The Rotary Club of Woolloongabba have become the first Rotary club in the world to sponsor a Pride Club to support Queensland’s LGBTIQ community.
Australia’s Rotary Clubs are part of a global network of business and community leaders providing humanitarian services to their communities.
Within them, Rotaract clubs bring together young people aged 18 and up to give back to their community and develop professional skills.
For several years, the Rotary Club of Woolloongabba have backed LGBTIQ organisations including the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health and Open Doors Youth Service.
Now Rotary volunteers Ros Kelly, Craig Bowen and others have formed the first Rotoract Pride Club, in a first for Rotary International.
Craig Bowen (pictured above, third from right) came out as gay several years ago. He believes the Pride Club is an important move, to reflect the diversity of the community Rotary serves. The Club is open to anybody, from any background and sexual orientation.
“I work at many different fundraising events across Queensland,” Craig told QNews.com.au.
“Late last year at a fundraising event during Pride Week I wore my Rotary badge.
“Many young people were curious to know about Rotary and after letting them know a little, they wanted to join and make a difference.
“By the end of the day, I had a group of young passionate people who wanted to create a Rotaract Club.”
Rotary Clubs are inclusive of all cultures and identities
Craig Bowen said Rotary wants to keep growing and diversifying its membership to reflect their communities. The group are inclusive of all cultures, experiences, and identities.
“Our job isn’t done yet. Rotary sees a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change in our communities,” he said.
“This is important for Woolloongabba Pride Rotaract. It will help build connections with the areas of the community that the members have a passion for.”
The Rotaract Pride Club are currently working on three major projects.
They’re supporting Brisbane’s Rainbow Hub in creating a safe and supportive environment for international students in Brisbane who identify as LGBTIQ.
Rainbow Hub helps the international students connect with local services and their community.
Additionally, the Pride Club is fundraising for Open Doors Youth Service in Fortitude Valley. The service helps LGBTIQ youth find accommodation, get family and school support and referrals to support services.
The Rotaract Pride club is also creating their own youth program to educate younger people on health and wellbeing.
Get in touch with the Rotary Club of Woolloongabba via their website here.
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