Always growing and fighting for positive change
Freedom is a culmination of all of WAAC’s LGBTIQA+ young people support services.
Freedom is primarily funded by the Mental Health Commission to prevent mental illness and promote mental health and wellbeing for LGBTIQA+ young people. This means that our focus is on education and prevention around mental health and sexual health.
We do this by providing support and information and by maintaining a safe social space with healthy attitudes towards sexuality, gender, sex, respect, empowerment, self-esteem and education.
Freedom has and will continue to develop, change and grow over time to service the needs of the community.
Freedom State goes to Carnarvon
After receiving enquiries for support from different services in Carnarvon, Freedom has extended to offer support to Carnarvon.
Freedom State funding extended
WAAC were successful in extending the pilot project funding for another 12 months. This will allow for much needed regional support to continue.
Freedom partners with Curtin University
Freedom have partnered with Curtin University to undertake a 12 month research and evaluation project of the current Freedom model and to compare the metro and regional services and needs. This will increase evidence base and continue to inform service provision.
Freedom X commences
To support the needs of the Freedom Centre and the demand for LGBTIQA+ community development and support in Perth, Freedom Centre services expanded in the metro to include a Counsellors, Group Facilitator, Community Development Officer and Peer Educator Mentor.
FC moved from Brisbane St to Leederville
Freedom Centre moved to the current premises in Leederville and enjoys community support, regular visitors, dedicated volunteers and its safe space to support young people with diverse sexuality, gender and sex while retaining its identity as an LGBTIQA+ peer support model.
WAAC awarded funds to deliver LGBTIQA+ Regional Pilot
Freedom State commenced after successfully securing funding from the Mental Health Commission. Freedom State aims to build the capacity of communities to support LGBTIQA+ young people in Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie through community development and counselling.
Wellbeing Workshops goes regional
Freedom undertook four regional Wellbeing Workshops in 2021 after taking time to be revamped and reviewed! Freedom travelled to Karratha, Esperance, Geraldton and Mandurah.
Freedom Centre Turns 25
WAAC’s Freedom Centre celebrated 25 years of operation. Another vital drop-in and peer led program which supports LGBTQI youth in extending a safe and inclusive environment.
Wellbeing Workshops Pilot begins
Freedom received funding to host multiple two day Wellbeing Workshops led by peers focusing on building the practical skills for LGBIQA+ young people to support their mental wellbeing.
In 2011, funding was obtained to undertake an arts-based project called ExSIGHT, culminating in a collection of original works created by young people at the Freedom Centre. Local artists Martin Wills and Peter Farmer hosted a series of art workshops for young people.
Same Sky Project Launches
Same Sky was a collaboration between the Freedom Centre, the WA AIDS Council, GLCS and P Flag to assist same sex attracted young people living in rural areas to develop their resilience and to build capacity within local communities to deal with the issues of same sax attraction. It was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. Jaye Edwards, the Same Sky project officer, was based in Bunbury but had close links with Albany. Although Bunbury, Albany, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie were the targeted towns for this intervention, a number of other areas sourced information and material. The Bunbury Freedom Centre opened and was attended by a number of young people. There were also a number of service providers in Geraldton with serious concerns about some of their young people and have indicated they would be in a position to support a Freedom Centre in Geraldton.
The Freedom Centre is awarded the group award in the Youth Citizenship Awards for 2002 and also receives a two year Commonwealth grant and a two year Lotteries Commission Grant to provide services and capacity building to same sex attracted youth.
Steps toward Freedom (Centre)
Freedom Centre started out in 1994 as a part of the “Other Voices” program in Gay Men’s Education at the WA AIDS Council (WAAC). It began to provide and ongoing social space for the young men that participated in the gay education courses. It was a space to provide the young men with social opportunities outside of the “scene”. Over time through the Youth Sexuality Project run by WAAC, the Freedom Centre became an all genders space and got its own premises and recurrent funding.