Transgender advocates and allied health professionals from around the world will gather in Adelaide this weekend for the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health (ANZPATH) Third International Biennial Conference will take place at Adelaide University from 4th – 6th October 2014.
This conference will be the largest, most comprehensive and Transgender inclusive program ever delivered in Australia, with 22 Trans Identified Speakers presenting across multiple sessions and streams alongside some of the worlds leading Trans* Health experts.
Called “Clinical Service, Science and Community”, this conference has been designed with three over arching goals – to promote excellence in clinical service, strengthen our regions gender diverse community and enhance the relationship between that community and its service providers.
ANZPATH members on both sides of the Tasman are increasingly concerned about the lack of counselling resources and other Transgender specific medical services, as well as the peer support mechanisms that will be required to meet increasing demand from gender questioning youth.
ANZPATH President Dr Rob Lyons explains ”A recent peer reviewed study found that 1.2 % of New Zealand high school students now identify as Transgender. At the same time here in Australia we’re experiencing exponential growth in demand for counselling and other services which indicates Australia’s Transgender population is also substantially larger than has been historically believed”
“This is why we’re engaging with professional experts and community advocates from across the country and around the globe in order to deliver the most important conference ever held in Australia focused solely on the bio-psycho-social needs of the Trans* and Gender Diverse communities.”
Despite this quantum shift in social acceptance the Transgender community remains burdened with some of Australia’s highest per capita rates of unemployment, mental illness, associated self harm and with a draconian legal framework that differs vastly between states.
ANZPATH believes that all levels of Government and allied community and health sectors needs to be far more proactive in engaging with both their members and the Trans* and diverse communities in order to develop strategies and implement programs that will be required to meet for these challenges.
Rob Lyons continues “We’re at a critical juncture – our failure to take decisive action now will ultimately lead to ever more serious levels of distress amongst Transgender people over coming decades”
“We believe this conference will be an important catalyst for positive social change for Transgender people”
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