The Victorian Government is giving young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) Victorians access to additional wellbeing support services located at safe spaces across Victoria. The Chillout Festival will receive $50,000 to build their capacity and strengthen their sustainability.

Announcing the grant local member Mary-Anne Thomas said, “Congratulations to the Chillout Festival. This funding will aid in creating a safe place for our local LGTBIQ+ community.”

Chillout is just one of the 22 organisations that will benefit from $3.2 million in funding in the Victorian Budget 2022-23 to support the design and delivery of LGBTIQ+ safe space services.

The funding responds to a community-led proposal that identified the need for further targeted LGBTIQ+ wellbeing support services in the region. Community stakeholders, including local councils, mental health service providers and LGBTIQ+ organisations, contributed to the project proposal.

The safe spaces will have intergenerational and peer support programs to support LGBTIQ+ young people and physical safe space hubs – connecting them with specialised mental health and wellbeing supports close to home.

The funding will also support the establishment of at least two sites across Western Victoria over a three-year trial period. Community consultations will kick off this year to shape the design and delivery of the project.

The Victorian  Government is also providing $700,000 to 22 LGBTIQ+ organisations and groups across the state as part of the LGBTIQ+ Organisational Development Grants 2022 program.

This will allow them to build on the important work they do supporting LGBTIQ+ communities. Almost a third of recipients are based in regional or rural areas.

Recipients include 10 new or emerging organisations who will use grants of up to $25,000 to build skills or organisational governance, including Different Journeys, a peer support group who will use funding of $25,000 to help them engage with, support, and celebrate neurodivergent LGBTIQ+ people.