Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, LGBTI+ Community Ageing Network (LGBTI+ CAN) was established to assist aged care and health service providers understand and meet the needs of members of our LGBTI+ communities as they age. Initially the group was known as Ageing in Diversity Action Group which was established with the support of Commonwealth funding following the Living Longer Living Better legislation in 2013. The Queensland Aids Council (now known as QC – Queensland Council for LGBTI+ Health) organised the original group and they continue to auspice LGBTI+ CAN. The group continues to be comprised of LGBTI+ community members, allies, service providers. No longer reliant on Commonwealth funding, we remain a non for profit associated with QC.
We raise funds through grants, events and donations. We respect everyone’s uniqueness, views and experience and work toward creating environments and opportunities that empower people to live with pride in their lives as valued and equal members of their communities.
LGBTI+ CAN are also part of the Sunshine Coast Pride Network. We collaborate with other groups and associations on the Sunshine Coast to improve the lives of all within our communities. Intergenerational connections are crucial to all our ongoing health and wellbeing.
We are also aware that the survivors of the HIV epidemic are now entering the ageing community, even though many of those living with HIV have experienced health and social issues long before the general ageing population.
We acknowledge those who have gone before us and have not grown old to experience the gains and opportunities that their activism and suffering have influenced. The needs of our LGBTI+ older communities are unique and we grow in our awareness of them. In particular having safe spaces, respect, inclusiveness and culturally appropriate services.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we meet on, the Gubi Gubi people, we pay our respects for elders past, present and future. We acknowledge that country was never ceded, that connection to community, land and waterways remain. We are grateful that we share this land today but we express our sorrow for the cost of that sharing and our commitment, hope and belief that we can move to a place of equity and justice.