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Let's Talk Culture: LGBTIQ+ in CaLD Communities

  • Department of Health, Theatrette 189 Royal Street Perth, WA, 6004 Australia (map)

Join Ishar for a panel based discussion on the issues experienced by people who identify as LGBTIQ+ in CaLD communities.

Meet the panelists:

Puja Menon

Puja (PJ) Menon is a youth counsellor at Headspace Midland. She has completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology, a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and is a registered counsellor with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). In addition to her clinical work, PJ is a passionate community outreach worker for Headspace Midland and Youth Focus. She works to support the LGBTIQA+ community by helping to make services more inclusive, collaborating  with other agencies to create safe spaces, consulting within the sector, and providing staff members with training and resources to assist them to improve the support provided to LGBTIQA+ youth. PJ is of Indian descent, and was born and lived in Malaysia, until she moved to Perth, Australia at age 9.

Her personal experiences and professional training have sparked a determination to work and advocate for vulnerable groups, including the LGBTIQA+ community and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) groups. She has a special interest in providing support for young people at the intersection between these two groups, due to the ‘double discrimination’ often faced by those affected. PJ also volunteers for Living Proud, and is completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology.

Anmar Sahar

Born in Iraq, Baghdad, Anmar left his home in Iraq in December 1998/1999 with his two brothers, sister, mother and father and travelled to Jordan to escape the ever present war and live a better life. The journey wasn’t easy, Anmar’s father left to come to Australia as a refugee in 1999 after being rejected for emigration all around the world. During this time Anmar and his family lived in Jordan until 2002 where they had to relocate, this time to Syria where he was reunited with his father for the first time in three years. It was a very hard life. In 2002, Anmar’s family were finally arrived to the safety of Australia.

Being a gay middle eastern man was the toughest and hardest experience to go through. He received death threats, was rejected and isolated. After multiple suicide attempts Anmar sought help from specialists and with the help of a a support network gained the understanding overcome trauma. Anmar was able to educate and talk with his family, and was finally able to achieve the freedom and live life as his true self and have his family accept him.

Misty Farquhar (they/them)

Misty is a PhD Researcher at the Curtin University Centre for Human Rights Education, where they also teach. Misty’s research explores how people living outside binary ideas of sexuality / gender experience recognition in Australia.

Locally and nationally, Misty is extremely active in community outreach, education, and advocacy efforts. As well as facilitating LGBTIQ+ inclusion training and other projects to support the community, they are the founder of Bisexual+ Community Perth.

Jose Ciciliamma

Jose wears so many hats. A non-binary Human, who grew up in Kerala, India with Dravidian heritage. Jose worked alongside the LGBTI+ community as a social and community activist when it was a criminal offense to be in same-sex relationships in India.  Jose  is currently Programme Manager for Multicultural Mental Health Services at Richmond Wellbeing where he has worked for eight years.

He loves working for WA's first Rainbow Tick Accredited organisation where he gets to develop innovative mental health programmes for diverse communities and strongly advocate for greater diversity in LGBTIQ+ inclusiveness in organisations and programmes. Jose is active with many WA community organisations and initiatives including with local city councils and government departments. A social worker trained in international studies, Jose is focused on reducing the harmful effects of discrimination on marginalised and vulnerable people in the community.

Nathaniel Taylor (they/them)

As the Coordinator of the Freedom Centre, Nathaniel manages a team of staff and volunteers to walk alongside and provide peer support, referrals, and information to LGBTI+ young people via weekly drop-in sessions. FC offers safe space to young LGBTI+ people from all backgrounds and has a diverse team to support its uniquely diverse community. Prior to FC Nathaniel worked at Universities in Melbourne & Perth, as well as volunteered with several at-risk youth support services in both settings. Nathaniel has a passion for working with people on the margins of society, and especially across intersectional identities.

This event is proudly supported by:

Department of Health, Mental Health Commission

Cross Cultural Intellect

Richmond Wellbeing

Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services

Earlier Event: 29 October
Healthy Relationship Workshop.