The National LGBTI Health Alliance (the Alliance), the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people has welcomed the support of over 100 peak bodies, health experts and community organisations for its Joint Statement on LGBTI inclusion in the 2021 Census.
In August 2019, the Alliance developed a Joint Statement calling for the meaningful inclusion of data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status in the 2021 Census. The Statement highlighted that asking appropriate questions in the Census is crucial in fostering an evidence-informed environment for health and economic policy service planning and understanding health and social service utilisation, which is essential in addressing the significant health disparities that LGBTI people experience.
The Statement’s 100 supporters include a range of stakeholders with expertise spanning across mental health, suicide prevention, social services, disability, ageing and aged care, family violence, human rights, and research. This demonstrates the broad cross-sectoral support and need for collecting this data.
Nicky Bath, Executive Director of the Alliance, said: “the display of unity across sectors is really quite remarkable, and clearly shows we now have national consensus for LGBTI people to be counted.”
The current exclusion of these questions means that clear demographic data of the Australian population is not being captured, with no other alternative data sources or solutions that could meet these topic needs.
Adam Bourne, Associate Professor of Public Health at LaTrobe University, said: “The Census is a vital source of data that enables governments to decide where and with whom to invest resources. It is crucial that LGBTI people are not excluded from this picture and that we are able to collect data about their unique needs and experiences.”
David Lloyd, CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, said: “We strongly support the inclusion of appropriate sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status questions in the next Australian Census. Identifying the LGBTI population as a priority in both the Women’s and Men’s health Strategies published by the Federal Government in 2019 was a great step forward in responding to LGBTI health needs.”
“Having done this, it would make little sense to exclude that same population from the Census, as this data is fundamental to the creation of the evidence-based environment we need to respond to the significant health and wellbeing disparities experienced by LGBTI communities,” David Lloyd continued.
“Collecting data on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status in the 2021 Census would be a game changer. It would enable us to better manage the health of our communities. We again call on the government to approve the inclusion of these questions in the 2021 Census,” Nicky Bath concluded.
Media Contact: Nicky Bath, Executive Director
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