Have your say in the Rainbow Families Community Survey and win a $50 gift card


2017 was a big year for Rainbow Families NSW, with a new Committee, popular events like the Halloween Disco and Family Pride, a huge Mardi Gras season, advocacy work on marriage equality as well as many other important issues, and Australia's first LGBTIQ antenatal class.

Rainbow Families is here for the community, and we want to make sure that we’re focusing on the things that are important to you, and that we’re doing them well!

We want to hear from you, so we can shape our plans for the year ahead.

Click here to have your say



Progress Lab

Rainbow Families, along with 6 other exceptional groups and individuals, has been chosen to participate in Progress Lab. Progress Lab is a new social movement incubator that’s the first of it’s kind in Australia, run by Australian Progress in collaboration with ACOSS.

Vanessa Gonzalez, Mat Howard and Juliette Meaney will be representing our community organisation, and will be speakers at the launch and pitch nights in Melbourne and Sydney. Please send us your best wishes as we hope to engage and inspire new partnerships, funding and supporters.

We encourage all benefactors, donors and corporates interested in our work to attend the event and hear about these exciting social movements.

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Progress Lab Invitation to the Sydney Launch

From a pool of more than 100 ideas, Progress Lab identified 7 promising early-stage organisations with great potential to amplify the voices and achieve change for some of Australia's most marginalised communities. 

There is no doubt these organisations will be at the forefront of major national debates in the coming years - and in many cases, their leaders already are.

We're backing them with a structured 6-month support program to give them the best chance of success, and invite you to be part of this journey from the get-go.

Will you attend the Sydney Pitch Night to find out more about their visions for change and how you can get involved from the very beginning?

Hear from and speak directly to our first Progress Labs founders -- including:

·         Tim Lo Surdo from Democracy in Colour, Australia's first national racial justice advocacy organisation led by people of colour, recently launched.

·         Jason Ball and James Lolicato from Pride Cup, building a movement of advocates tackling homophobia in grassroots sport across rural and regional Australia.

·         Meagan Lawson and Corey Irlam from the Council on the Ageing, who are planning a new digital and grassroots movement of Australian seniors.

·         Karrina Nolan from Original Power, a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisation designed to increase the effectiveness of campaigns for self-determined solutions.

·         Joel Dignam from Comfy Homes, a campaigning movement designed to change the way we think about renting.

·         Owen Bennett and Jeremy Poxon from the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, combining 1:1 assistance for unemployed people with advocacy to amplify their voices.

·         Vanessa GonzalezJuliette Meaney and Mat Howard from Rainbow Families, an organisation providing LGBTQI families with access to relevant community programs, social connection, and advocacy support

Click here to secure your ticket to hear more about these projects and find out how you can be involved.

Progress Labs is generously backed by the Donkey Wheel Trust, Vasudhara Foundation and private donors - and designed to create a pipeline of exciting advocacy projects.

These are not your typical charity projects. They're bold, ambitious, experimental efforts to achieve systems change by elevating the voices of people missing from our national debates. They provide new models for citizen engagement -- and together we can help strengthen our democracy.



Rainbow Families tell Parliament what it was like to have the postal survey inflicted on us

Rainbow Families NSW has told a Parliamentary Committee what it was like being at the pointy end of the marriage equality debate last year, in a submission to the Inquiry into Arrangements for the Postal Survey. 
The Inquiry was established to examine the process of the postal survey, including the Parliament’s protections against offensive, misleading or intimidating material or behaviour, especially towards affected communities.
Rainbow Families co-chair Vanessa Gonzalez, said that postal survey was a tough time for many in our community, particularly parents of young children who were exposed to leaflets, advertising and discussions that painted our families in an extremely negative light.
“Even though the Parliament enacted protections against vilification, and to ensure that advertising aligned with existing electoral law, those protections were not enough to safeguard our families from ending up on the frontline of a divisive debate that caused great harm to many in our community.
“Once the door was opened to this debate by the Government it was our families ended up on the frontline.”
Co-Chair Mat Howard said that “When the idea of a plebiscite was raised, Rainbow Families campaigned against a divisive public poll, precisely because when marriage equality was debated in France, Ireland, the US and UK, the children of same-sex couples became the focus of some hurtful statements and campaigns. 
“We did not want that to happen here. And we do not want it to happen to any group ever again. 
Rainbow Families submission is comprised of the very real experiences of our community and includes stories of: 
·         Families who received flyers stating that homosexuality is “the curse of death”
·         Families who received homophobic letters from neighbours
·         People who were barraged with hateful discriminatory messages on social media from friends and family, saying that same sex couples are in the same category as paedophiles, bestiality and polygamy.
·         Parents exposed to negative advertising from No campaign targeting their kids and parenting.
·         The impact on children who were bullied at school because of the messages other children were receiving about LGBTIQ families.

Download a copy of the submission

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Mardi Gras Ticket Update

Tonight we were overwhelmed with people logging on to buy tickets for Mardi Gras, and just like when Britney was announced to headline Brighton Pride, our system crashed.

The good news is that we have a waitlist which has been recording chronologically, so we will be contacting families in the order they registered for the waitlist to fill the remaining spots to march with us.

This year we were allocated 150 spots by Mardi Gras, across 3 floats.

We are trying to move mountains to get more tickets, and doing everything we can to maximise the ways families can get involved.

We are exploring the option of a "Rainbow Families Mardi Gras Sideline" area so more families can view the parade. Whilst marching is a wonderful experience, watching the 40th Mardi Gras parade will be amazing. Let us know if you are interested in this idea.

There will also be lots of family friendly events as part of the Mardi Gras festival.

Apologies to anyone who tried to get tickets tonight and missed out.

It’s a testament to our beautiful community that we are getting bigger every year.





Storybower – FREE Australian audio stories for preschoolers

‘What do you mean, I’m not a bear? My NAME is Koala Bear!’

Your little preschoolers will love this free collection of audio stories about young Australian animals and their adventures - produced by some of our wonderful community members.

There’s Little Sugar Glider, who is excited to be leaving the nest for the first time, with the help of her two dads. There’s the story of two mother possums, that manage to out-race a hungry quoll, and save their family. There’s Little Koala Bear, who discovers she’s not really a bear at all, and Blue-tongue Lizard, who behaves badly (and ends up with a blue tongue).

Storybower stories are Australian, educational, and rainbow-family-friendly. Each story includes animal facts, and links to further information and Australian animal craft activities.

Search for ‘Storybower’ in iTunes Podcasts or visit

Happy listening!

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Have your say in the Rainbow Families Community Survey and win a $50 gift card


2017 was a big year for Rainbow Families NSW, with a new Committee, popular events like the Halloween Disco and Family Pride, a huge Mardi Gras season, advocacy work on marriage equality as well as many other important issues, and Australia's first LGBTIQ antenatal class.

Rainbow Families is here for the community, and we want to make sure that we’re focusing on the things that are important to you, and that we’re doing them well!

We want to hear from you, so we can shape our plans for the year ahead.

Click here to have your say



Halloween Disco Social Story

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In order to better support and include children with disability within the community, Rainbow Families created a social story for the Halloween Disco.

Developed with the assistance of a registered Speech Pathologist, the stories will be  provided to parents and carers free of charge.

Parents and carers can use the stories as a tool to assist their child with disability understand, anticipate, and participate in the activities run by Rainbow Families.

It is hoped that as a result of these stories children with disability will experience greater levels of engagement and confidence during community activities, and reduced distress, anxiety and isolation.

Future Social Stories to be released include: Going to Mardis Gras, Going to Fair Day, Going to Playgroup and Going to the Catch-Up.

This initiative is possible thanks to funding through the FundAbility program, operated by The Northcott Society.

Download your copy of the Halloween Disco Social Story here



Rainbow Families Working With Children Check Policy

Rainbow Families is committed to ensuring that children are protected in any of the activities or events that come under the Rainbow Families banner, particularly in relation to volunteers and staff who are working with kids.

With this in mind, the committee has developed a Working With Children Check Policy which will be phased in by the end of October 2017.

The policy simply requires anyone who volunteers or works with Rainbow Families to have a valid Working With Children Check Number. These will be stored and verified by Rainbow Families.

Getting a Working With Children Check Number is quick and easy, and as a volunteer it is free. It is one small way the Rainbow Families committee can ensure the safety of the children in our community.

Click here to see the Rainbow Families Working With Children Check Policy




Changes from the Love Makes A Family Report

Great news! The NSW Blue Book is now more inclusive for LGBTIQ parents and carers, and same sex parents who deliver a baby at RPA hospital from November will be able to register births online.

In May this year Rainbow Families released a report into discrimination faced by LGBTIQ parents and carers when accessing NSW government services. Over 200 people responded to the survey, with personal stories of discrimination they had experienced from our government. This formed the basis of the Love Makes A Family Report, along with recommendations for ministers on how to make NSW Government services more inclusive for LGBTIQ parents and their children.

The report was launched at NSW Parliament with over 20 politicians in attendance. We took the Rainbow Families Playgroup to Parliament and everyone loved the opportunity to meet their local members and introduce some of our children to them and chat about issues that are important to our community.

The report was sent to all minsters and shadow ministers. Since then Rainbow Families has been meeting with departments to discuss how we can work together to on the recommendations.

We met with a number of people from the department of health. The great news from these meetings is they are keen to work with us to make antenatal classes more inclusive for LGBTIQ parents. There is also interest in having a greater representation of LGBTIQ parents in promotional material available at hospitals.

The Blue Book (Child Personal Health Record) had a major review last year. Rainbow Families was consulted on this review, and provided a number of recommended changes to make the resource better represent our families. Simple changes like taking out mother and father have been implemented where possible. The updated Blue Book is now being issues across the state, so all babies born from now on should receive the more inclusive version.

We also met with the Attorney General’s Office, and representatives from Birth Deaths and Marriages to discuss legal parentage, surrogacy, and increasing the number of parents able to be listed on a birth certificate. The great news from this meeting is a trial for online birth registrations for babies born to same sex parents in NSW. The trial will take place at RPA hospital this November, and will be rolled out across the state hopefully next year.

There were many issues raised by our community in the consultation process for the report, and over 25 recommendation made in the report. Unfortunately many of these changes will not be immediate, however we have started the conversations, and will continue to work with Government Department, to make NSW Government services more inclusive and safe for our growing community.



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Rainbow Families Welcomes new Co Chairs & Committee

The Inaugural Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 17 September. It was a time the first AGM following incorporation in April 2016, and a time to reflect on the many achievements, and elect the new management committee.  The new committee consisting of 15 passionate and committed people were elected on the night. 

Mat Howard and Vanessa Gonzalez were elected unopposed as the new co-chairs.  Vanessa is a founding member of Rainbow Families and will take up her second term as co chair. Mat has been a member of the committee for over a year. He  has championed community consultation, and been a leader expanding the advocacy work.  We pay tribute to our Committee of Management and welcome those newly elected;

Mat Howard Co Chair
Vanessa Gonzalez Co Chair
Charmaine Flood Secretary
Rica Seeto Treasurer
Cathy Brown Ordinary Member
Cec Busby Ordinary Member
Nicholas Stewart Ordinary Member
Bern Foley Ordinary Member
Jai Reid Ordinary Member
Samantha Frain Ordinary Member
Alison Eaton Ordinary Member
Juliette Meaney Ordinary Member
Dror Hazy Ordinary Member
Claire Blewett  Ordinary Member
Ashley Scott Ex Officio member

This year we said goodbye to some great members

Ashley Scott (founding member and recent cochair) steps down from the leadership role to take up the newly created part time Community Worker position. Founding co chair and passionate volunteer Scott Brunelle steps down from the committee this year. Scott is credited as being a key driver in establishing the community organisation, making it inclusive of gay dads, and setting up a strong community brand.   Justine Harris also resigned this year. Justine brought with her a passion for parent education and welfare. The many parenting programs were established with Justine's guidance.  Also leaving this year were inaugural secretary Dianna Coffey. Diana was instrumental in drafting the constitution, seeking incorporation and building a professional response to community. 

Being our first AGM, this is our first opportunity to formally say thanks to all our previous Committee Members

Diana Coffey (inaugural secretary)
Leah Newman (Art Design and coms)
Justine Harris (Playgroups, education and welfare)
Sandra Santos ( Snow trip organiser)
Scott Williams (marketing and social media)
Justine Maguire- Scavelli (Inaugural CoChair)
Laurie Berg (Advocacy)  

We value those new committee members joining in 2017/18 and encourage you to all become involved. Become a financial member of Rainbow Families today.

All Rainbow Families  Financial Members are entitled to inspect records relating to the process and outcome of Annual General Meeting elections or copies of any previous minutes or financial statements. If you would like to inspect the records please contact us at 

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Thank you to outgoing Chair Ashley Scott

This month marks the end of Ashley Scott in the CoChair position. He has done an outstanding job shaping this organisation for the past two years to what it is today. Rainbow Families thanks Ashley for  an extraordinary work and leadership, his hard work and commitment to building a strong a prosperous organisation.   As a founding member of Rainbow Families and as chair in recent years, your stewardship of Rainbow Families has been characterised by hard work, calm and warm presence, strong relationship building and being responsive to the needs of our community.

Ashley joined just as he became a parent for a second time and the committee was forming. Sleep deprived and optimistic he offered many volunteer hours to many of the social events and parenting groups established. Ashley took a lead in supporting and resourcing regional playgroups and family events. On becoming chair, he became visible and sought to develop working relationships with other LGBTQI organisations, local councils, funding bodies, corporates and the community. Ashley has been across all aspects of the organisation supporting advocacy, events, web content, media and coms, and resource development.  We are grateful for his leadership and significant contribution.

We are pleased to announce that Ashley has decided to take up the newly created Community Worker role within Rainbow Families. This is a part time position which is the beginning of our dream of one day having a team of workers and centre to support our community.




Thanks to Scott Brunelle

Scott Brunelle was a founding member and the first CoChair or Rainbow Families. Scott had been an active volunteer and organiser of Gay Dads NSW for many years prior, and saw an opportunity to establish a much needed peak organisation for LGBTQI parents and their children in NSW. His enthusiasm, vision and hard work ensured that many others joined the committee in it's infancy.  

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Whilst traditionally many groups were run and attended by lesbians, he sought to actively encourage inclusion. And today the committee is truly representative of our diverse community having gay, lesbian and trans parent representation, and also members from both city, metropolitan and regional NSW. 

Scott brought with him valuable experience in the private sector and skills in strategic planning, marketing and brand development. He was significant in leading the mission and vision for the organisation, developing web content,  and establishing a strong brand. Scott also forged strong relationships with other LGBTQI organisation and the corporate sector. It was Scott that secured first donations from corporate sector. The resulting goodwill has become a huge asset to us, and the relationships he fostered with our supporters and partners will ensure Rainbow Families will prosper and continue to offer opportunities to our community.

Scott has championed the development of parenting resources and programs. He is credited as establishing the very popular " Making Rainbow Families" Seminars. Although he is stepping down from the committee, he will continue to be available as a consult as required, and likely be seen lending a hand at an upcoming fundraiser. From a personal point of view, the committee thank you for your leadership, warm friendship and support. This has been very important to us throughout the last two years.



AGM votes to increase Membership Fees

Since its inception, Rainbow Families has grown in both membership and annual offering. To continue providing the community with a range of events for families to support, encourage and empower our community, the Committee proposed increasing annual membership fees in line with the recommendations of the 2016 community survey.

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The resolution to change annual memberships fees was passed at the September Annual General Meeting.  The committee moved that the annual membership is increased to $20 per year, or $10 concession rate.  The joining fee of $2 remains unchanged.  This will come into effect immediately for all new members joining. Existing members fees will increase when their anniversary is due. Members will be entitled to special member discount and benefits during the year. 


Click here to become a member



From little things, big things Grow: Announcing the new Community Worker Position

Since it’s beginnings Rainbow Families has grown in scope and amount of support services it offers the community. That work has relied on extensive volunteer hours by the committee, the support of partner agencies, and our many volunteers. The range of work include educational seminars, parenting education, playgroups, and social, community and cultural events. Rainbow Families has introduced a strong voice for LGBTQI parents and their children in NSW, providing advocacy, support and opportunities to celebrate our families.


Whilst not yet being able to attract long term funding for an ongoing worker, the committee have decided to put aside current funds to trial a part time position. This is a self funded commitment arising from fundraising over the last 2 years. The committee is pleased to announce that a 1 day a week Community Worker position will be established and trialled for a period of 6 months.  Longstanding volunteer and CoChair Ashley Scott has accepted the position and is due to start mid October, 2017.

We are conscious that the position is very part time and that ongoing funding is not yet secure.  We are committed to continuing to seek ongoing funding to meet the needs of our community. We thank all the community members who have donated their time, money or become financial members. It’s a small beginning, but we are proud to be at this little milestone.



Rainbow Families wins ACON Honour Award

The ACON Honour Awards acknowledges outstanding service to NSW’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. Now in its 11th year, the Honour Awards provides an opportunity for LGBTI people to recognise excellence and celebrate achievements within our community, as well as the difference that particular community members and organisations make in the lives of LGBTI people in NSW.


This year Rainbow Families was nominated in the Community Organisation category. Also nominated were inspiring community groups. Trans Sydney Pride was recognised for providing support, advocacy and visibility for transgender people, and raising awareness on the key issues through events and activations.  The Flying Bats Women’s Soccer  was recognised for  over 30 years of providing a safe, supportive and social environment for thousands of women in Sydney through Football. And the Pride History Group for its ongoing commitment to document and record the diverse history of LGBTI Sydney for future generations.

We are thrilled to have been awarded the 2017 Honour Award for Community Organisation.  We are recognised for establishing NSW’s first peak advocacy group for children and families within the LGBTI community.


Committee members Vanessa Gonzalez, Bern Foley, Nick Stewart and previous committee member Diana Coffey accepted the award. Co Chair Vanessa Gonzalez in her acceptance speech recognised the value of love and family, “Whether it's a retired lesbian and her three cats, a brave couple living with an ageing parent, a group friends who after years of Mardi Gras parties still spend every Christmas together, or two dads and their baby girl. It's about love.”

Reflecting on the work of Rainbow Families, Vanessa Gonzalez said “  Last month as we were launching the  Love Makes a Family report in NSW Parliament House, some 22 future parents attended the Antenatal Class. Heavily pregnant lesbians, gay dads eagerly awaiting the birth of their baby, trans parents, and birth support people.  It captures what Rainbow Families does best; strongly advocating and providing a voice for rainbow parents, and also focusing on supporting and empowering our community.” In the speech she also acknowledged community partners, and the LGBTQI elders that faced fear in the face and forged a path for all of us.

We are immensely proud of this recognition.  We take this time to thank the committee, all the volunteers, our children and members of our community.

To read more about the event and winners here



Wills and the LGBTI community. Don’t leave your family vulnerable. By Grace Wilkie and Stacey Dowson.

No-one enjoys contemplating their own death. So we put the thought of it to the back of our minds and Wills are filed under ‘Future me problems’. Yet, life can be messy and unexpected.

Dowson Turco Lawyers (DTL) deals with many cases where a Will could have avoided high emotions, costly legal disputes and anguish for loved ones.

For example, recently one of DTL’s clients, let’s call him John*, was in a registered de facto relationship with Ben* for several years.

Ben’s family was fully supportive of the relationship and John shared a close relationship with them. Tragically, Ben suffered long-term mental health issue and he took his own life.

Ben died intestate, that is, he died without leaving a Will.

Initially, the close relationship between John and Ben’s family continued, but things turned sour when John confided that Ben had been deeply unhappy and that this had caused problems for the couple leading up to his death. Ben’s family began to blame John for the death of their beloved son, brother, nephew and cousin.

Succession law in New South Wales generally dictates that the spouse of a deceased person, who dies without a Will, gets all or the lion’s share of their partner’s estate (there are other factors that may influence this such as children or previous relationships). In John’s case, Ben’s family falsely claimed the de facto relationship had ended shortly before Ben’s death and because of this separation, they argued John should get next to nothing from Ben’s estate. This appeared to be an opportunistic move motivated by money and misplaced blame.

The family went to great lengths when attempting take control of Ben’s estate. They lodged an objection in court to John’s appointment as administrator of Ben’s estate. They then placed a caveat over the whole of the estate. The ensuing fight was gloves off, right down to arguing over who should control Ben’s ashes, it was nasty.

Fortunately, DTL cut through the bull**** to protect not only John’s legal interests but the memory, validity and integrity of his relationship with Ben. For John, the cost of Ben’s intestacy goes beyond the dollar value to include the destruction of John’s good relationship with Ben’s family and the unnecessary prolongment of heart-ache from losing one’s life-partner.

The fact is, the existence of a Will would have greatly narrowed the scope for such a painful legal battle between those left grieving. No-one can be certain how family may act when grieving. When you think about it, we don’t have Wills drafted for our own benefit but rather for the benefit of the ones we leave behind.

Our Wills are our last word in life and they aim to ensure our loved ones are looked after in a way that truly reflects the strength and nature of our relationships, beyond what legislation assumes exists. This may go further than simply giving to our loved ones, as we may further seek to exclude those who we don’t want to benefit from our estate.

So, what should you be thinking about when it comes to planning your Will?

(1)           The first and perhaps the most obvious issue is to think of all of your personal belongings (your stuff). Who do you want to have your personal stuff? When should they get it? Who don’t you want to have your stuff and why?


(2)           The second issue to consider if you have children is how old are they and dependent on their ages, who do you trust to bring them up until they are no longer minors.


(3)           If you have children, you will also need to consider when you want them to receive their inheritance?


(4)           If you have pets who are dependent on you at the time of your death, who will you nominate to look after them after your death.


(5)           You should carefully consider who will get what from your estate and whether you will give the gift outright or whether you want to gift a life estate or a right to occupy.


(6)           You need to carefully consider who you want to oversee your estate and make sure that all your stuff goes to where you want it to as stated in your Will. As with beneficiaries, there should be alternative executors to take the place of the whoever is nominated first, in the event the first nominated person can no longer do it or they cannot do it for whatever reason.


(7)           After the obvious beneficiary/children/executor considerations come the rarely thought of, but nevertheless important questions. Decisions like:


a.     Do you want to be buried or cremated, and what do you want to happen to your body or remains?

b.     Would you like to donate your organs?

c.     Would you like to make your body available for medical research?

d.     Do you want a memorial service that is religious or not?

e.     Is there anything else you consider important to you?


(8)           Finally, it is important not to ‘love and leave’ your Will. Your Will is a ‘snapshot in time’, a record of your current circumstances which you may outgrow. Your Will needs to evolve as your life does, to ensure that when it is needed, it accurately reflects your wishes. DTL, recommends updating your Will every 3 to 5 years or so years, or when there is a material change to your life i.e. kids, inheritance, acquiring assets or growth in asset value or changes in your personal circumstances.

You may not believe that your family would or could ever fight over your estate but the truth is that conflict can arise in unexpected places, especially in times of stress and grief. Squaring your Will away is a matter of putting in a little effort now to prevent a lot of effort and heartache in the future for your loved ones.

Grace Wilkie is a Wills and Estates lawyer at Dowson Turco Lawyers and Stacey Dowson is the firm’s managing partner.



Community Story


"Our baby.. she doesn't know it yet, but she is going to have the best life" 

Over the weekend my partner (of almost 17 years) and I had the most amazing day celebrating the impending arrival of our baby girl with family and friends.

No one seemed to mind that we are both women....We held the event in the home that we own. We have worked hard to have the life that we always envisioned for ourselves and our future family.

Both of our parents are still together. Our families get along and accept and love us. We have a mix of both woman AND men within our families, along with Greek and Italian cultural influences.

This "debate" and "survey" is more damaging to the next generation than them possibly being raised by two mums or two dads.  Bringing them up in a country where its acceptable to pass judgement on people for who they are - is barbaric! It would be nice for our child to come into the world without this even being a thing. 

Out of 113,595 registered marriages in Australia in 2015, 48,517 divorces were also granted - thats over 42% divorce rate (and it is rising by 3-4% each year!)! If the tradition of marriage between a man and a woman is so important to conservative Australia - then you should have to stay married and live by the legally binding vowels you make. So if same sex marriage doesn't go through, then perhaps the next thing should be to eradicate divorce?

For Mish and I, we don't personally care too much for "marriage" itself - it is equality that we are fighting for. The conservatives are holding on so tight to this idea of how things have always been yet - woman can vote now, and black people can ride the same bus as the's called evolution and EQUALITY people it's not 1920 anymore!

The bigger picture for us is that we can raise a family together - which IS legal. We will both be on the birth certificate of our daughter, we will have equal rights as parents. While i don't want to draw attention to this too much in the case that I jinx it and it somehow gets reversed - I do find it ironic that two people of the same sex who are in love can't get married but they can be seen as equal parents.  Mish and I are on the same medicare card, same health insurance, centrelink see her as my partner, we pay taxes as equals....funny when it comes to money that conservatives and the government see us and our situation "equal" to everyone else.

Our life doesn't affect anyone else but us. We are no better and no worse than anyone else. Even if we NEVER get same sex marriage over the line (which is just crazy), it doesn't mean that people will just stop being gay, quit their relationships, stop having families... it's not going away. So why fight it any longer?! Just accept it like most of the rest of the world, and let's start focussing on REAL issues.

We are fortunate that our little girl is coming into this world surrounded by the love of our family and friends.  She doesn't know it yet but she is going to have the BEST life. Regardless of what her country thinks.

I'm really proud of all my friends and family who have been vocal on this issue - especially the straight ones.  The support is amazing. Thank you for fighting the good fight, even when we shouldn't have to.

"As an authorised civil marriage celebrant here in Australia, I am excited to think that one day I will be able to marry ALL couples in loving committed relationships."

Thank you Hayley Mearns for sharing your personal story
Photo Credit: Lara Hotz Photography



Rainbow Families visit to NSW Parliament

On the 10 August, NSW Parliamentary Friendship Group of LGBTIQ invited Rainbow Families to present the findings of the report “Love Makes a Family: A Report into Discriminations faced by LGBTQI parents when accessing NSW Government Services.”

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Mat Howard, Rainbow Families board member and author of the report provided an overview of the findings and recommendations. Mat thanked the 200 community members who shared their personal stories and experience during the consultation period. We thank Jo Haylen Member for Summer Hill for a warm welcome and being a strong and supportive ally, Alex Greenwich Member for Sydney and Jenny Leong Member for Newtown for your thoughtful response to the report.

During the morning many families had opportunities to meet their local members, and children delivered the report in hand drawn enveloped to all members.

We thank the many community members and allies that attended the meeting. And a special thanks to the Erskineville Rainbow Playgroup who had an excursion to NSW Parliament for the morning to help raise awareness of the discrimination and issues faced by our community.

In the weeks following the event, Rainbow Families board has met with the Health Minister’s office, the Attorney General and NSW Health. We will seek to meet with all ministers and shadow ministers who have recommendations in the report to discuss the best ways of making all NSW government services safe and inclusive for LGBTIQ parents and their children.



Guide for educators

Rainbow Families NSW has today release a guide for schools and daycare centres to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) parents and their children throughout the postal plebiscite.

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Download your copy of the guide here

Rainbow Families Co-Chair, Vanessa Gonzalez said the Guide to supporting our kids through the postal plebiscite was created in response to an identified need from the community.
“This debate is not actually about our families, they already exist, and our kids deserve to be safe and protected at school.
“But there have already been reports of children and LGBTIQ families being targeted in hurtful campaign material.
“We wanted to equip school communities to support our kids during this time.”

Rainbow Families Co-Chair, Ashley Scott, said that the guide was designed to provide clear ways that communities can support the kids of rainbow families during the postal plebiscite.
“The guide has ten simple ways school communities can support children and parents.
“Our website also contains resources to support parents during this time.

The guide was released to schools where a parent or carer from that school community asked Rainbow Families to send it them.
“We have sent the guide to schools across Australia this morning and are encouraging school leaders to share it with their staff.”

The guide was sent to over 400 schools and day care centres. So far only 40% of the emails have been opened, so if you requested the guide to be sent, please don’t assume it has been read. 

We encourage everyone to print the guide and take it to your child’s school, day care centre or P&C association, and have a conversation with the school community about how they can support your family. 

Rodney Chiang-Cruise, a parent from our community, told Rainbow Families that his school community had been extremely receptive of the Guide.
“It is something that I have been wanting ever since this survey was announced,” Rodney said.
“I wanted something that I could take to my son's school and speak about.
“The guide is great. This morning I sent it to the Headmaster of my son's school and within 30 minutes he was back in contact with me. He understood my concerns about the hate campaign being waged against our families. He did more than just understand, with the guide in hand he committed to ensuring all teachers get a copy, committed to speaking to all the teachers about looking out for our kids. He went further and said he would make it part of his assembly address and put it in the weekly newsletter.
“As a gay dad, I felt a huge sigh of relief. We may not be able to stop the hate campaign, but with the school we can ensure our son's school is a safe place for him. I am grateful to the Headmaster for being so receptive. I am happy that I had the guide to start that conversation.”

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