On Sunday 20th January 2013, as part of the Midsumma Festival, Daniel Witthaus launched the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE). In his speech Daniel explained that NICHE builds on his many years working in regional, rural and remote Australia. Those communities regularly said it was “about bloody time” that they are included in national conversations about how to create safer communities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
With the atmospheric setting of Hares and Hyenas Bookshop and a crowd of around 110 people, Rodney Croome followed Daniel’s speech to officially launched the new initiative. He observed that Australia is ready for NICHE and a national conversation in ways it was not ready only 18 months ago. Rodney added that there was no-one better placed in Australia to build NICHE than Daniel.
Daniel outlined what NICHE could do in its first year, given limited resources. The projects announced included:
1. A competition for five regional, rural and remote Australian communities to apply for Daniel to spend a week in their community helping them find better ways to challenge homophobia and support local LGBTI people.
2. A call for local regional, rural and remote areas to map their own communities for their LGBTI Inclusiveness [to be officially launched in March 2013].
3. A library of LGBTI stories from regional, rural and remote communities to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly, and help us plan for the future.
4. The world’s first LGBTI TEDx event (to be confirmed, currently being considered).
5. A National Challenging Homophobia Roundtable of mainstream, philanthropic and LGBTI orgnaisations and individuals.
Stay tuned for more information, coming soon.
To register your interest, to offer your support or to find out more, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org