Warren Entsch MP, Federal Member for Leichhardt and Chief Opposition Whip has praised Olympic Gold Medallist and Telstra Sporting Ambassador Matthew Mitcham for his keynote speech last night in Parliament House, marking the inaugural function of Parliamentary Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Australians.
“It was wonderful to hear from a young Australian, who touched on many serious issues affecting LGBTI Australians,” Mr Entsch said.
The inaugural function was held in the Mural Hall in Parliament House and marked the first time that a Parliamentary Friendship Group of LGBTI Australians met following the group’s formation earlier in the year. Telstra Enterprise & Government Group Managing Director and the Executive Sponsor for LGBTI Inclusion on Telstra’s Diversity Council, Mr Paul Geason, said that Telstra believes large organisations have a responsibility to show leadership on an issue such as this.
“As one of Australia’s largest companies, with one of the largest diversified customer, staff and shareholder bases, the opportunity to support groups like the Parliamentary Friends means that together we are helping to further discuss, debate and, hopefully, act where change is needed, to make Australia a better place to live and work,” Mr Geason said.
“We are especially grateful to Telstra, for not only sponsoring the inaugural event, but who have also led the way for corporate Australia in supporting LGBTI employees with their Diversity Council. It was wonderful to have Mr Paul Geason here, who was able to raise issues that many Parliamentarians would not have been aware of including workplace support for intersex and transgender employees.” Mr Entsch said.
Member for Moreton Graham Perrett MP said: “Matthew Mitcham is a great ambassador for LGBTI youth and sport generally and it was great to hear his story and insights.”
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young added, “The inaugural function last night was a significant step in the inclusion of LGBTI issues in parliamentary business. It was encouraging to see many Members and Senators from various parties in attendance.”
The group plans to follow this function with further briefings and meetings throughout the remainder of the 43rd parliament and beyond.