Inaugural Diversity Walk comes to Tweed and Coolangatta

The Diversity Walk organising committee from Compass. Photo supplied.

The Diversity Walk organising committee from Compass. Photo supplied.

Celebrating love, headspace Tweed Heads and the Compass LGBTIQAP+ Youth Network are hosting Tweed and Coolangatta’s inaugural Diversity Walk on Saturday, October 28.

Event organiser Claire Cottone, from headspace Tweed Heads said: ‘The idea for the Diversity Walk came from a group of young people from the Compass network, which is a group run by headspace Tweed Heads that started earlier this year to provide support for LGBTIQAP+ young people in the Tweed Shire and Southern Gold Coast.

‘We noticed a lack of spaces and services specifically tailored for LGBTIQAP+ young people in this area, and formed the Compass network to help build a community that embraces and celebrates LGBTIQAP+ young people,’ Claire said.

Everyone is welcome to join in the walk – just dress to express and bring placards, picnics and positive vibes. Tweed Heads police have closed off the streets for the event, which will cross the NSW/QLD border between Tweed Heads and Coolangatta.

‘The purpose of the walk is to provide visibility, social inclusion and celebration for not only LGBTIQAP+ young people but all people! That’s why we’ve called it a Diversity Walk, so that all people within our community feel invited, included and celebrated. We acknowledge and respect the traditional owners of this area who will be leading the walk and our opening ceremony,’ continued Claire

The easy 1 km walk kicks off at 11:30am at 1 Bay St, Tweed Heads (gathering from 11am).  The parade will then head up Wharf St to the Boundary St roundabout, and finish at Chris Cunningham Park for a community BBQ and picnic with a traditional Welcome to Country, local Aboriginal dancers, and live music featuring local artists Essie Thomas and Salt & Steel. The walk is also supported by the Tweed Mayor Katie Milne, who will be speaking at the event.

‘Social inclusion is vital in supporting positive mental health outcomes and that is one of our intentions for the Diversity Walk, which is being held in Mental Health Month. LGBTIQAP+ young people suffer much higher rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues than other young people, and therefore they need extra support.

 We plan to make this an annual event to continue fostering social inclusion for marginalised groups in the Tweed Shire and southern Gold Coast,’ Claire said.

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