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Powering pride and diversity at Midsumma Festival

By helping to build an inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTI employees, AGL's Shine network reinforces its ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive and open workplace.

The same year Kylie Minogue’s I Should Be So Lucky dominated the music charts in Australia, Melbourne’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community joined forces to celebrate pride and diversity at its first-ever Midsumma Festival.

From its early days in 1988, Midsumma has grown into one of the country’s most significant arts and cultural festivals. And in its 30th year, it’s now one of the top five LGBTI+ celebrations on the planet.

The festival’s program is jam-packed with 130 events across three busy weeks. And as it unfolds at the same time as the Australian Open, there’s never any shortage of local and international guests to join in on Midsumma’s fun and frivolity.

And in 2017, members from AGL Energy’s Shine network are getting in on the action – soaking up the colour at Carnival, while also hitting the bitumen along St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street at the popular Pride March.

Shining a light on diversity

The truth is, almost half of all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in public for fear of violence or discrimination.

It’s these types of frightening statistics that make what AGL’s Shine network is able to achieve all the more important. Not only for its 300-strong contingency of members and allies, but also for people across the broader business.

By helping to build an inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTI+ employees, Shine reinforces AGL’s ongoing commitment towards creating an inclusive and open workplace for everyone, including at our regional and remote locations.

“We’re lucky to enjoy a workplace that fosters an internal culture free from prejudice and discrimination,” says AGL Business Operations Manager and Shine Committee Member, Simon Fieldhouse.

“It’s a workplace where LGBTI+ employees feel they’re supported in achieving their full potential, and can contribute to business outcomes in a personal and authentic way.”

And for the second year running, AGL is throwing its support behind the Midsumma Festival as a Gold Sponsor. Group Operations Executive General Manager and Executive Sponsor of Shine, Doug Jackson, says AGL’s support of the LGBTI+ community is supported at all levels of the energy business.

“As a recognised Employer of Choice in the Australian Workplace Equality Index, our approach to inclusion and non-discrimination is felt across the organisation, and our employees play an active role in fostering this environment,” says Doug.

Family attending the pride march at the Midsumma festival

Building on an already-bright future

In 2017, AGL committed to remaining a Midsumma Festival sponsor for a further three years. It’s a show of support that Simon believes can go a long way in further bringing about positive change beyond the walls of just AGL.

“We hope our partnership with Midsumma will empower individuals to be their whole selves, both in and out of the workplace, and we look forward to celebrating the achievements of the LGBTI community in making this a reality,” says Simon.

Read how AGL champions diversity in the workplace.

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