunbury Cobaw community health chief executive Phillip Ripper and 2022 NAIDOC Pride Winner Kitty Obsidian.

Sunbury Cobaw community health in conjunction with Macedon Ranges council hosted another flag raising ceremony the same day at the Kyneton Mechanics Institute, with about 100 people turning out.