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Partners and Families

Partners and families, including parents, are encouraged to join DEFGLIS and be part of our community. You might wish to connect with us via social media using the links below.

Air Commodore Tracy Smart (right) and her partner at Mardi Gras 2013.

Same-sex partners undergo the same pressures as all Defence families - we move to a completely new location every few years - with the adding pressure of sometimes being separated from a visible LGTBI community. It can be difficult to form new friendships and get started in your new locality. Sometimes partners can find themselves without connections to the local community and have a hard time meeting like-minded people. Our online community via Facebook means that you never have to struggle too hard to stay connected with the LGBTI community in Defence.

We aim to offer a range of formal and informal networking opportunities in every locality around Australia a few times a year in addition to our annual national events.

We work with Defence Families of Australia to ensure that LGBTI families are included and considered during policy changes.

If you are having difficulty having your relationship recognised, please let us know, so we can try to address the problem with Defence.

Not everyone wants to be out at work. If your partner chooses this, please be aware of the risks of isolation and hiding aspects of your life from people around you. DEFGLIS can be a network for partners and parents where privacy is respected and the Defence member need not be outed.

Remember, if your relationship is not recognised, that means you will have difficulty accessing Defence support services - particularly if the service member is deployed and is injured or dangerously ill. If your relationship is not recognised and your partner is posted, you may have to pay your own way to accompany your partner. If your partner is posted overseas, you won't be entitled to have an Official Passport, and the type of Visa that provided to family members of Defence personnel. If this is might affect you, you should discuss this with your partner.

If you find yourself at a remote posting, have you considered volunteering with DEFGLIS? You might have a range of skills that would benefit the Defence LGBTI community in your local area. Contact us for more information about opportunities.

Corporal James Bonello and his partner at Mardi Gras 2014

Current Initiatives

We are working with Defence People Group to ensure that LGBTI families get a fair go regarding having their relationships recognised. Without access to marriage, it was particularly important for same-sex families that commander discretion is applied in a fair and just manner. DEFGLIS aims to see a result of this advocacy in mid-2014.

We are partnering with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, GLOBE in Melbourne, and Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network to host local networking events. Soon, we hope to progress similar types of professional networking partnerships so there's always something to do, regardless of whether there is a local coordinator in your area.

We run a private Facebook group where partners and parents can get to know each other and other LGBTI Defence members.

 

 

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