Safety in Numbers – Defending the Safe Schools Program

By Alec Young

Growing up a closeted bisexual in the Catholic school system was never easy, even if I know that I had a better time than most. Throughout my time at an all-boys high school, derogatory terms for gay, lesbian and trans people were used as common insults, though to the credit of my skill at hiding and lying about who I was, none of those insults bore any “truth” so to speak.

High school is hell for many people; however, thankfully, great teachers surrounded me along with a small circle of friends and supportive parents to get me through it. Sadly though, these sources that aren’t always available, or willing to help everyone.

Earlier this month, the independent review of the Safe Schools program was handed over to the Government to conduct its own review of the system. This comes after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull heard concerns from the far-right conservative element in his own party that the Safe Schools program was described as “having a Marxist and social engineering agenda” and should be stripped of it’s $8 million in government funding.

The Australian Christian Lobby and Senator Corey Bernadi have also spoken in support of stripping the program of funding.

On the 10th of March the Safe Schools Coalition and Equal Love conducted a protest rally outside of the Victoria State Library, bringing together supporters and victims alike to join together to fight the review, which many believe will result in Safe Schools being stripped of funding.

Hearing from speakers Jason Ball of the Greens Party, the Hon. Senator Janet Rice, Ali Hogg from Equal Love, Margot Fink from Minus18, Karyn Walker from Parents of Gender Diverse, Justin Mullaly the Deputy President of Australian Education Union and Roz Ward, the Safe Schools Coalition Manager, all speaking passionately about saving this program and about the countless lives it has saved and will continue to do so.

Below is a gallery of shots taken from the Rally.

If you wish to use these photos please contact me at RDK Photography on Facebook.

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