Closing keynote speech for MindOut’s LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Forum.
Content Warning: Descriptions of racial violence, discussion of mental health, suicidality and homophobia.
Dr Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat (BTD, MPH, PhD, SFHEA) from the Yupungathi and Meriam people. Dr Lee-Ah Mat has over 25 years’ experience in cultural governance connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with mainstream services, government departments, and businesses. In 2005, Vanessa was awarded an Australian Government award for Outstanding Citizen in the Torres Strait for her leadership in social impact. Dr Lee-Ah-Mat is the co-chair of the International Lesbian and Gay Association of the Pacific where she leads 22 countries in human rights for the LGBTQ population. In 2021, Vanessa received the Griffith University First People’s, Health Alumnus Award. Vanessa walks between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations strategically connecting cultures to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and international Indigenous communities with non-Indigenous organisations and world governments.