Trans and Gender Diverse Peer Support Project

Supporting growth and sustainability of trans and gender diverse peer support across Victoria. Supported by the Victorian Government.

Peer Support Program Update

Peer-Support Program News

New CRG appointments

We’re delighted to announce 4 new members will be joining our team from a field of impressive candidates. We’re currently innovating ways to continue engaging with these applicants, many of whom had excellent skills in anti-racist activism, coaching, health and performance/creative arts. The array of talent within our communities is stunning and we’re eager to showcase this by inviting guest experts to engage in (and be paid for) facilitating some of our SPARK training workshops, and potentially develop a mentor program.

Workshops

Over the last 6 weeks we have facilitated 8-10 workshops, training and learning circles with SPARK coordinators and their activity nodes. The slides and tip sheet from our ‘Ethics of online facilitation’ will soon be finding a new home on a ‘Resources’ page on the TGV website. We are also working on a short video version of this presentation for use by new groups that are looking for momentum to get started.

SPARK profiles online

In other updates to the TGV website we now have a section devoted to celebrating the active SPARK peer-support activities, with details of when/where and who to contact to get involved. This archive is currently expanding as more and more projects find ways to adapt to lockdown and recovery.

Learnings from learning circles

Our graphic scribe has summarised our recent round of learning circles with and for SPARK coordinators. We have learnt that, while some projects have adapted quickly to virtual platforms, others are in need of inspirational ways of engaging with and designing programs for new variations upon social isolation. We have learnt that we, as project workers, need to provide some more infrastructure to enable peer-support groups to support one another easily and often. We need to offer greater clarity on what budget items fulfil the remit of ‘peer support’ and how we’d like you to report on them. We are very busy!

Social networking

We have recently established some social networking spaces for CRG members and SPARK coordinators on Facebook and Slack. At this stage these are private group spaces for sharing ideas on everything from community engagement, to meeting technologies and seeking further funds to sustain your projects. We remain open to any ideas community members may have on how to improve ‘joining the dots’ and making connections between our TGD networks state-wide (and in some cases beyond).

Work with us

We are currently circulating position descriptions for two new part-time roles with us as Event Coordinator and Training Coordinator. The additions to our team will allow us to significantly expand the arms of our project that are specifically aimed at ‘willing to lead’ and ‘safe/brave’ and ‘connected’. Read more about the roles here and get in touch if you’re thinking of applying – deadline for applications is the end of the month.

The Training Coordinator position role focuses on researching, coordinating and liaising with training providers and TGD people who are seeking to expand their skills and qualifications. Additional tasks will include feeding into customized training programs and workshops in development by Transgender Victoria. Meanwhile, the Events Coordinator role focuses on networking, coordinating and event managing TransGatherings (both virtual and in person) and establishing a regional network of TGD communities to visit in a TransGatherings road-trip in 2021.

Big plans

We have big plans for the coming year and look forward to working hard to achieve our dreams of growing a TGD Victorian community who are ‘brave/safe, connected, and willing to lead’.

This coming weekend we are reconvening our CRG after what seems like an interminable amount of time – and our last meeting was at the end of May, in first wave lockdown. In the intervening months we’ve been able to move forward on one of the strongest initiatives of the CRG in expanding our diversity in active consideration of some of the multiply marginalised people at the intersections of race, class, disability, access to education and citizenship. We are confident that, CRG 2.0 will build on the experience of the members who have had nearly 9 months in their roles to vision some actions and impact over the coming year. Their remit is large, taking us through the next stages of COVID recovery and into whatever strange new world may follow. In this next meeting we will be workshopping scope and actions (with our developmental evaluators) and reviewing budget expenditure and projections for the overall peer-support project.

Coming Soon

Training sessions/workshops on:

·      How to get going and/or expand – DIY peer support step-by-step

·      Feeling the Heat – moderating difficult situations and people

·      SPARK Budget Expenditure and Reporting

·      Big Ideas – seeking grant support and partner/allies

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We acknowledge the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Taungurong, Dja Dja Wurrung, and Wathaurung peoples of the Kulin Nation as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians of the land where we work.