Media releases

Rainbow Brick Road report shines spotlight on LGBTQIA+ experiences

Posted: Wednesday 17 May 2023

A timely report looking at the lived experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community across Gippsland has recommended an increase to mental health services, inclusivity training in health settings and educational institutions, and development of a support network, among other initiatives.

The Gippsland Rainbow Brick Road project was created by the Gippsland Pride Initiative, who developed a community survey and ran a series of professional development workshops across all six shires of Gippsland on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity and experience.

Data collected from the surveys and workshops was analysed by Federation University’s Collaborative Evaluation and Research Group.

The survey looked at the areas of workplace, family, education, healthcare services, community groups and sporting clubs. Its findings include:

  • While 58% of participants had not experienced harassment in the workplace, almost half had heard negative or offensive statements or been exposed to subtle forms of harassment in the workplace.
  • More than 67% of participants had concerns or serious concerns for their mental health and 45% were not able to access mental health support in their immediate location.
  • Alarmingly, more than 70% of respondents had considered self-harm or suicide in their lifetime, only half feeling that their concerns were treated seriously.
  • Respondents said education and time were key to gaining understanding and support from family and friends.
  • At school, 45% felt they were not supported to be their whole selves, however, a positive generational change had been seen by many participants.
  • More than half the participants did not believe there were enough safe and accessible spaces for LGBTQIA+ people in their community. However, the majority felt supported by community groups they were involved with to be their whole self, and that gender and sexuality were not barriers to participation.
  • Those participants involved with sporting clubs found them to be supportive and actively promoted LGBTQIA+ policies, however, only 30 participants responded that they were actively engaged in sport.

The Gippsland Rainbow Brick Road report was launched earlier today to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex Discrimination and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

As next steps, the report also recommended training for health professionals to increase the number of practitioners able to provide evidence-based clinical practice for the LGBTQIA+ community as well as the development of an up-to-date directory of local LGBTQIA+ services.

The full recommendations and summary of findings, will be made available at

Quote attributable to Federation University’s Collaborative Evaluation Research Group Director, Professor Joanne Porter
“The Rainbow Brick Report will help inform real change in the education, health and community services sectors across Gippsland.”

“It was our job to showcase the voices and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community, in order to provide organisations and agencies with the necessary evidence towards improving services and support in Gippsland.”

Quote attributable to Gippsland Pride Initiative Co-founder, Caitlin Grigsby

“This piece of work is to our knowledge, a first of its kind, region specific assessment of LGBTQIA+ experiences in Australia.”

“It is our hope and intention that this work results in region-specific and community-informed action, to more effectively bridge the gaps and contribute to a fulfilling, equitable and enriching lived experience for LGBTQIA+ Gippslanders.”

Contact Stephanie Charalambous
Media and Communications Advisor
0429 360 727