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We Are Family: Supporting LGBTIQA+ Family Members


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More than six in ten LGBTIQA+ young people in Australia have experienced family violence or abuse from family members.

How can we make sure that young LGBTIQA+ people are safe, respected and supported at home? What role do parents, siblings and other family members have to play in preventing family violence? And what needs to shift in our communities and society?

Join advocate Sage Akouri, CEO of Drummond Street Karen Field, and activist and CEO of Switchboard Victoria Joe Ball as they unpack what support can and should look like, the challenges that young LGBTIQA+ people and their families continue to face, and the small actions and words that can make a difference. Hosted by Sally Rugg, with an introduction by Respect Victoria CEO Tracey Gaudry and Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Ro Allen.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with Respect Victoria

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, venue capacity is unfortunately limited. We will not be able to accommodate walk-ups or a waitlist as may have been the case in the past. Read more about our live events plan here. Check our website, follow us on social media or sign up to our e-newsletter The Wheeler Weekly for updates and any late ticket releases.


Sage Sage Akouri

Sage (they/them) is a Queer, Non Binary, Person of Colour. Sage is an LGBTIQA+ advocate passionate about social equity and inclusion; and intersectional representation.  Sage’s experience extends across the sector having led several initiatives and programs at Minus18 and Equality Australia s... Read more

Ro Allen

Ro Allen is an experienced and longstanding advocate for LGBTIQ Victorians and has held leadership positions in the community and government sectors. Ro has been a member of three Victorian Government LGBTI ministerial advisory groups and chaired the ministerial advisory committee on LGBTI Health an... Read more

Tracey Gaudry

Tracey Gaudry is the CEO of Respect Victoria, an organisation dedicated to the primary prevention of all forms of family violence and violence against women. Tracey has held leadership roles in corporate, government, community and for-purpose organisations for more than 20 years and has a track reco... Read more

Karen Field

Karen has 30 years experience in developing, managing and delivering a range of public health evidenced based programs and services to communities, families, parents, young people and children. Her work has involved a range of sectors including health (primary and mental health) and welfare, family ... Read more

Sally Rugg

Sally Rugg is the executive director at She was a campaign director with GetUp and worked at the forefront of Australia’s marriage equality campaign. Her first book, How Powerful We Are (Hachette, 2019), is about dirty politics, sophisticated digital campaigning and how Australia f... Read more

Joe Ball

Joe is a longstanding LGBTIQA+ activist and CEO of Switchboard Victoria. Switchboard runs Australia’s only LGBTIQA+ dedicated family violence prevention helpline, the Rainbow Door. Joe believes in grass roots solutions to systemic issues and draws upon LGBTIQA+ history and the wisdom of LGBTIQA+ e... Read more


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