Speakers’ corner at the Global Refugee Forum

Speakers’ Corner at the Global Refugee Forum

Refugee Women Organising: Identifying protection needs, building solidarity, working towards solutions

Presented by Tina Dixson (refugee co-sponsor, PhD Candidate ANU) and Renee Dixson (PhD Candidate ANU)

[speech transcript] 

In many countries, for LGBTIQ people fear for their life is a daily experience. 30% of UN member states legally discriminate LGBTIQ people, in 11 countries death penalty is in place.

Violence against LGBTIQ people is committed by many actors including families. When we die, no one mourns. When we survive and get protection in other countries, it is for the first time that our lives are recognised as valuable. 

In our country of origin, Tina’s and I were under constant threat of violence and death even before we began working as human rights defenders. Once we became visible advocates for the rights of LGBTIQ people, we came to the point in life where violence could no longer be endured. In order to survive we had to flee. 

Unlike other refugees, LGBTIQ refugees cannot rely on the support from our ethnic communities due to prevalent homophobia and risks of further violence. Many refugee support services treat refugees as a homogenous group not addressing how age, gender and other diverse backgrounds impact on their protection needs. For many LGBTIQ refugees such a lack of support heightens their isolation, worsens their mental health and increases instances of suicidal thoughts. We have witnessed so many cases when LGBTIQ refugee women were placed in mixed gender housing and where other tenants chose to be homophobic towards them and to bully and abuse them. Without a response, this drives LGBTIQ people into homelessness and thus increases risks of SGBV. 

Continue reading “Speakers’ corner at the Global Refugee Forum”

Current Signatories

of the Canberra Statement

[page updated March 6, 2020]

The Canberra Statement has been signed by 350 stakeholders, that include:

  • Organisations: 74
  • Individuals / allies: 252
  • People with lived experience of forced displacement: 24 (that includes 16 who are LGBTIQ+)



  • 3CR Community Radio
  • A Gender Agenda
  • ACON Health
  • Aleph Melbourne
  • Asian Australian Rainbow Alliance (AAuRA)
  • Asylum Seekers Centre (NSW)
  • Asylum Seekers Resource Centre 
  • Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR)
  • Australia and New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance ANTRA Inc.
  • Australian Catholics for Equality
  • Australian Lesbian Medical Association
  • Australian LGBTIQ Multicultural Council
  • Bisexual Alliance Victoria
  • CARAD – Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
  • Canberra Refugee Action Campaign
  • Companion House
  • Democracy in Colour
  • drummond street services
  • Family Planning Alliance Australia 
  • Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia 
  • Forced Migration Research Network UNSW
  • Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change 
  • HIV/AIDS Legal Centre
  • LAHRC – Latin American & Hispanic Rainbow Community
  • Lighthouse Partnerships
  • Many Coloured Sky
  • Marie Stopes Australia 
  • Mordd IndyMedia
  • Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
  • Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW
  • National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
  • Open Dialogue Psychotherapy 
  • PFLAG Tasmania
  • Planet Ally
  • Pride Foundation Australia
  • Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT)
  • Queer Sisterhood Project
  • queerspace
  • Rainbow refugee action committee
  • Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS)
  • Refugee Council of Australia
  • Road to Refuge
  • Settlement Services International
  • Switchboard Victoria
  • The Art of Change Agency
  • The Third Space
  • Thorne Harbour Health
  • THREE for All Foundation
  • TLLPC Pty Ltd
  • Transgender Victoria
  • TranzAustralia
  • Twenty10 inc GLCS NSW
  • Uniting Vic. Tas
  • Ygender
  • VIKA Inc. 
  • Welcome Legal
  • Welcoming Australia
  • WIRE 


  • Auckland Pride Festival
  • InsideOUT Kōaro
  • Intersex Awareness Trust Aotearoa New Zealand
  • OUTLine
  • RainbowYOUTH
  • re.frame
  • Te Ngākau Kahukura
  • Tiwhanawhana Trust, Aotearoa/New Zealand


  • Resilient- Trans-led organization


  • Women Refugee Route


  • Lesbian and Gay association in Germany project “Queer Refugees Deutschland”


  • Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research 


  • Equal Asia Foundation (Stichting EqualA Foundation)


  • Oasis Legal Services
  • Transcend
  • “Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America” (documentary)


Individual signatories include people with lived experience of forced displacement, community, health and legal professionals, academics, policy makers, government officials, advocates and many more people committed to safety and justice for LGBTIQ+ people from refugee backgrounds. 

Individual signatories DO NOT represent organisational views (even if you recognised their names). They have signed on to the statement in the personal capacity. The list below is of those individuals who agreed to have their name displayed publicly. 

  • Adela C Licona
  • Aiden James Saat
  • Aisya Zaharin
  • Aja Y Martinez
  • Akula
  • Alexa Tamar Smith
  • Alexandra Dellios
  • Alicia Saye
  • Alison
  • Amanda Kelly
  • Amanda Mashaka
  • Amber Loomis
  • Amy Harper
  • Andie Hider 
  • Andy Kaladelfos
  • Angela Smith
  • Angelica Zarate 
  • Ania Anderst
  • Annalise Humphris
  • Anne Rowlands
  • Anne-Laure Markovina
  • Anneke Gouws
  • Annie Hill
  • Anushka Peres
  • Arnia Tamihana
  • Ashleigh Streeter
  • Aydan Greatrick
  • Dr B Camminga
  • Benjamin Oh
  • Bernadine Hernández
  • Bertie Blackman
  • Beverly A Seckinger
  • Bonney Corbin
  • Brandon Freeme
  • Dr Brandy Cochrane
  • Bridget Harilaou
  • Brooke smith
  • Carol McMurrain
  • Carolina Gottardo
  • Caroline Wake
  • Carolyn Jones
  • Carrie Hou
  • Cassandra Seelemeijer
  • Cate Worthington
  • Catherine Frieman
  • Catherine Wilson
  • Celeste Sandstrom
  • Charlotte Smedley
  • Che Bishop
  • Chelsey Sanderson
  • Christina Raymond
  • CJ Jones
  • Claire
  • Claire Farrugia
  • Claudia Chernyy
  • Claudia Tazreiter
  • Cody
  • Colin Henson
  • Cristina de Nicolás Izquierdo
  • Daisy Farnham
  • Dani Mcalister 
  • David Murray
  • Diana Liverman
  • Dimitra Lagoudaki
  • Disa Linden-Perlis
  • Douglas Barry
  • Drucilla K Barker
  • Dylan Lester
  • Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr.
  • Eider Lucas Vega Alvarez
  • Prof. Eithne Luibhéid
  • Elena Nechaeva
  • Elián Tazzyman 
  • Eliana Rubashkyn
  • Elif Sari
  • Elizabeth Arenas
  • Emilie McDonnell
  • Emily Lynn Saunders
  • Emily Pifer
  • Emily Singh
  • Emma
  • Erik T Ehn
  • Erin Twyford
  • Fahad Jawaid
  • Farid Matuk
  • Felicity Marlowe
  • Félix Delhomme
  • Fiona
  • Fiona Buchanan
  • Fiona Kelly McGregor
  • Frances Swan
  • Gabriel Filpi
  • Gail Ellis
  • Giancarlo de Vera
  • Gianna Parma
  • Glenda Caldwell
  • Gloria Negrete-Lopez
  • Graham Willett
  • Grace Auld
  • Gregory Storer 
  • Gretel
  • Hana Masri
  • Hannah 
  • Hannah adams
  • I-Chien, Lee
  • Isabel Mudford
  • Isabella
  • Itamar Golber 
  • Ivan Gavazov
  • Jacob McDonald
  • Jamie A. Lee
  • Jan Schwartz
  • Janet Cartwright
  • Jared Donovan
  • Jasmina Bajraktarevic-Hayward
  • Jason Goroncy
  • Jay Black
  • Jayke Burgess 
  • Jeanine Hourani
  • Jenny Rae
  • Jesse Dean
  • Dr Jo Harrison
  • Jo Wrigley
  • Joe Ball
  • John Clements
  • John Kelly 
  • John Marnell
  • Johnny Valkyrie
  • Josef Garrington
  • Joshua Anlezark
  • Jovana Mastilovic
  • Judith McDaniel
  • Julie Youssef
  • Karen Carlson
  • Karen Ritchie
  • Karma R. Chávez
  • Kat Schreiber
  • Kate Davison
  • Dr Kate Ogg
  • Kathryn
  • Kathryn Allan
  • Kavita Gonsalves
  • Kelly Jordan
  • Kelly Osterberg
  • Kenneth R Peres
  • Kim Spurway
  • Kimberlee Pérez
  • Kylie Message
  • Dr. Laine Munir
  • Laithan Tucci
  • Lama
  • Lambang Fonye Christian
  • Lavanya Kala
  • Lee-Ann Smith
  • Leila Feith
  • Linda Green
  • Lisette Claremont Goulet
  • Loc Nguyen
  • Lotte Wolff
  • Louise Olliff
  • Lourdes Torres
  • Lucetta Kam
  • Mani Bruce Mitchell
  • Manja Visschedijk
  • Margaret Himley
  • Prof. Marcus Foth
  • Mary Waterford 
  • Maryla Rose 
  • Mathieu Ravier
  • Maxine Auld
  • Megan Carney
  • Melissa Galea
  • Mi Nguyen
  • Michael Barnett
  • Michaela Emingerova
  • Michele Vescio
  • Michelle Oledan Ferns
  • Michele Vescio
  • Mihi Blair
  • Monica J Casper
  • Monique Shepherd
  • Moo Baulch
  • Morgan Carpenter
  • Nan Seuffert 
  • Nancy E Loucas
  • Nancy Mills
  • Dr Nathan Bell
  • Neeraja Sanmuhanathan
  • Nicolas Villarroel
  • Nishadh Rego
  • Nina Ashfield-Crook
  • Oliver Peppermint
  • Paul Dillane
  • Pat Rayner 
  • Philip Gerrard
  • Phylesha Brown-Acton
  • Pim Stouten
  • Pola
  • Priya Pavri
  • Qwo-Li Driskill
  • Dr Rachel Cunneen
  • Rachael Masters
  • Rachel Mead
  • Rani Pramesti
  • Dr. Ryan Conrad
  • Rebecca Lusty
  • Rebecca REeves
  • Rebecca Walton
  • Regina Jefferies
  • Renee Dixson
  • Rita
  • Rohit
  • Romy Listo
  • Ross m caputo
  • Ruben Zecena
  • Ruth McNair
  • Sally Goldner AM
  • Samara Shehata
  • Samia Goudie
  • Samia Sayed
  • Sandy Jackson
  • Dr Sara Dehm
  • Sawsan Alfayadh
  • Sealing Cheng
  • Sekneh
  • Senthorun Raj
  • Shin Azuma
  • Stace Robertson
  • Stefan Joksic
  • Stefania Graham
  • Stephanie Jones
  • Stephen Leahy 
  • Sumithri Rekha Venketasubramanian
  • Sureka Murray
  • Dr Susan Baglow
  • Susan Farrar
  • Suyapa Portillo
  • Suzanne Bergeron
  • Taani Hendriks
  • Tabby Besley
  • Taine Polkinghorne
  • Tammy Law
  • Tania Garcia
  • Theresa Goh
  • Tim Wark
  • Tom Morawetz
  • Tyson Arapali
  • V Spike Peterson
  • Venus de Siren
  • Veronica Wensing
  • William Liley
  • William Simmons
  • Dr Xi Liu


About the Queer Sisterhood

Queer Sisterhood Project is a peer-run support and advocacy group aimed to provide a space of community and belonging to queer refugee women.

The group is open to all women (based on the self-identification) who are identifying as queer (homosexual, bisexual, lesbian, same-sex attracted, pansexual) and have sought asylum in Australia because of the persecution on the grounds of gender or sexuality. Women on different stages of the protection visa application, including those who were refugees in the past and are citizens now, are welcome.

The group is run by Tina and Renee Dixson in partnership with Twenty10. At present we meet in Sydney, but we are looking to expand.

We also have an online chat for women who live in different states and territories.

Watch the cartoon ‘Being Queer and Refugee’

Download ‘Being Queer and Refugee’ brochure here that contains 30 tips for service providers for inclusive service provision.
If you are a queer woman who is seeking asylum in Australia, send us an email at queersisterhood [at] gmail.com
If you are an ally, Join us as we are building a community where queer refugee women.
Donate to support this important work.

Download and share the project flyer.

For referrals and more information, send me an email at queersisterhood [at] gmail.com.

Check out our current work here.
For media articles about queer sisterhood, visit this page.