The WESTANDPROUD Project

Language

Western Melbourne

The Project Method

WESTANDPROUD Team

The WESTANDPROUD Project

WESTANDPROUD documents the lived-experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) individuals living in Melbourne’s Western Region. The project’s focus is on but not limited to the Hobsons Bay Local Government Area. WESTANDPROUD aims to expand understandings of local history, by incorporating the voices of GLBTIQ people, who have often been excluded from traditional narratives.  The project is about celebrating pride, visibility and diversity.

Little is known about the past and current lives of GLBTIQ people in the Western Suburbs. WESTANDPROUD aims to address this knowledge deficit and shed light on attitudinal changes over time and impacts of local, state and federal initiatives.

WESTANDPROUD documents this history through a series of short films which showcase the lives and stories of prominent and everyday GLBTIQ individuals living, working, studying or socialising in the West.

WESTANDPROUD also serves as a historical archive of queer life in the West.

Language

For a summary of key terms and definitions, please see the Pridentity Resource by Women's Health In the North.
On this site we use the acronym GLBTIQ. Please note that this acronym is one of the many ways to refer to this broad grouping of diverse identities. GLBTIQ has been used for WESTANDPROUD due to its existing use at Hobsons Bay City Council. The words Queer and Rainbow are also utilised as all-encompassing inclusive terms.

Western Melbourne

WESTANDPROUD encompasses the Local Government areas of Maribynong, Wyndham, Brimbank, Melton, Moonee Valley and Hobsons Bay.
The project focuses on GLBTIQ-related events and milestones in these areas as well as people who live, study, work or socialise in the Western Suburbs.

Project Method

The WESTANDPROUD GLBTIQ archive project was established in July 2013 by Hobsons Bay Libraries. Two RMIT final year social work students, Bridget McLennan and Sophie Klein, were enlisted to plan and implement the project during their 70 day field work placement from July-Dec 2013.

The project brief was to create a historical archive for the GLBTIQ community in Melbourne’s West, and a project plan was developed in consultation with the Hobsons Bay GLBTIQ Advisory committee, Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre  and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA).

The team drew on community development theoretical frameworks from Jack Rothman, Jim Diers, Peter Kenyon, Yoland Wadsworth, Wendy Sarkissian and others to guide their work.

In the initial stages of the project, expressions of interest were sought from the community to speak to the experiences of life, work, study and socialising in the Western Suburbs.  After narrowing down the responses, 25 people met the criteria of the project and eight were selected for interview.  

Filmmaker Caitlin Bryan was enlisted to create eight short films, showcasing GLBTIQ lived-experiences in the Western Suburbs.

The WESTANDPROUD website was launched in January 2014 as part of GOWEST activities for Melbourne's annual Queer Celebration, Midsumma

WESTANDPROUD Team

Bridget McLennan

Bridget McLennan is a Newport resident who completed her Bachelor of Social Work at RMIT in 2013. Bridget was one of the initial WESTANDPROUD project workers. She collaborated with Sophie Klein to seek out participants, organise filming and conduct the interviews. Together Sophie and Bridget also organised the launch of the WESTANDPROUD website and the construction of rainbow crossing in Altona in January 2014.

Sophie Klein

Sophie Klein is a singer-songwriter with an appetite for community development work. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work at RMIT in 2013. Sophie was one of the initial WESTANDPROUD project workers. She collaborated with Bridget McLennan to seek out participants, organise filming and conduct the interviews. Together Sophie and Bridget also organised the launch of the WESTANDPROUD website, the construction of rainbow crossing in Altona in January 2014. Sophie stayed on as WESTANDPROUD Project Officer to oversee premiere of the eight WESTANDPROUD short films at the Sun Theatre, Yarraville, in May 2014.

Caitlin Bryan (filmmaker) Cait filiming

Caitlin Bryan is an independent filmmaker. Caitlin produced, directed, filmed and edited the eight WESTANDPROUD short films. Caitlin's previous work includes writing and producing the independent short film The Outside Light (2012) which was selected to screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the St Kilda Film Festival 2013, as well as a number of international film festivals.