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Geraldton Rainbow Ball gets green light thanks to Youth Grant

Congratulations to headspace Geraldton on successfully being awarded a $10,000 grant to empower local LGBTIQA+ youth through an inaugural Queer Formal – the Rainbow Ball! 

The funding, provided from the Department of Communities’ WA Youth Engagement Grant Program, will allow us to deliver the Rainbow Ball Project with the aim of fostering a vibrant and inclusive community that is, pivotally, informed by the voices of young people. 

Encouraging young rainbow people to get involved 

We are creating a Rainbow Ball Committee (RBC) of young people to co-design the Rainbow Ball, and as a result, also build new skills, create connections and celebrate unique identities in a safe environment. Applications can be submitted online here. 

Applications to join the RBC are now open to young people (aged 12-25 years) who identify as LGBTIQA+ or who may be questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity and are living in Geraldton or surrounds. 

Sarah Groves, Youth Access Clinician at headspace Geraldton, says “This is such an amazing opportunity for our centre to support local young people to truly embrace who they are, celebrate their uniqueness and put on a fun, inclusive event for the young people of Geraldton! Gabbie and I are also so very excited to learn from and support the soon-to-be-established Rainbow Ball Committee to thrive in the space of inclusivity, creativity and advocacy.”  

Not only will the members shape the event, but they will also have access to workshops run by local creatives, event planners and decision makers, as well as health-based workshops on relationships, sexual, physical & mental health, and healthy relationships. These skills aim to foster aim to foster creativity and self-initiative by empowering our young people in the MidWest to take an active role in building an accepting and safe community for the future. 

Altogether, the committee gives young people an opportunity to take ownership of the event and advise local government and event organisers, through regular meetings, and ensure the event is as it should be – youth-focused, inclusive, and fun! 

Celebrating and connecting at the Rainbow Ball 

The Rainbow Ball will be an evening of celebration and connection for young LGBTIQA+ people and allies. It will be a drug and alcohol-free event, that seeks to encourage young people to live authentically. 

Although the Ball will be one night only, the goal of this project is to create a long-term impact, where young LGBTIQA+ people can be who they want to be and feel accepted and celebrated by the community they live in. 

For local young person and Social Media & Communications Administrator at headspace Geraldton Ziggy, the Rainbow Ball is something they wished they’d been a part of when they were younger. ““As a queer kid myself, I am so excited to give young people a chance to have a welcoming space and just have some fun.” 

The Rainbow Ball will be held later this year. You can keep up to date with the latest on headspace Geraldton’s Facebook page. 

Imagining a Queer Formal  

Youth Focus, the lead agency for headspace Geraldton, has played a crucial role in providing localised support for young people of the MidWest region since 2016, including targeted support for the young LGBTIQA+ community and their families. 

Last year, the first local LGBTIQA+ social support group, known as “The Space”, evolved into a group of 25 young people who, over weekly catch ups, identified a need for an event that demonstrated allyship and social connectedness. From this, the idea of the Rainbow Ball Project arose. 

The Rainbow Ball Project is a collaborative effort steered by a committee comprised of headspace Geraldton, Local Government (City of Greater Geraldton Council), WA Country Health Services, WA Aids Council and Sweet Orange Productions.