Rural Rainbow was born from a community meeting that was hosted by East Wimmera Health Services in 2017. Initially the meetings were hosted by the North Central LGBTIQ+ Network. This was the start of a conversation around LGBTIQ+ inclusion in the North Central Victorian region. Rural Rainbows was the social and engagement wing of the network, however, over time the network participation was limited and Rural Rainbow took a lead role in continuing on the work.
Rural Rainbows consists of LGBTIQ+ community members, their allies and advocates, service providers and community groups across North Central Region and beyond working together to promote LGBTIQ+ equity and inclusion.
Our catchment areas include Loddon Shire Council, Buloke Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council.
Rural Rainbows work to achieve an environment that regional and rural LGBTIQ+ communities feel safe, valued, visible and connected to wider community and services.
The Rural Rainbows logo represents regional, rural and remote Australia in addition to the growth of the LGBTIQ community. The roots are present to indicate the equal and civil rights that have been fought by our community Elders. We proudly present these roots to say that we have only been able to go forward with the progress built by our Elders. The foliage of the tree itself is a variation of the pride flag, which includes the colours to represent our First Nation Peoples, as well as people of colour.
The trans and gender diverse community is represented by a butterfly adorned in the colours of pink, white and blue; the butterfly itself representing peoples’ journey through transition.
We see the logo as a sign of visibility, resilience, and hope for our future generations. It proudly represents you; our beautiful and vibrant Queer and LGBTIQ+ regional and rural communities
Our core and shared values guide Rural Rainbows around how we conduct our activities and develop relationship with our key stakeholders. We expect all of our key stakeholders and partners to be guided by these values in the way in which we work together.
Our Core Values
- Respectful and Inclusive
Our Shared Values
Our Strategic Priorities
Provide connection, information and resources to regional and rural LGBTIQ+ communities and families
- We maintain Rural Rainbow’s social media presence by sharing LGBTIQ+ events, resources, information and education.
- We will develop a Rural Rainbow website to provide connection, information and resources for regional and rural LGBTIQ+ communities and service providers.
- We will develop and distribute printed material to promote LGBTIQ+ inclusion for general practice clinics and service providers.
- We promote and celebrate important key dates in the LGBTIQ+ calendar
Advocate for LGBTIQ+ communities and families to the wider community and service providers within the North Central Victorian region
- We work with our key stakeholders to provide information training and network opportunities to participate in LGBTIQ+ inclusion.
- We ensure the voice of LGBTIQ+ people are heard within local government and local service providers by having conversations, inviting stakeholders to our stakeholder meetings and participating in consultations and panels.
- We support community members and leaders with lived experience to advocate for change by giving them opportunities, providing mentorship and encouragement.
- We act as a connector for regional a remote LGBTIQ+ groups and networks to strengthen communities across borders.
- We plan to document our successful advocacy strategies and support other regional, rural and remote communities to create change.
This strategic plan will be further developed to include an action plan, for each of our priority areas. The action plan will identify key deliverables under the priorities and target sources of revenue to resource those actions and indicators to evaluate success. The action plan will include clear delegations to individuals responsible for achieving each action and timeframes in which we wish to complete work.
Rural Rainbows will become an incorporated association and have a membership base of community members and key stakeholders. Rural Rainbows has received support through the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s LGBTI capacity building grant scheme, auspiced by East Wimmera Health Service. Rural Rainbow’s plan to complete incorporation by 2022.
The environment in which we operate in
Rural Rainbows was founded to promote LGBTIQ+ equity and inclusion across the North Central Region and beyond by working with LGBTIQ+ community and key stakeholders. Before the development of Rural Rainbows there was not many localised opportunities for this work to take place. Our current catchment areas cover 3 local government areas and is home to a range of organisations who deliver services to our rural and remote communities. Rural Rainbow with the support of East Wimmera Health Service act as centralised hub for regional LGBTIQ+ connection and work with key stakeholder to ensure services are LGBTIQ+ inclusive.