What is the Welcome Here Project?
The Welcome Here Project is the new Safe Place Project. The Safe Place Project started in 1992 in response to high levels of street-based violence directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people. Local businesses signed up to become a 'Safe Pace' and proudly displayed a sticker in their shop front to let LGBTIQ community members know they could seek refuge if they were under the threat of violence.
As times have changed street based violence has reduced, but there is still work to be done in this space. The Welcome Here Project has been created to focus on supporting local business owners and services in Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of LGBTIQ people.
Members of the project receive the Welcome Here rainbow stickers to display in their window to let everyone know that LGBTIQ diversity is welcomed and celebrated within their business. Members also display a charter that brings to life their commitment to the project, and what being a member is all about.
ACON also provides members with resources to support them celebrate LGBTIQ diversity. This is part of a Diversity Days project, you can find out more about Diversity Days and how you can celebrate or honour them here.
The Welcome Here Project also aims to mobilise the LGBTIQ community to engage with registered Welcoming Places and provide feedback on their experiences.
Visible, welcomed LGBTIQ communities mean safer communities, and by becoming a registered Welcoming Place, members are helping create positive social change throughout Australia.
You can see all registered Welcoming Places throughout Australia here.
What are the criteria for joining the project?
We require members to support the three project commitments:
- Welcome and include LGBTIQ+ people
- Create positive change in your local community
- Celebrate LGBTIQ+ Diversity (see LGBTIQ Diversity Days Project)
We also require members to display the Welcome Here member sticker and charter publicly and/or online.
It is optional but we encourage members to join in celebrating ACON’s LGBTIQ Diversity Days Project.
We are a fiercely proud community organisation. For our entire history, the work of ACON has been designed by and for our communities.
Established in 1985, our early years were defined by community coming together to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in NSW, and we remain committed to ending HIV for everyone in our communities. As we have grown, we have been proud to work with a diverse range of people to ensure their voice and health needs are represented in the work we do.
Our Purpose: We create opportunities for people in our communities to live their healthiest lives
Our Vision: We strive to be a global leader in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders.