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Session 14(October 2013)

Audio from the session: Healthcare, housing and schools - fighting for survival, fighting for more.

We still have a long way to go. Health, housing, school and other institutions marginalise gender/sexual minorities, among other oppressed groups. A discussion of how to transform these institutions to meet all of our needs.

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This summary pertains to a recorded session titled "Session 14 - Beyond conference", held at Wellington High School which featured panelists Calum Bennachie, Jim Whitman, Kassie Hartendorp, and Merv Ransom covering critical issues around healthcare, housing, and education. The focus was on transforming institutions to ensure they meet the needs of marginalized gender and sexual minorities as well as other oppressed groups.

The core concerns discussed revolved around the struggles faced by queer youth in accessing healthcare, housing, and education, and the negative outcomes directly associated with these struggles, such as increased rates of depression, suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. Through various narratives and discussions, panelists examined the healthcare system, housing policies, and school environments, stressing the need for inclusive and supportive systems for all members of society.

In healthcare, the visibility of queer communities within the system was pointed out as lacking, with mentioned concerns over queer-specific issues not being included in national suicide prevention plans, signaling a disregard for this demographic which is at high risk.

In relation to education, the discussion considered the shortcomings of the education system in addressing or even acknowledging the needs and existence of queer youth. The portrayal of schools as institutions that often promote conformity without paying heed to the diverse needs of their students, especially those relating to gender and sexual diversity, was criticized.

For housing, the government's policy shifts towards the privatization of social housing and the involvement of organizations like the Salvation Army were topics of contention, indicating potential discrimination and a lack of safe, stable housing opportunities for marginalized individuals.

A highlight of the session was the alarming perspective on suicides linked to the lack of social housing for vulnerable youth and the disconnect with governmental housing initiatives in response to crises. The contrasting approach to housing crises between New Zealand and Japan post-earthquake was used to showcase the inefficiency and lack of political will in New Zealand's response.

Throughout the session, presenters and participants echoed the need for increased political dialogue, strategic alliances, and long-term solutions for systemic issues faced by queer individuals. The session also underscored the reality that economic stability and societal inclusivity directly impact the well-being of marginalized communities, advocating for socially just policies that transcend mere discussions and lead to actionable changes.

The session concluded with calls to action for more thoughtful, comprehensive policy-making that recognizes the intersections of identity and the crucial role of secure housing, supportive education systems, and accessible healthcare in creating an equitable society.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

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Record date:13th October 2013
Location:Wellington High School, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004279).