Seeing Clearly Inclusivity Workshops

Mani Mitchell

Mani Mitchell Workshops (Pictured L-R; Mani Mitchell and Tess Lee)

Mani Mitchell Workshops (Pictured L-R; Mani Mitchell and Tess Lee)

In 2018 RA Tas successfully applied to the State Government’s LGBTI Grants Program for funding to deliver inclusivity workshops across the State. The organisation has long recognised the barriers LGBTI people face in accessing support; the grants program provided on an opportunity to address LGBTI inclusivity in service delivery.

RA Tas ran three training sessions – in Hobart, Devonport and Launceston- during 2019. RA Tas promoted the workshops, (Seeing it Clearly: LGBTI Inclusive Practice Training) to both RA Tas staff and the broader community; with 77 participants overall.

Mani Mitchell, a Certified Transactional Analyst and CEO of the Intersex Trust, facilitated the workshops.

Mani, a prominent member of the international intersex community, openly shares their journey to understating their identity and how this has shaped their personal and professional life.

Mani describes their experience growing up as ‘different’, a reality that ‘no one knew how to talk about’. The silence, fear and shame that can surround the Intersex community has motivated Mani to work with organisations and communities to reduce this stigma and misunderstanding.

Mani’s training programs offer an opportunity for participants to broaden their knowledge of cultural competence of the LGBTI community.

The training supported community sector organisations’ ability to deliver inclusive practice resulting in the LGBTI communities in Tasmania being better equipped to overcome challenges. The two-day inclusivity training focused on three key learning outcomes; building knowledge, skill application and personal reflective practice. These learnings aimed to empower participants to understand better the service access issues faced by the LGBTI community and how to overcome these barriers.

During the training, participants identified service gaps within their organisations and practices, with plans to remedy these underway. Mani also provided practitioners working within the LGBTI community with specialist information during the sessions.

Concluding the workshops, all participants rated their ability to support LGBTI people as having increased, with 89% of participants stating an increase in their cultural competence and 92% rating the training as ‘useful to their practice and work’.

The training created an active and genuine engagement of LGBTI people and supported LGBTI friendly workplaces. RA Tas continues to work with partner agencies to provide best practice for individuals in the LGBTI communities, reducing discrimination and developing gender equality.

Being able to openly discuss, ask questions and hear Mani’s lived experience was educational and inspiring. I feel I am better equipped to work with transgender, intersex and LGBTIQ clients – Workshop Participant

I believe with a passion that every person has the right to live an authentic life. Respected and valued with the skills and knowledge to live a life with meaning, dignity, love and purpose. – Mani Mitchel