Jesuit Social Services staff member, Alex Fraser, is one of several team members who led the organisation towards Rainbow Tick accreditation over the last four years. 

“Rainbow Tick is a quality framework that helps organisations like ours show that they are safe, inclusive and affirming for both current and potential LGBTIQA+ staff, volunteers and participants,” Alex says. 

Alex hopes pursuing Rainbow Tick will help counter assumptions about organisations with a Catholic heritage. 

“Because of the Catholic Church’s history of homophobia, many people assume organisations with a Catholic heritage will not be welcoming to LGBTIQA+ people. We know that’s not the case at Jesuit Social Services, and Rainbow Tick is a good way to signal that we are continuing to do the work to ensure we are safe and inclusive.”

An important part of achieving Rainbow Tick is ensuring staff are trained in LGBTIQA+ inclusion. 

“To be able to achieve the standards you need to have at least 80 per cent of staff and volunteers do LGBTIQA+ inclusion training. We created our own training – bringing in staff and volunteers to share their experiences both as LGBTIQA+ people working at the organisation, and as practitioners working with LGBTIQA+ participants,” Alex says. 

The organisation set up a Rainbow Tick advisory group made up of interested staff from across the organisation, started a newsletter sharing LGBTIQA+ resources, began intentionally marking key dates – such as Wear It Purple Day and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia, and Intersexism – with staff events and on its public platforms, updated its data collection practices and materials provided to participants, and set up an LGBTIQA+ Cultural Safety position, among other things. 

“Everything was in place, then the assessment week came. I was nervous – I’d heard from other organisations that the standards are really difficult to achieve – but I was also hopeful. 

The auditors interviewed participants, board members and staff at all levels, reviewed our documentation, and assessed our visual environment. They identified some corrective actions which we achieved within their timeframe. And then we found out we were successful against all the standards on our first attempt, which was amazing!” Alex says. 

While the organisation is now accredited, the work doesn’t stop here. For Jesuit Social Services it’s not only about having the Tick.  

“It’s about ensuring that we are, and can demonstrate that we are, safe and inclusive. We’ll be reassessed every three years, which will help us maintain and grow our commitment to the work.”