YUMCHA Hamilton is officially off the ground! 

May 23 marked the first session of the youth-led social group in the Southern Grampians Shire’s most-populated town.

YUMCHA seeks to support, celebrate and connect young people aged 12-25 who identify with the LGBTIQA+ community, and their allies. 

Brophy’s Hamilton Services Coordinator Rowena Brinkmann said the first session was a huge success.

It was a fantastic first session with a really engaged and wonderful group of young people! There were 11 in total, and they really enjoyed having a space to be social and hang out together, the opportunity to meet new people and more members of the LGBTIQA+ community, eat snacks and listen to music,” she said.

“There were lots of great suggestions made for group activities, and ideas for the group to support and plan a future LGBTIQA+ inclusive event and come up a new group name (at the moment we are using YUMCHA as people are familiar with the Warrnambool diversity group, however the group would like to come up with a unique and meaningful name for Hamilton).”

Rowena said it was an important program for LGBTIQA+ youth in Hamilton and the Southern Grampians Shire.

“The aim is to provide a safe, welcoming space for youth to meet regularly and be themselves, explore their identity, engage socially and create a sense of belonging.
“Young LGBTIQA+ people often face specific challenges including harassment and discrimination based on their identity, and are more likely to experience depression. Meeting other LGBTIQA+ young people can be an important source of support, and can build confidence and self-esteem.
“YUMCHA Hamilton isn’t about adults making the decisions on what the group do, youth are supported to create they group they want, that meaningfully addresses their needs and interests, leading to a sense of empowerment to create a better community for those who are diverse in sexual orientation and gender identity.”

YUMCHA Hamilton meets fortnightly on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month during the school term.

So what does the group do?

– Create a youth LGBTQIA+ space to
meet regularly
– Support LGBTQIA+ people in the
region to access appropriate and
inclusive health and community
– Support local youth events to be all
inclusive of LGBTQIA+ people
– Support local LGBTQIA+ inclusive
events and activities
– Promote LGBTQIA+ diversity and
good news stories
– Develop and participate in training
and learning opportunities for
LGBTQIA+ support and inclusion

Want more info or interested in linking up with the group?

Contact  rbrinkmann@brophy.org.au or youth@sthgrampians.vic.gov.au 



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