GRAI Matters Newsletter Feb 2022

GRAI WriterGRAI News, Newsletters

February 2022 | E-NEWSLETTER #16


Dear Members, Community and Ally’s.

Welcome to February,  I’m opening up this month with a bit of an advert. I’ve just finished reading the Jeremy Atherton Lin book “Gay Bar: Why We Went Out” and it brought out some of my own reflections of “going out” in a world before iPhones.

In this beautifully written work, Lin layers some of his own experiences with nightlife experiences in San Fran, LA and London. It made me think that a lot of us have made different choices in how we socialise, relax and explore.  “Open or Shut” – it’s a phrase that’s probably debated over dinner tables, workplaces (that are socially distanced), coffee shops and bars.

What we can guess is that there will be a period of tightening restrictions. There are others who can provide you with the minutia of details of why and when the borders should or should not open, so please don’t expect any eloquent commentary here.

What I wanted to flag is that there are those in our community who will be vulnerable and that this is a time now to link them up with supports as much as it is the time to stock up on household items. If you know of anyone, please reach out to 

GRAI went “live” with our Village Hub with the induction of our Befrienders. I’ll let you scroll to the full Village Hub update, however, I really want to extend the warmest of welcomes to our “Trailblazers”. It begins a conversation with us as a community for the best ways to assist LGBTIQA+ Elders with formal supports.

It’s an exciting journey we are on.  I really wanted to encourage you to get involved on the 10th of April where we will be telling “queer history stories” – Closeted Stories from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s: ” We are looking to use this space to have the voices of our community weave together to help explain our history. It’s an opportunity to ensure that LGBTIQA+ are a part of the City of Perth’s Heritage Week. With Pride,

Chair, GRAI Board


Prize Winner!!

Thank you to everyone who completed our member survey last month. As promised, we selected one respondent at random to win our prize voucher. Congratulations to Ian Johnston. We will be presenting Ian with his voucher soon and will update you with a photo next month.

Survey Results
Our survey resulted in 30 new membership subscriptions.

Of the 116 respondents to this question, most were in the 51-65 year age group (about 38%), followed by 66-80-year-olds (about 28%). GRAI has a number of younger members, including 31-50 years old (about 22%).

The sexual orientation of our members is diverse. Of the 117 people who answered this question, 41.88% identified as ‘Gay’, 29.91% identified as ‘Lesbian’,  and 7.69% identified as ‘Heterosexual or straight’. Bisexual, Queer, Pansexual, and Asexual identities were also represented.

Most respondents (92.7%) expressed an interest in participating in GRAI’s activities. The majority (40.87%) said that they would participate in ‘any’ activities, with the next most popular choices being Pride Events (33.04%) and Barndance (27.83%).

Christmas in July was also a popular choice (18.6%). GRAI’s regular activities were also attractive, with 22.61% expressing interest in attending Queer Bookclub.

Others were interested in being a LGBTI Befriender Volunteer (15.65%), attending Lesbians who Lunch (14.78%) or Meet & Muse (12.17%).


Some quick takeaways from the Queer Bookclub survey results are:
51 as the Net Promoter Score is outstanding – anything over 30 is seen as solid 🙂

There was a strong spread across attendance with people feeling involved in Queer Book Club despite only attending a few meetings or none in person.

Respondents enjoyed connecting with like-minded people almost as much as discovering new Queer books.

Facebook is clearly the most popular way to keep in contact

The standout suggestion on the ways to improve in 2022 was having an online QBC, so I will be looking as to how we can do in that as well as our monthly face to face catch-ups

Finally, thanks for all the book suggestions. I will be compiling them into a list, checking their availability from the publishers, and then seeking feedback from everyone as to which ones we should read in 2022.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to give their feedback.

😍🌈📚💕🦄 David Gibson

End of Life Planning: Helpful Information to Consider

On Thursday, February 24th (9am-12pm), GRAI is holding a FREE! workshop at Southcare Hall, 19 Pether Road, Manning.

There will be discussions with:

Helen Tuck (Justice of the Peace) – Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship

Alice Herring (Clinical Nurse Consultant, WA Voluntary Assisted Dying State-wide Care Navigator Service) – Who can access the VAD legislation and what is the process?

Lezly Herbert (Funeral Celebrant) – Lezly will explore with people ideas for funerals and eulogies that reflect and respect their own lives and identities. Register your attendance on Eventbrite:

Friday 8 April – Sunday 10 April 2022. Put the date in your calendar.

In its 12th year, Heritage Perth Weekend 2022 is an event that celebrates Perth City’s unique natural, cultural and built heritage. It aims to engender a sense of community pride in our cultural heritage and to promote its value in the contribution it makes to our community now and in the future.

The event programme features history and heritage walks, talks, ‘behind the scenes’ tours of iconic and curious heritage buildings, children’s activities, exhibitions and experiences. Find out more here.

GRAI is hosting a Lesbian, Gay and Trans Heritage weekend event on Sunday 10th April, called “Closeted stories from long ago: An afternoon of stories from lesbian, gay and trans people who came of age in the 1950-70’s in Perth.”

If you were out and about then, and would like to share your experiences of LGT life, we are seeking 4-5 speakers each from older members of the Gay, Lesbian and Trans communities. Please contact Kedy ( or Rowan (


GRAI (GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc) is proud to announce that it has received three years of funding to establish the first GLBTI Village Hub in Australia!

Under the Seniors Connected Program, 10 Village Hubs across Australia have been funded to alleviate loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians with the GRAI model being the only one to focus solely on LGBTI seniors.

GRAI’s Village Hub will be led by and for older LGBTI people, offering multidimensional peer support and service development for the community.

This exciting new initiative is led by and for LGBTI seniors, and it offers opportunities for peer support, social activities, access to information, and supportive health and social services. GRAI’s Village Hub will operate from different locations around metropolitan Perth, helping LGBTI elders to engage with culturally safe local supports and activities.

GRAI’s years of experience providing advocacy and connection for LGBTI elders will enable the development of this dynamic social-and activity-based village hub.

Some of GRAI’s familiar activities will continue (such as the Queer Book Club, Talking Generations events, Film Nights, Lesbians Who Lunch, and Meet n Muse) and new activities will be identified and offered, guided by the LGBTI Elders’ Advisory group (more on this below).

If you know someone who might be interested in connecting with the GRAI Village Hub, please encourage them to contact us by email at and we will add them to our contact list. 

You can get a copy of our 2022 Village Hub Calendar here.

Befriending Program

GRAI’s new Befriending Program is off to a great start! We enlisted nine talented and enthusiastic Befrienders, some of whom did a half-day training towards the end of January. Feedback from the training was positive, with Befrienders saying that they had gained a good sense of their role as “bridges to the LGBTI community.”

Other trainings will be offered during the year so let us know if you are interested in becoming a Befriender!

All Befrienders have a police clearance and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations. 

If you are interested in our Befriending program, either as a participant or a 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 have gathered together a fantastic group of Elders who are willing to meet bi-monthly to guide our LGBTI Village Hub and Befriender Program. Their first meeting was on February 2nd, and it was a very productive meeting. The expertise that is available to support the Village Hub and Befriender Program is much appreciated.

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. 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

ELDER’S ADVISORY GROUP MEMBERS STILL NEEDEDWe have gathered a wonderful group of Elder’s Advisory Group members, but we’d like to ensure representation of all members of our community.

We need trans/non-binary, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, intersex, and CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) members. If you are able to give us 2 hours of your time every two months (in-person or online) please get in touch with Kedy ( DOCTORS LISTGRAI is developing a GLBTI- 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 🙂 Thank you!

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.

HERITAGE PERTH WEEKEND 2022BOORLOO KWEDJANG BARDIP YANGINYFriday 8 April – Sunday 10 April 2022In its 12th year, Heritage Perth Weekend 2022 is an event that celebrates Perth City’s unique natural, cultural and built heritage. It aims to engender a sense of community pride in our cultural heritage and to promote its value in the contribution it makes to our community now and in the future. The event programme features history and heritage walks, talks, ‘behind the scenes’ tours of iconic and curious heritage buildings, children’s activities, exhibitions and experiences. Find out more here.GRAI is hosting a Lesbian, Gay and Trans Heritage weekend event on Sunday 10th April, called “Closeted stories from long ago: An afternoon of stories from lesbian, gay and trans people who came of age in the 1950-70’s in Perth.”

If you were out and about then, and would like to share your experiences of LGT life, we are seeking 4-5 speakers each from older members of the Gay, Lesbian and Trans communities. Please contact Kedy ( or Rowan ( LIFE STORIESThe interest in hearing or reading LGBTI life stories continues…

GRAI has been approached by COTA (Council on The Ageing) with a request for an older LGBTI person’s interesting person story or experiences for their newsletter. The COTA newsletter goes out monthly to a wise audience.

If anyone has something that they would like to share, please write a maximum of two pages and provide a photo, if possible. Please contact Kedy Kristal (GRAI’s Executive Officer), for more information. GRAIYour 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 802 037 on Wednesdays or Thursdays (or text/leave a message).

Queer BookClub

Queer BookClub wraps up its first year with it’s final book for 2021 –’Mangos and Mistletoe’ a Queer foodie holiday novella by Adriana Herrera. As usual free copies of the book are available to collect from Crow Books for those on a fixed income (limited stock) or at a 20% discount for Bookclub members
Due to holidays, the December Queer BookClub is being held on Wednesday, Dec 15 at Connect Vic Park, 5 Mackie Street, at the same time of 6pm. There will also be some Christmas Cheer in the refreshments provided to thank everyone for a wonderful year so feel free to come along and join us.
We will also have copies of Devotion by Hannah Kent available at the December meeting. This is a historical fiction novel about fleeing religious persecution and lesbian early settlers in Australia. Definitely, a timely holiday read in light of the Religious Discrimination Bill being introduced into Parliament.
For further info about Queer BookClub, contact David or check out the QBC Facebook.
Queer BookClub is supported by Crow Books Vic Park and Dept of Communities.🌈 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 (Sunday, February 5th and 19th). Musers usually debate 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


Featured above (see Bingo with a Twist), 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.

Elder Abuse in Australia

The first Australian prevalence study of Elder abuse has been released, commissioned by the Federal Attorney -General’s department. Over 7000 people aged 65 and over living in the community were interviewed. Older people in residential aged care homes, people deemed not to have the cognitive capacity to undertake an interview, older people without access to a phone and LGBTI older people were not surveyed.

The survey investigated the prevalence and nature of elder abuse, who is most likely to experience abuse, who commits abuse, and how people respond to abuse.
This research shows that 15% of the population aged 65 and over who live in the community have experienced elder abuse in the 12 months prior to the interview.

Psychological abuse is the most common subtype (12%), followed by neglect (3%), financial abuse (2%), physical abuse (2%) and sexual abuse (1%).

Some people experience more than one subtype of abuse (4%). The most common combination of abuse is psychological abuse and neglect.
The full report on the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study is available here.

Have Your Say! Gendered Public Facilities in WA

The Equal Opportunity Commission, with the assistance of Curtin University intern, Maya Yamamoto-Portelli, has launched a survey on barriers to accessing gendered public facilities in Perth.

Results from the survey will form part of a project report on the issues surrounding these facilities, and any potential solutions to those problems.

To see all of the details about the survey, please click here.

If you would like a hard copy of the survey, please contact Maya Yamamoto-Portelli at or by phone on 9216 3900. You can access the survey online here.

Welcoming the Rainbow: A Guide to LGBTIQA+ Inclusion for Buddhists

It’s important to listen to the voices of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists to understand their experiences. Recent research sponsored by Rainbodhi, undertaken by Dr Stephen Kerry from Charles Darwin University, found that Australian Buddhist communities can be challenging places for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists.

Speaking about their own Buddhist centres, respondents reported:

• 61% felt that Buddhist centres silence or ignore LGBTQIA+ people and issues
• 55% were at times reluctant to disclose their LGBTQIA+ identities
• 54% had seen or heard sexism
• 37% had seen or heard homophobia
• 26% had seen or heard transphobia or misgendering
• 26% had seen or heard racism
• 16% had been told their LGBTQIA+ identity is inconsistent with Buddhist teachings.
These results show that Buddhist centres are not always safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists. Acknowledging the existence of prejudice and discrimination is an important first step in making the necessary changes to create safer and more inclusive Buddhist communities.
Buddhism has a LGBTQIA+ History
There has always been queer, trans and intersex people in human history. LGBTQIA+ people are also spiritual people, so it’s not surprising to find that Buddhism has a LGBTQIA+ history. Early Buddhist texts discuss same-sex attraction and sexuality without any sense of moral judgement or negativity. There are also accounts of laypeople and monastics who transitioned across genders.
This resource is available to download, or you can request hard copies to give to Buddhist temples, monasteries, and retreat /meditation centres. There are practical tips on being an Ally, how to reduce the administative barriers, and how to change the speech and views that harm LGBTIQA+ buddists.

Talking Trans Ageing Video Series

Two videos that explore experiences of ageing among transgender women have been created by a small grant from the UNSW (The University of New South Wales) Women’s Wellbeing Academy.

The series was produced by a queer and trans-led team and is the product of a collaboration between multi-disciplinary UNSW academics (myself and Professor Jill Bennett) and LGBT+ community partners (BLAQ Aboriginal Corporation, Peta Friend – founder of Trans Pride Australia, and Queer Agency).
In the first video of the series you will meet Rusty, a Yamatji/Noongar woman who grew up in a large family in Western Australia, before moving to Sydney to fully embrace her trans identity in the Cross during the 80s. In the second, you will meet Carol, a self-described ‘un-kept woman’ who came out in her mid-fifties to the surprise of her wife and adult children.
Here is a link to the videos:

Family Tales: Bringing Treasures back from Memory Lane

At the recent UWA 4th annual research forum on Ageing, there was a short presentation by Dr Christian Mauri on his Family Tales project.

He writes:
To help give a quick idea of what Family Tales is about, here’s a link to a video of my presentation from last week. You can also visit the Family Tales website here
Essentially, the idea is to conduct interviews with people to capture stories we can hold on to and learn from. The idea is motivated by two values: 
1. Listening. People deserve to reflect on their life and times in respectful, supportive company. We often don’t do this because it can feel overwhelming or indulgent. However, my background in residential support services and relationships with friends north of twice my age has taught me how this nourishes the soul and exercises the well-seasoned mind. You can read more about my approach here.
2. Learning. The best way to learn about the past and appreciate the present is through intergenerational storytelling. As a sociologist, I know that we observe the past to appreciate change and continuity. Without these learnings, we risk seeing the past as mysterious, taking the present for granted, and feeling disconnected from our histories. For this reason, I say that the product – the book – is for family and communities.
The stories can be organised chronologically or by themes into a colourful hardcover book with photos, artwork, and additional material for context (maps, newspaper articles, etc.). These books are relatively small because the goal is for people to be able to pick them up and read individual stories and complete the lot at their leisure (as an academic, I’ve seen far too many big books go unread and unloved on the shelf).
Family Tales is an in-person and online service for engaging your loved ones in respectful conversation and capturing their life and stories in beautiful books.

Dr Mauri has three different levels of production for the finished book (5 copies) and prices range from $5,000 to $8,500. This includes visit/video conference with subject to explore stories and material, visit/video conference with subjects’ community, developing raw transcript info material for a book, collating, scanning touching up photos and documents for the book, formatting content, printing, and research of contextual information to support key stories. Other supports can include providing illustrations if no photos are available, curated recordings of interviews and additional copies of the book.

You can contact Dr Christian Mauri by email:


Do you have a review that you would like to share?
Review? Submit!

We invite reviews of books, films or research of specific interest to older LGBTI people. Submissions to

Thanks 🙂


Rainbow Health Victoria
COVID19 : impacts for LGBTIQ communities and implications for servicesTip Sheet : LGBTIQ Inclusion for COVID19 Remote ServiceIntersex people and COVID19COVID19 Vaccinations and Gender Affirming Hormones

Intersex Human Rights AustraliaTranshubYour Community Health
How does Astrazeneca Affect Trans People on Gender Affirming Hormones?

Managing Mild COVID at Home

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has published a guide, action plan and symptom diary for patients with COVID-19 who are managing at home. You can download a copy of the guide here.

Coping with Distress about COVID-19 Restrictions Easing

Many of us around the country have been counting down the days till lockdowns end, restrictions ease, and borders open so we can see our loved ones again and start living life as normal. But, as governments around Australia make cautious moves towards lifting COVID-19 restrictions, some of us are experiencing anxiety around re-entry into the world and what the new normal is.

If you’re feeling anxious or worried during this time, you’re not alone. Even if you are not typically an anxious person, it’s common to feel some anxiety during periods of change or uncertainty.

Blackdog Institute have published a handy tip sheet. You will find it here.

Face Masks & Complex Trauma

Masks are increasingly being recommended within Australia as well as globally. In some areas, they are now mandatory. But it is important to understand why many of us with trauma histories may be triggered when we are asked to wear a mask, or even when we see them. A trigger is an internal or external cue that stimulates our senses to throw us back into a time of earlier trauma experiences.

Blueknot has published a handy tip-sheet. You can download it here.

The Volunteering Resource Hub

Resources to help manage, re-engage and recruit volunteers The Volunteering Resource Hub is available to aged care providers to help increase and improve their volunteering programs.

It includes: evidence-based policies, procedures, tools, videos, templates, guides and research to assist with all stages of managing volunteer resources to support re-engaging and recruiting volunteers. COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on many volunteers’ ability to access and support their older friends in aged care.

However, there are ways that aged care providers can support their return. These resources are free to organisations and individuals to support effective volunteer management. You can also contribute resources to the Hub.

Contributions will be assessed to ensure they align with the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement and meet best-practice in volunteer management. The Hub is an initiative of Volunteering Australia, funded by the Department of Social Services. Visit the Volunteering Resource Hub website here.

New Photography Competition for WA Seniors Card Members

The Golden Lens photography competition, recently launched by the McGowan Government, provides an opportunity to reflect the lives of LGBTI seniors.

The competition provides an opportunity for more than 400,000 WA Senior Card members to share photos they have taken which reflect the lives of seniors and seniors’ interests across WA.
Importantly, the competition aims to promote ageing well by celebrating the skills of Western Australians through the art of photography and demonstrating people can create at any age.
There are four categories to submit photos: ‘Active Ageing’, ‘Artistic Photography’, ‘Aussie Way of Life’ and ‘Meaningful Connections’.
There will also be a People’s Choice category where public voting will be possible via the WA Seniors Card Facebook page.
The photos may be featured in the WA Seniors Card 2022 – 2023 Discount Directory to be published later this year. 
Key prizes have been generously donated by WA Seniors Card business partners, and all five winners will be invited to a lunch at Parliament House with Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch.
The competition closes on April 4, 2022. Further information about entry requirements is available at
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