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LGBTQI News Roundup – 16th September 2022

Australian Elder Uncle Jack Charles dies 

Australian national icon, Gay Victorian Aboriginal elder, actor and musician Uncle Jack Charles passed away on Tuesday morning aged 79. “So much heartache across Community. RIP Uncle Jack Charles. This country has lost a true King,” First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria posted on Twitter. Uncle Jack’s publicist in a statement said that the much loved “Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta senior Elder, Brother, Uncle, Great Uncle Jack Charles,”   passed away “peacefully this morning surrounded by his family and loved ones.”

The publicist said that Uncle Jack had died at the Royal Melbourne Hospital after suffering from a stroke. “Before he passed away, his family were able to send him off on Country during a smoking ceremony at the Royal Melbourne hospital,” the statement said. 

“We are so proud of everything he has achieved in his remarkable life – Elder, actor, musician, potter, activist, mentor, a household name and voice loved by all – as is demonstrated by his numerous awards including this year’s NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year.” Uncle Jack, a survivor of the Stolen Generation – stolen from his family at four months old, was the first Indigenous Elder to speak at the Victorian Truth-telling Commission. Known as the “grandfather of Indigenous theatre”, Uncle Jack co-founded Australia’s first Indigenous theatre group, Nindethana at Melbourne’s Pram Factory in 1971. Note: Uncle Jack’s family has given permission for his name and image to be used. 

Canadian Conservative party leader includes two LGBT MPs in his leadership team 

Canadian Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre (pictured), revealed his Commons leadership team Tuesday in a social media post — a nine-member group that includes two LGBT MPs and one of the few persons of colour in the Conservative caucus. Ontario MP Melissa Lantsman, a lesbian, and Alberta MP Tim Uppal, who is South Asian, will serve as Poilievre’s deputy leaders. Both supported Poilievre in his successful bid to lead the party.

The team also includes representation from Atlantic Canada and Quebec, two regions where the party has struggled in recent elections.  Poilievre said these new faces are part of his “inflation-busting” leadership team. “First job: stop Trudeau’s tax hikes and end #JustinFlation so workers and seniors can thrive,” he said, using his gag name for inflation rates under the Liberal government. Shortly after Poilievre announced his leadership team, long-time Quebec MP Alain Rayes announced he was quitting the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent. Rayes has criticized Poilievre publicly and has said he’s pulling the party too far to the right.

Malta’s Prime Minister promises reforms for LGBTQ communities 

According to local publication Lovin Malta, the prime minster attended Malta’s Pride march in Valletta on 10 September to share news that the government is committed to carrying out these reforms. In an interview with ONE Radio he said: “I believe that social reform gives the Labour Party its identity.

“My presence yesterday, as well as that of ministers and MPs, symbolises the messages that while we have done a lot, more is yet to come. While we’re proud of what we did, more needs to be done.”

The Labour Party leader noted the recent lift of a ban on gay men donating blood in Malta, and said the next step will be free gender affirming surgeries for trans people, as promised in Labour’s manifesto.  Abela took to social media to announce the reform for donating blood in Malta. In the Facebook post he said: “Today we will fulfil another electoral promise with new protocols for donating blood. 

“That way we will have fairer protocols that remove any form of discrimination with LGBTIQ+ people where the parameters for a person to be able to donate blood will be equal for everyone.” He ended the message by saying: “Reforms remain at the top of this government’s agenda. Not least in the equality sector.”


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