For 10 years, QLife has helped thousands of LGBTIQ+ Aussies

QLife volunteer Colin (centre) joins 10th anniversary celebration at Parliament House in Canberra
Image: courtesy of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

Australia’s national LGBTIQ+ helpline QLife has celebrated its 10th anniversary, marking a decade of delivering peer support to thousands of community members.

Every day from 3pm to midnight, volunteer peer supporters take calls on QLife’s free and anonymous national number – 1800 184 527 – and online.

Between July 2022 and June 2023 alone, QLife’s peer supporters answered 15,958 phone calls and 7,577 webchats.

The calls come from LGBTIQ+ people of all ages, across every state and territory, who need to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

QLife teams with state partners Diverse Voices (Qld), Switchboard (Vic), Living Proud (WA), and Twenty10 (NSW) across Australia.

Peer supporter Colin has volunteered since 1980s

One of QLife’s longest-serving peer supporters, Colin (pictured above, centre), has volunteered at Living Proud since the 1980s.

Last week, he was the keynote speaker at a Parliament House event in Canberra, celebrating a decade of QLife’s impact.

Colin explained over the years, the sector had significantly transformed but there was still room for improvement.

“The main change I’d love to see is extra funding for the organisation to staff phones, particularly in periods of high demand, so fewer people have to wait to get through,” he said.

“When another decade has passed, I hope conversion therapy is outlawed federally, and there’s less of a general heterosexual assumption in society.

“Having positive role models and age-appropriate education in schools can assist this.”

Colin said his trip to Canberra to share his story with MPs and guests was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.

“It was very humbling to be sitting in front of all those people as a key speaker,” he said.

“I had some great conversations with event attendees.”

QLife is ‘a sanctuary’ for community members

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia’s Wayne Herbet said the federal government has supported the “indispensable” QLife for a decade.

“Over the past ten years, this indispensable service has become a sanctuary for our community members across Australia,” Wayne said.

“QLife is not just a helpline; it is a testament to our collective aspirations for connection, belonging and wellbeing.”

Surveys found 76% of people felt better after their QLife session. Eighty per cent also said it was important to them that LGBTIQ+ peers delivered the support.

“QLife’s role can’t be overstated, especially in the face of increasingly complex issues we see,” Wayne said.

“Behind every call, every message, and every moment of support lies a person connected to find the strength to carry on.”

If you, or someone you know, needs support with experiences of sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships, please visit QLife webchat or call 1800 184 527.

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Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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