(Community Recognition Statement, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I acknowledge the fantastic work of the ACON Anti-Violence Project, including the Safe Place Program.
The Safe Place Program began in 1991 as a grassroots response to homophobic violence and abuse in the inner city where lesbians and gay men congregated and socialised, complementing the volunteer street patrol and whistle project. Funds from the New South Wales Attorney General's Department allowed the lesbian and gay Anti-Violence Project to employ staff and develop education campaigns. Safe Place refuges provide a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community members who have experienced street violence. All Safe Places display a Safe Place charter which promotes equality and acceptance, with a commitment to protect victims and get help. Over 80 venues throughout New South Wales have joined the program, committing to end violence and discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community. My Paddington office has signed up as a Safe Place and I encourage other members of Parliament, and all businesses, service providers and organisations to join. I commend the Safe Place Program to the House.