Regional Voices talks to Claire Wright, one of the ABC Heywire 2016 winners.
Claire has been travelling Australia to build her project LGBTQandA which works to provide new, inclusive side events as part of existing regional festivals that help empower young LGBTQ+ people and give voice to issues that are important to them.
All while completing her final year of high school, applying to university and working two jobs, Claire Wright wants to make opportunities for young LGBTQ+ people in regional Australia.
As part of a team of other Heywire winners, Claire developed a program that focuses on providing opportunities for young LGBTQ+ people to take up leadership positions within existing community festivals, events and arts programs.
A lot of people are dissuaded from speaking out about things that are important to them because they think that if they do, it won’t do anything. The knowledge that people are listening and can support you is important.Claire Wright, Heywire 2016 winner
Central to the idea is the importance of community inclusion – the events are held as part of existing initiatives since an event on its own could be daunting for LGBTQ+ people.
Now that the concept is finalised, community groups can pick up the idea via the Heywire grants program and apply for the grant so that they can embrace the concept in their own festivals or fairs.
Claire spoke with Regional Voices about balancing school and exams, work and university applications, and the importance of family as she figures out where life can take her.