This session looks at how educators can be (and have been) integral support for LGBTIQ+ students, staff and families. Educators can often represent a lifeline for students who are struggling and can help shape how students think about the world and their place in it. This session will include a panel discussion with educators from across Australia as well as stories from LGBTIQ+ advocates about the role of Educators in mental health and suicide prevention for LGBTIQ+young people.
Target audience: Mainstream mental health professionals working with young people, teachers, other school professionals and youth services.
This session is facilitated by Priscilla Pham, and includes Kaitlyn Einam, David Rhodes and Xris as panellists.
Cil (Priscilla) Pham (She/They) is an Alumni Program Lead and Social Media Manager at Keysborough College, and is currently aspiring to be a secondary teacher herself whilst studying her Masters in teaching. Growing up in a culturally diverse community, she strives to destigmatize the social and cultural barriers around mental health and LGBTQI+ identity. She hopes to motivate and encourage students, teaching staff, and the local community to be supportive and accepting of each other and themselves. Most importantly, she hopes to encourage her community to be a lifeline for our most vulnerable youth in Australia. She has recently been involved with Champions as a way to explore how she can make positive and ongoing change in her local and school community. Being a part of the Champions is also Cil's way to break down her own internalised homophobia, to overcome the fear of being "out", and to be the inspiration that she wished she had as a young person.
Kaitlyn Einam (they/them) is a queer, non-binary registered nurse, specialised in Sexual and Reproductive Health, and a qualified Psychosexual Therapist. Kaitlyn is a passionate LGBTQIA+ advocate, and counsels and educates with a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and intersectional feminist mindset. They have a background in abortion and contraception care, education, and community activism, and are a proud member of local community LGBTQIA+ networks and groups.
Dr David Rhodes is a Senior Lecturer, researcher and Education Program Coordinator in the School of Education at Edith Cowan University’s South West campus located in Bunbury, Western Australia. His research focuses on social-justice issues, inclusion, combating discrimination in all its forms, and the celebration of diversity. David has researched and written widely about equity-related education and social justice issues. His personal experience of youth homelessness and his love of literature converged to stimulate the focus of his doctoral research, exploring changing representations of gay male characters in young adult literature, and the implications that the use of this literature in English classrooms can have to promote inclusivity and combat heterosexism and homophobia. He collaborates with colleagues and external industry partners focusing on promoting the well-being of LGBTIQA+ children and youth and those questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Xris Reardon's work is influenced by critical pedagogy, trans activist Dean Spade, Erving Goffman, Vikki Reynolds, and the voices of those Xris works alongside. Xris was the Safe Schools Project Officer (Tasmania) 2015-17. In 2017, Xris developed, designed, and now implements, the Valuing Diversity Framework which was successfully funded by the Tasmanian DoE. Xris also facilitates training for schoolteachers, nurses, social workers, psychologists in Gender Affirmation Planning / Safety planning. Xris deeply believes linking lives is what increases health and wellbeing, as opposed to pathologizing. In 2019 coordinated, they codesigned (alongside young people) Tasmania's inaugural LGBTIQ+ students PRIDE camp. They have also developed films, with young people, narrating their lived experience of Tasmanian queer youth.