GRAI eNewsletter May #19

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GRAI Matters


Dear Members, Community and Allies,

Happy May!

I’m going to start with the election, then give you two remedies to smile about, and then finish with an opportunity to get involved.

The Federal election is coming up on the 21st of May. Many of our elders and community members have been triggered by the political rhetoric and tone of the debate. Around the country, LGBTIQA+ call centres have experienced a 30% increase in requests for support. The decision to target our community is hurtful and desperate. I can only urge you to reach out to the GRAI if you want the support of one of our wonderful BeFRIENDers or to the fantastic support of Living Proud’s QLife phone line

On April 10th GRAI hosted the ‘Out of the Closet’ event as part of Heritage Week. To have the stories of our Elders explained as part of the woven history of Perth was insightful and warming. Thank you to Rowan and Kedy for their support of this project. Whether you were in the room or at home (like I was – Facebook live was incredible!) it was an achievement in sharing our histories. A special thanks to the presenters. We do have the three-panel videos on our Facebook page – please check them out.

For the pop culture update of the month, especially after a month of living with long COVID, I would invite you to check out the Netflix series ‘Heartstopper’. It has a warming and heartfelt approach which leaves you smiling as well as an understanding of how much has changed (what we wish could have happened). Based on the comics by Alice Oseman, it is a delightful tonic for any afternoon.

Lastly, we are looking for you to get involved. In June, GRAI is commencing a regular board games and afternoon tea drop-in on Thursdays as part of our Village Hub project (details below). As we work to establish our “Hub” we are exploring whether hosting a space could be part of our future. If you’d like more information on this activity, please contact Rowan at

Wishing you a wonderful month, and for all the Star Wars nerds out there, “May the Fourth” be with you!

With Pride,

Chair, GRAI Board

What’s Been Happening in GRAI Land…

The City of Perth released its first LGBTIQA plan in July 2021, and it included a commitment to support and facilitate the inclusion of LGBTIQA+ history in Heritage Perth weekend events. As well as the GRAI Sunday afternoon event, GALAWA (Gay and Lesbian Archives) curated a weekend-long Rainbow Timeline exhibition in the foyer of Council house.

Closeted stories from long ago was held at the City of Perth Library on Sunday 10th April and featured three, one-hour panel sessions.

The event started with two lesbian speakers, Dee Parry and Dr Viv Cass, who shared their accounts of life as an out lesbian in the early 70’s in Perth. This panel was supported by Kristina (moderator) and an AUSLAN interpreter.

Dee and Viv described the challenges of finding a supportive community, telling family and developing personal political activism despite the risks and challenges. The session was filled with laughter and warmth and many in the audience contributed their memories.

The second session featured the wonderful history of the Chameleon Society, with speakers Michelle, Leece, and Dr Viv Cass, supported by Rowan (Moderator). The image on the screen behind the panel is of Leece and Michelle in 1996.

Michelle and Viv are lifetime members of the Chameleon Society in recognition of the amazing contributions they have made in supporting transvestites (cross-dressers) and transsexuals (transgender folk) in Perth since the 1970’s.

Dr Viv Cass gave a short history on the changes in language that have occurred over the last 40 years. Michelle and Leece shared some of the challenges that they faced (e.g., obtaining women’s clothes and finding safe places to wear them, and run-ins with the law) as well as the resilience that they developed, shaping them into the amazing people they are today.

Stryker Myer held the audience spellbound for the last session with his moving, funny and challenging reminisces of his life; from a young lad homeless on the streets of Perth to his political drag performances and a hedonistic life lived without compromise and with great love and compassion.

A huge thank you to all the speakers for their generous sharing of personal stories, to the moderators Christina, Rowan and Angelique, and to Phil who filmed and live-streamed the event.

GRAI plans to have an edited version of each session on its website later this year.

Survey Evaluation Feedback

Twenty people provided feedback about the Closeted Stories from Long Ago event(s) that they attended. Fourteen out of the twenty (14/20) were aged 50+ and 6/20 were aged between 18 and 49 (one attendee was 18-24 years, three were aged 24-34 years and two were aged 35-49 years. Most participants (17/20) identified as members of the LGBTI community and two identified as allies.

Most people reported that their understanding of the lived experiences of LGBTI elders had increased a lot (10 participants), or greatly (7 participants). No one reported that their understanding had not changed at all.
The session(s) that I attended increased my understanding of the lived experiences of LGBTI elders.



This training is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health as part of the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Training Project, and is subsidised for those working in the aged care sector.

These workshops will:
• Increase awareness and understanding of LGBTI clients and support the delivery of culturally safe and welcoming services to LGBTI elders.
• Assist your organisation to provide LGBTI inclusive care and comply with legal obligations under the Aged Care Act and the Equal Opportunities Act.

Did you know?
• There are approximately 34,000 LGBTI older adults
in WA: the largest special needs group requiring aged
care services.
• Lack of positive recognition for LGBTI elders can cause
stress and poor care outcomes.

This training is suitable for:
Managers, front line workers and health professionals
in the aged care sector, including, residential facilities,
retirement villages, community care providers and
all services engaging with older members of
the community.

Training program:
FULL DAY (9am-4pm)
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Institute of Charted Accountants
Level 11 – 2 Mill Street Perth
Enquiries: | 0484 639 886


For National Volunteer Week (16-22 May, 2022), GRAI and Living Proud will be hosting a Better Together: LGBTIQA+ Volunteering Ideas session.

Saturday 21st May 10am -12.30pm
Southcare Hall, 19 Pether Rd, Manning

Join in some easy volunteering activities and meet like-minded others
Learn about the volunteer opportunities with local LGBTIQA+ organisations.

There will be special guest speakers on volunteering and options available.

Morning tea provided
Please register your attendance here.


Do you provide a service to people 50+years?

Would you like to ensure that the needs of LGBTIQ people are recognised and that they receive culturally appropriate responses at your service?

Would staff or volunteers at your organisation benefit from four hours of LGBTI cultural inclusivity training?

We can accommodate 25 participants in each training.

We will cover:

Institute of Charted Accountants,
Level 11, 2 Mill Street, Perth
Thursday 9th June, 9am – 1pm
Click here to register

GRAI Projects



We now have eleven trained BeFRIENDers and five of them have been matched with a lonely or isolated LGBTI peer who would like to have regular visits and the opportunity to go out into the community with support. Our BeFRIENDing pairs are meeting in Warnbro, Redcliffe, Padbury, Bayswater and Duncraig.

New Village Hub Activity

This is a opportunity to play board games and have a cuppa and a chat in a casual and supportive environment. Two of GRAI’s BeFRIENDers will be supporting this event (Allan and Elizabeth) so your are guaranteed some good company 🙂 If you’d rather just play, that’s fine too!

First Thursday of the month: Citiplace CommunityCentre, Upper Level Walkway, City Railway StationComplex, Wellington Street, Perth, 1-3pm*

Third Thursday of the month: Southcare Hall,
19 Pether Rd, Manning, 1-3pm*

*(Starts in June, 2022)

Contact Rowan at villagehub@ for more information.

P.S. If you have Board Games sitting around that you’d like to donate, please contact Rowan. Also let Rowan know if you have any special requests for Board Games that you’d like to play!


~Northern Suburbs~

Hi, I’m Isabelle and I live in Clarkson. I came out about 3 and a half years ago and have been having a wonderful time exploring the world as myself. I’ve made friendships, started to go to the Ballet, Theatre, Musicals and Sunday lunches with friends. I also really enjoy the games night I have with my mum and sister and babysitting my grandson.

The Befriender program is really important to me as I found it very hard when I came out to find people and resources for older trans people. I want to share what I found with our broader community so that all trans people can see just how wonderful life is once we’re free of our own judgements.

For me, empowering my Befriendee to enjoy life, whatever form that takes, is what I’m up to. From a simple chat to a shopping trip to something more adventurous.

Introducing Gilda: Now that I’m in my 60s I have more time to do the things I want to do. I’ve had a wonderful adventurous life travelling and living in many countries and am a keen linguist. I’m married to a truly amazing and magnificent woman whose work in community services makes me very proud. I want to be a Befriender volunteer because I have strong social responsibility values. I’d love to befriend an older person who might be experiencing isolation and I’d love to hear their story.

I love knowing about the past, what it was like, and how people lived. Things I like doing are swimming, gardening and I love learning anything new. I’ve been studying Energy Medicine and work part-time as an Energy Healer. So if you are interested in alternative health I’d especially like to connect with you, or if you have an interest in languages, like going to the beach or hanging out in the garden.

All BeFRIENDers are trained, and have a police clearance and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations.


Hi, I’m Janey,
I have been an active member of the trans community for some time. Now that I’m in my 70’s health issues have made it harder for me to get out and about. Not having contact with trans women makes me feel lonely and isolated.

I would like a BeFRIENDer who I can have meaningful conversations with. I enjoy discussing life, psychology, spirituality, mental health and wellbeing. I live in the Southern Suburbs (Warnbro area). Please contact Rowan if you are able to meet with me about once per fortnight. I still drive so can meet at my home or in the community.

If you are 55+ and would like to participate in our Befriending program, either as a participant or a BeFRIENDer volunteer, please email Rowan at to express your interest.

You can download our Befriender EOI pamphlet here. 
You can download our Befriendee Referral form here.

GLBTI Elders’ Advisory Group

We are still seeking trans, non-binary or intersex elders to join us so that we can include the needs and interests of all members of our community. We would also love to include elders with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background or a CALD background.

If you have lived experience or professional experience relevant to this program, please email us at to express your interest. You can download our Elders’ Advisory Group EOI pamphlet here


GRAI is developing a LGBTI- and Elder’s-friendly Doctor’s List!

If you have GP that you would like to recommend, please contact us at and let us know their name, the practice they work from and the suburb of the practice. One lucky contributer will win a prize 🙂

We have had two replies to this request so far. The prize will be drawn in time for our June newsletter so please send your recommendations in this month 🙂


Does your organisation provide a service that includes LGBTI elders? Would staff or volunteers at your organisation benefit from four hours of LGBTI cultural safety training?

GRAI has received federal funding that enables us to provide two free trainings before the end of June 2022. We can accommodate 25 participants in each training. We anticipate offering our trainings early in May and late in June 2022.

Please express your interest by sending an email to outlining how the GRAI Rainbow Readiness training would benefit LGBTI elders who use your service (250 words maximum). Please tell us how many staff/volunteers would attend and whether you are happy to co-train with another organisation if your participants number less than 25.


Your views are important

If you have news or views to share that are relevant to making the world a better place for LGBTI elders, contact: We look forward to hearing from you, or seeing you at one or several of our upcoming events!

GRAI’s new contact address:

PO Box 350
Mt Hawthorn
WA 6915

Staff Contacts

If you would like to contact Kedy Kristal (Executive Officer), please email her at or call her Mobile: 0484 639 886

If you would like to contact Rowan Brooker (Befriender Coordinator/Newsletter Coordinator), please email him at or call him on 0493 368 023 on Wednesdays or Thursdays (or text/leave a message).


May Meetings

Join us either online or in person for 🌈Queer BookClub📚 as we discuss ‘Young Mungo’ – and vivid portrayal of working-class life in Glasgow and a suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.

Copies of the book are available from Crow Books at a discount – just mention you are a Queer BookClub member.

The online meeting on Tuesday 24th May will be held via Teams. To obtain the meeting link please email by Mon 23rd April.

The in-person meeting will be held on Wednesday 25th May, 6pm-7.30pm at Connect Victoria Park. Full event details are available at

Queer BookClub is supported by Crow Books Vic Park and Dept of Communities.

Book Review: The Trauma Cleaner

I really enjoyed the book and gave it 5 unicorns on Goodreads.

I found it utterly beautiful, a gorgeously written account of a survivor who forged her own way of life. I loved the intertwining of the jobs Sandra performed as a cleaner, and how she related to the very traumas which tipped people over the edge. In the end her own story was devastating, a real betrayal by those who should have loved her as a child. The author’s prose throughout the book was sublime.

Could some kindly Queer Bookclub members please provide a review of ‘Young Mungo’ for next month’s newsletter? (more than one is very welcome!). Please send your review to Rowan at before June. Thank you!

🌈 Queer BookClub Facebook Group 📚


Meet n Muse (MnM) discussion group for older LBT women, has two locales:

  • The Perth group has, by agreement with regular attendees, cancelled its meetings for the time being. The group will resume meeting at Citiplace when members feel comfortable to begin meeting in person again. Perth attendees are welcome to attend the Mandurah meetings, which are held outdoors.
  • The Mandurah group is meeting on the 1st and 3rd Sundays as usual (1.30pm), at an outdoor venue.

Musers usually discuss a given topic of interest for 1 hour, then mosey on to a nearby café. New members are always welcome, please contact Pam for further information and to confirm meeting dates/times and location: or 0420 929 583.

Prime Timers

Prime Timers is a vibrant social club for mature gay and bisexual men, offering a full calendar of diverse activities to keep you well-connected and enjoying life. Meetings are held 2pm on the second Sunday of each month, at ‘The Homestead’ 5 Mackie St, Vic Park, with a guest speaker and afternoon tea. Other activities include dinner nights, coffee mornings, lunch club, book club and special outings. Visit


OUTdance is the place to go to get fit and have fun 🙂 They hold LGBTI community dance classes every Tuesday from 7:00pm at the Mt Hawthorn Community Hall, 197 Scarborough Beach Rd. Relaxed and non-competitive, OUTdance always welcomes new members. Contact Jan on 0401 700 562 or visit the website here. 

Perth Outdoors Group

Perth Outdoors Group are mature age LGBTI folk who enjoy a wide range of social activities (not always outdoors!) Functions are held monthly on weekends and there’s also a monthly coffee club. For further info visit

Rainbow Toastmakers

Find your voice at Perth Rainbow Toastmasters! Develop confidence in public speaking, communication, leadership and presentation skills… in an LGBTI+ friendly environment… Rainbow Toastmasters meet 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, 2-4pm, Level 1, 931 Albany Highway. Contact Tim, or 0403 051 081. FB: Perth-Rainbow-Toastmasters.

Research and Training


Volunteering in Aged Care Settings in Western Australia

olunteering in Aged Care Settings in WA: Good Practice During COVID-19 and Beyond Research Report and Compendium of Guides
Dr Megan Paull • Dr Sally Paulin


Volunteering WA released the final report on the Volunteering in Aged Care Settings in Western Australia – Good Practice During COVID-19 and Beyond project, which was funded by a Lotterywest grant to Volunteering WA and supplemented by contributions from Volunteering WA and Murdoch University.

The report outlines the project approach including a series of research workshops (held in person and online) overseveral months in 2021 by Dr Megan Paull and Dr Sally Paulin from Murdoch University. The project was designed to facilitate knowledge sharing from those actively involved in volunteering and volunteer management in aged care settings in WA during this COVID-19 period, with a particular focus on residential aged care and the Community Visitors Scheme.

The final report and Good Practice Guides are available here.


Do you have a book or movie review that you would like to share?

We would love to be able to share good LGBTI movies that you have seen, or books that you have read. You don’t have to write more than a paragraph 🙂

Please send your reviews to Rowan at


Special Dates in May

Perth International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, Sunday 15th May

We invite you to this year’s Perth International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

Join us to remember the lives we have lost, and to honour those who have dedicated their lives to helping people living with and affected by HIV.

The AIDS Candlelight Memorial serves as an important platform for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and giving hope to new generations.

  • Date: Sunday 15 May 2022
  • Time: Gather at 5.45pm for a 6pm start
  • Location: WA AIDS Memorial, Robertson Park, North Perth (Corner of Fitzgerald St and Stuart St)

Please use the RSVP here to let us know if you will be attending.

Can’t attend in person, but want to get involved?

Due to the ongoing pandemic, not everyone may be able to attend a physical gathering for this year’s International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. 

You can also participate virtually by sharing on social media or by lighting a virtual candle in memory of someone.

You can find out more about getting involved at the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial website.

IDAHOBIT 2022 – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia

Thirty-one years ago on May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) celebrates LGBTQIA+ people globally, and raises awareness for the work still needed to combat discrimination.

National SORRY DAY 26th May

The first National Sorry Day was observed in 1998, a year after the first “Bringing Them Home” report — the result of a government inquiry into the child-stealing of the 20th century — was brought before the Australian Parliament. Among that report’s recommendations was the idea of an unreserved apology and the proposition that a portion of the national budget should be put towards reparations.

National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how Australians can all play a part in the healing process for the people and nation.

National Reconciliation Week

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians – individuals, families, communities, organisations and government – to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.
National Reconciliation Week, 27 May to 3 June, is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
 If you need an excuse to read Vogue April issue, there is great article by Craig Silvey (writer of Honey Bee) on the Power of Connection.  The role of allies and how they can make a difference in the lives of LGBTIQA+ people.

LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day 28 May 2022

The right to live a life free from violence and abuse is a person’s most basic human right, but for many LGBTQ people, this is not a reality.  One in two (1/2) LGBTQ people will experience domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse (DV) in their lifetime, yet victims remain largely invisible with incredibly low levels of reporting.

The theme for the 2022 Awareness Day to be #SeenAndBelieved which aims to: 

  • Shine a light on the prevalence of DV in LGBTQ communities and make the invisible victims, visible
  • Let LGBTQ victims and survivors know that they are #SeenAndBelieved and that there are people out there who will support them
  • Advocate for and support the empowerment of LGBTQ victims and survivors of DV
  • Recognise LGBTQ survivors and give hope and courage to those currently experiencing DV.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

The Department of Health and WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Care Navigator Service in collaboration with respective professional bodies are facilitating a series of free online webinars on voluntary assisted dying during May and June to allow the opportunity for further information sharing and discussion. There are a number of speakers who will be kindly presenting at the different sessions to share their experiences and perspectives in this space.
Session dates, times and focus are listed below, with all session links on Eventbrite for registration. Whilst sessions are targeted for different groups as listed, all are welcome at any sessions.

Session 1 – Monday 2 May 12 to 1pm – Overview of voluntary assisted dying in WA – General focus
Session 2 – Thursday 5 May 9 to 10am – Voluntary assisted as an end-of-life choice – Consumer focus
Session 3 – Monday 16 May 7 to 8pm – Voluntary assisted dying and primary care – Primary care provider focus
Session 4 – Thursday 19 May 12 to 1pm – Voluntary assisted dying and aged care – Aged care providers focus
Session 5 – Tuesday 31 May 3 to 4pm – Voluntary assisted dying and palliative care – Palliative care provider focus
Session 6 – Thursday 2 June 7 to 8pm – Voluntary assisted dying in medical practice – Medical practitioner focus

Some of the sessions will be recorded and made available at a later time. The forum held earlier this year –  VAD update: Reflections on the first 6 months is also now freely available online for anyone who was unable to attend.

My Aged Care

Need aged care services? Don’t know how or where to begin?

MY AGED CARE is the starting point to access Australian government-funded aged care services. The phone line and website can help older Australians, their families and carers to get the help and support they need. or phone MY AGED CARE contact centre on 1800 200 422.