Colour me purple: Western Sydney Local Health District celebrates Wear It Purple Day 2022

WSLHD A/director corporate communications Chris Hopper, WSLHD head of internal communications and campaigns Lisa Portolan, WSLHD senior consultant coaching and manager support Noel Posus, WSLHD training and development manager Michelle Ashworth and WSLHD organisation development consultant leadership Bronwyn Culbert

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) supports all staff and aims to create a culturally inclusive and safe workplace by standing in allyship with our LGBTIQA+ staff and colleagues.

The theme for Wear it Purple Day 2022 is ‘still me, still human’ which captures the message of humanity, honesty, integrity and the diverse identities within the LGBTQIA+ community.

WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy encouraged staff across the district to either wear purple, or place a ‘wear it purple’ sticker on their clothes in support of the day.

To celebrate and drive awareness of the day, the district also organised a silent auction of ‘Wear It Purple’ surgical caps for staff, designed by Westmead Hospital clinical nurse educator, Jennifer Morgan.

“I have several close friends and many work colleagues who identify as LGBTQIA+ and I’m proud to support them,” said Jennifer.

Wear It Purple Day 2022 is an opportunity to not only celebrate and acknowledge the challenges faced by LGBTIQA+ young people, but to soft launch the draft version of the WSLHD LGBTQIA+ Workforce Plan, which has been created based on staff feedback and global best practice.

“Earlier this year, NSW Health launched its LGBTIQ+ Heath Strategy 2022 – 2027, so 2022 was the perfect opportunity for WSLHD to look at what we were doing locally to ensure staff feel included and have a sense of belonging,” said Noel Posus is the Senior Consultant Coaching and Manager Support at WSLHD.

The Plan was developed in consultation with staff, community members and Deloitte Australia.

“During the consultation process, there were multiple opportunities for people to contribute and share their stories and experiences of what it’s like to work at WSLHD and share what they think is being done well and take on recommendations for where we could be putting a little more focus and improve,” said Noel.

“I think the plan will help people within WSLHD to better connect through a sense of identity and belonging and this will also enable the organisation to provide better clinical services to our community members who identify as LGBTIQ.”

The draft version of the WSLHD LGBTQIA+ Workforce Plan is currently in its final stages of consultation and is planned to be officially launched to staff and the public in late September.

“Wear It Purple Day is something I wish existed 40 some years ago so I had some representation of me and how I identified,” said Noel. “This year’s theme is such a strong message for people to go, “I’m seen, I exist, I’m human”.