On Intersex Awareness Day 2021, the Darlington Consortium of intersex-led and allied organisations, and community members working towards implementation of the Darlington Statement will announce the recipient of the second Darlington Australia/Aotearoa intersex ally award, “The Darling”.
The award is presented to an organisation, institution or individual that has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to action on intersex issues, beyond affirming the Darlington Statement. This Statement, created in 2017, is a community consensus statement that sets out the demands of the intersex community in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. It calls for recognition of our right to bodily integrity, and outlines the systemic changes needed to ensure their enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing and other human rights.
Intersex allyship is multifaceted and can be displayed through:
- Learning about intersex people and issues from intersex community members
- Making services affirmative and meaningfully inclusive for intersex clients
- Elevating intersex voices
- Advocating for intersex issues and targeted funding within governments, NGOs, private and public sectors
- Meaningfully including intersex within their core work
- Creating or promoting affirmative, rights-based healthcare services that depathologise intersex
- Creating opportunities for intersex people and our peer-led groups
Three nominees for the 2021 Darling were shortlisted after a public call for nomination. The nominations received are:
The Darling 2021 Nominee: A Gender Agenda (ACT)
“A Gender Agenda (AGA) is a Canberra-based community organisation actively engaged in increasing public awareness and understanding of intersex, trans and gender diversity issues through education, advocacy, and support services. AGA has supported legislative work to protect the rights and bodily autonomy of intersex people in the ACT, continues to employ from the intersex community to do intersex work, and is currently the only organisation offering funded regular peer support. Consistent efforts for the last four years that has resulted in a significant intersex membership within AGA. They produce resources and provide service referrals for intersex people in the ACT, as well as education for workplaces, education settings, and medical settings.”
The Darling 2021 Nominee: Working It Out (Tas)
“Working It Out (WIO) is a community-based organization located in Tasmania, it is Tasmania’s only dedicated LGBITQ+ support, advocacy and education service which honours people’s diverse experiences to achieve inclusive understanding for LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians. They offer education for inclusivity in all realms of society, support services for community members and advocacy in all levels of government. WIO have affirmed the Darlington Statement undergone YellowTick Intersex Ally training and address priority areas identified in the Darlington Statement which have created opportunities for intersex-led organisations to create change in Tasmania, for example the Better Lives project – educating Midwives about variations to sex characteristics and how to support these community members and their families, which will make clinical spaces more inclusive to intersex people. WIO is truly an Ally of the intersex community.”
The Darling 2021 Nominee: The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QLD)
“The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC) is a community-based organisation involved in promoting the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, sistergirl and brotherboy Queenslanders to achieve the best possible health and well-being outcomes for people in these communities, free from discrimination. QC operates QCGP+ clinic which provides comprehensive primary care, sexual health and mental health services to the community. Beyond affirming the Darlington Statement, QC has strategically partnered with intersex-led organisations and directed targeted funding to address priority areas identified in the Darlington Statement. Through creating opportunities for intersex-led organisations and community members to lead on projects and retain ownership of their work, QC helps improve the capacity within the intersex community. An example of their scaffolding for intersex-led initiatives is their support of the YellowTick, a program of training and policy review developed by the Darlington Consortium that aims to improve sector capacity by helping services become more intersex inclusive and affirmative. QC facilitated the production of and co-branded with IHRA and IPSA on the YellowTick’s Health & Wellbeing Pathways resources. To move towards having their organisation YellowTick endorsed, QC organised intersex ally training for all of their staff and board members, and over the course of 6 months was took a flagship role by undergoing a comprehensive YellowTick review of all their policies, programs, training and clinical services. Ensuring their GPs, clinic staff and mental health practitioners have undertaking nuanced intersex affirmative healthcare training, QCGP+ can now confidently receive referrals for intersex clients. The assistance given to develop the YellowTick program not only helps improve intersex inclusion within the sector, but also create ongoing and much needed funding streams for intersex organisations and those working with lived experience. Through their advocacy within QLD Health, QC helped secure seed funding to develop and deliver an innovative peer-led psychosocial support program in partnership with intersex-led organisations.”
The recipient of the 2021 will be announced on Intersex Awareness Day, 26 October 2021.
Statements by representatives of the Darlington Consortium members
Cody from Intersex Peer Support Australia says:
“An ally is surplus energy, they give more than they take. They create opportunities by shouldering the burden, and reaching out from places we can’t get to. They are competent and compassionate and spread that to others unprompted. In doing so they expand the work that we can do, which in a space as under-resourced as our own, is vital.”
Morgan from Intersex Human Rights Australia says:
“Being an ally is a practice or a journey, not an identity or state of being. Affirming the Darlington Statement can demonstrate a commitment or aspiration, but turning that into reality takes practice, hard work, and listening. All the nominees for this year’s award have taken that hard road from aspiration towards something more substantive.”