This International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is going to be a busy one for Daniel.
If you’re not doing anything in Melbourne, consider joining me at one of the following:
7.30-9.00am Fair Go, Sport! Breakfast (part of a sports/homophobia panel)
10.30am Hobsons Bay Flag Raising
12.30-1.30pm Wyndham City Council Flag Raising (speaking)
Arvo Announcement about the ‘YourStory’ Campaign (www.thatssogay.com.au/yourstory)
6.30pm+ Peninsula Pride event (speaking)
* feel free to share this event around your networks…
Recently Daniel recorded a three-part TV interview for ‘In The Thick Of It’ with Sammi Whitehead (JOY94.9FM, Bent TV).
Part One: hear Daniel talk about being mistaken for a boyfriend-hunter when he first volunteered; find out how he and another worker were called paedophiles by a parent on the front page of the Geelong Addy; and much more on his early work in Geelong, Victoria.
Interview starts at 17m30s: Part One
Part Two: hear Daniel talk about repeating Rodney Croome’s work on the smell of an oily rag; the isolation of being the only “gay-friendly voice” in the village; and, the need to work “outside the bubble”. After they called cut on this the crew surprised Daniel and broke into a round of applause…
Interview starts at 17m45s: Part Two
Part Three: hear Daniel talk about the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE), the need to deepen conversations, moving beyond awareness, not needing to do anything extraordinary and the power of everyday stories.
Interview starts at 17m45s: Part Three
Find out more about Bent TV here: Bent TV
In recent months Daniel Witthaus has been interviewing members of the Pink Magpies, the supporter’s group for the Collingwood Football Club. Daniel is hoping to slowly collect everyday LGBTI stories from those that love football. This includes the families of LGBTI people.
Be sure to contact Daniel if you love AFL and have a story to tell!
Find out more about the Pink Magpies here: Pink Magpies
A mini doco of Daniel’s work and the launch of the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE) was completed in December 2012. A joint project by filmmakers Ryan Coonan and award-winning Jonathan “The Doctor’s Wife” Duffy, Finding Your NICHE’ was screened during Melbourne’s annual Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Find out more: Finding Your NICHE @ MQFF
In recent months Daniel has taken to the road to talk to major mental health organisations headspace and beyondblue. Both are interested in the work of the newly formed National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE). Discussions will continue with both wanting to discuss specific funding and partnerships. Already headspace has offered their HQ as a meeting space for future NICHE gatherings in Melbourne, Victoria.
In this article TimeOut’s Tim Hunter highlights some of Daniel Witthaus’ work, introduces NICHE and talks about tips for reducing homophobic bullying in schools.
At the launch of NICHE, Daniel announced he wanted five regional, rural and/or remote Australian communities to apply for him to spend a week in their community helping them find better ways to challenge homophobia and support local LGBTI people. Daniel’s time for these five weeks will be free.
Daniel is happy to go to new places, or return to those places he visited during the original Beyond ‘That’s So Gay’ Tour.
All you need to do is answer the questions below and send it through to: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the timing will be negotiated with individual communities.
* What is life like for LGBTI people your way?
* How could having Daniel Witthaus for a week make a difference where you live?
* What opportunities could be taken advantage of during the week? See www.thatssogay.com.au for ideas (e.g. ‘cuppas’ with locals, story collection, training, media, presentations, etc) Please list.
* What challenges might be faced to make this week a success?
* Is there the possibility to contribute funding for Daniel’s reasonable transport and accommodation for the week? (N.B. Daniel is based in Melbourne for 2013)
We look forward to hearing from you all.
In this article for ‘The Stirrer’ Daniel Witthaus discusses his launch of the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE) and what it means for LGBTI people across regional, rural and remote Australia.
www.thestirrer.com.au/my-niche-agenda-daniel-witthaus/ (if this does not work, cut and paste the link into your browser)
Special attention is focused on what is really better these days, and what isn’t. Daniel argues we need a focus on turning LGBTI ‘friendliness’ into LGBTI ‘supportiveness’.
Daniel recently teamed up with The Alannah & Madeline Foundation (AMF) to deliver a full day’s professional development to a group of primary and secondary school teachers from Victoria’s Hepburn region.
Organised and delivered with funds donated by Daylesford’s annual Chill Out Festival, the national bullying organisation wanted to include Daniel’s experiences of working across the country in regional, rural and remote areas. Daniel offered a mix of research, stories and strategies to help teachers in their everyday classrooms and school communities.
Well done to AMF and great effort thanks to Chill Out.
Thursday 24th January saw Daniel ‘GoWest’ to the Williamstown Library to present with a panel of local people from the LGBTI communities in Melbourne’s west.
Daniel presented on his experiences of travelling around regional, rural and remote Australia to challenged homophobia one cuppa at a time, and used this as a context for local stories.
Around 50 local people enjoyed this Midsumma Festival event, with heart-warming, funny and powerful experiences from a range of characters.