LGBTIQA+ community support and resources

We support diversity and inclusion across Mount Alexander Shire, and we’re working towards equality for all LGBTIQA+ residents.

Our aim is to acknowledge inequalities and different life experiences, as well as break down barriers. We're also working towards strengthening participation in shire life, regardless of sexuality, sex or gender identity.

We’re doing this through events, resources, support services and by raising awareness, all with the support of our LGBTIQA+ Steering Group.

What does LGBTIQA+ mean?

LGBTIQA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/gender diverse, intersex, queer/questioning and asexual. The plus sign indicates an extended inclusivity beyond the listed letters.

Mount Alexander Shire LGBTIQA+ Steering Group

The LGBTIQA+ Steering Group is a collection of local LGBTIQA+ people. Their aim is to support Council in its development and implementation of strategies, services, plans and policies to promote the benefits of diversity. It also aims to enhance Council’s understanding of barriers to equality that members of our LGBTIQA+ community face.

The group began in 2017 as a roundtable and was born from the Australian marriage equality debate. Through the roundtable Council resolved to acknowledge the pain caused to our community by the debate.

In 2020 the roundtable transformed into a steering group. In 2021 the group adopted a logo and terms of reference to reflect Council’s ongoing commitment to support our community.

The current steering group is made up of a Councillor, Council employees, community members, and representatives from Dhelkaya Health, Castlemaine Police and Castlemaine Community House. The steering group is also supported by Council’s Social Equity and Inclusion Officer.

The steering group meets every second month and its members have committed to a two-year term. 

Celebrating our LQBTIQA+ community

To show our support and to raise awareness, we proudly fly the Pride and Transgender flags at the Market Building on Mostyn Street, Castlemaine on the following days:

A timeline of LQBTIQA+ rights in Australia

Read SBS’ definitive timelines of LGBTIQA+ rights in Australia, beginning in 1533.

Supporting our LGBTIQA+ youth

We work closely with our LGBTIQA+ youth so that they feel supported in our community.

There are four programs currently operating in the shire:

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow is a committee of local young people that plan and deliver youth LGBTIQA+ events, programs, consultations and training opportunities for young people aged 12-25.

This is a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for our LGBTIQA+ youth.

Read more about Over the Rainbow.

Mondo Lounge

Mondo Lounge is a welcoming and inclusive safe space for young people aged 12-25. The lounge offers a place to socialise, offering free activities, workshops and training opportunities.

Read more about Mondo Lounge.

Youth Advisory Group

The Youth Advisory Group is a collection of local young people who advise Council on decisions, strategies and plans, as well as helping Council to better engage with young people.

Our LGBTIQA+ community is represented in this group.

Read more about our Youth Advisory Group.


FReeZA is a program that offers funding to community organisations and local governments to deliver safe, youth-friendly events.

We have received funding to host inclusive events for the young members of our community.

The FReeZA committee has a rainbow flag policy which stipulates that the flag must be displayed at all events. They also have a zero tolerance approach to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.

Read more about FReeZA.

Council initiatives

We support our LGBTIQA+ residents in many ways, one of which is funding community projects.

One of our community projects include:

Pride Across the Ages

Pride Across the Ages is a podcast that shares generational stories of pride from LGBTIQA+ people who call Central Victoria home.

It’s a collection of moving, funny and raw stories from our community.

Listen to Pride Across the Ages

Castlemaine Pride

Castlemaine Pride is an annual, week-long celebration of our local LGBTIQA+ community.

It acknowledges the courage and resilience of our residents. It’s also an opportunity for LGBTIQA+ Victorians, and the wider community, to come together and celebrate the remarkable journey of equality through art, music, singing, dancing and being together.

Read more about Castlemaine Pride.

Local resources and support

Thorne Harbour Health

Counselling and support services
1800 134 840

Rainbow Door

Helpline and support
1800 729 367 

Family and gender-based violence support

Please note: this page does not have a quick exit button.

Family violence is when your partner, ex-partner, carer, family member, or someone you have a ‘family-like’ relationship with uses threatening, controlling or violent behaviour that makes you scared for your safety and wellbeing.

Family violence can include a range of abusive behaviours: verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, physical and sexual abuse, as well as intimidation and threats. It’s used to maintain power and control in relationships.

No matter what form it takes, family violence in never acceptable.

Family violence occurs in all communities

Everybody deserves to feel safe and respected at home, and in their relationships.

LGBTIQA+ people are not only more likely to experience family violence, but are less likely to seek support due to a lack of appropriate crisis accommodation, few perpetrator referral options, distrust of police and other services, and legal and practical discrimination. 

Learn more about family violence and how to stay safe at Safe+Equal.

LGBTIQA+ people have a right to safety from family violence

If you’re experiencing family violence, you’re not alone.

See our Family and gender-based violence support page to access support services.