[On-screen text: Creating inclusive Landcare opportunities, LGBTIQ Friends of Bababi Djinanang Grasslands Merri Creek, Wurundjeri Country.

I come from the bush. Nature has always been a friend to me, and I just love seeing the natural world thriving.

[On-screen text: Gabriel Aleksanders  (he/him, Leader, LGBTIQ Friends of Bababi Djinanang.

A lot of LGBTIQ people are interested in the environment, particularly in the urban environment, where a lot of them are living in their community's share space.

People were talking to me, friends and other people in the LGBTIQ communities about the impacts that the fires had had on their mental health.

I set up a Facebook group. It's now into the hundreds and we're having regular events.

The group is based at the Bababi Djinanang Grasslands here in Fawkner.

All of the events happen here. It's about basically improving the biodiversity and environmental integrity of the area here.

We've had some events. We had 80, 90 people turn up. We've had planting days.

Some of the weed identification days, bird days, pollinator days.

So the event today is part of a series of funded events that we've been running around the grasslands.

It's looking at pollinators and the influence and impact of pollinators around the creek and the kind of habitat needs those little guys need to do their good work.

Looking back, a lot of the feedback that I've got from people has been about the importance of having a space for LGBTIQ people in the environment biodiversity movement.

People really see it improving their wellbeing and their mental health and their connection.

[On-screen text: Edie (they/she) Participant, LGBTIQ Friends of Bababi Djinanang.

I have lived near the Merri Creek for about five years. In the end of 2020, I was needing a sense of purpose. We'd been in lockdown for a while.

I heard about a few community projects through friends and put my hand up to be involved.

It started as a DIY group which I think is really attractive to me.

So it was a group of volunteers originally coming together knowing that they wanted a space that felt safe for queer and trans people.

I think people bring so many amazing experiences to conservation and this is a real place where you can connect with each other and really strengthen on that, rather than feeling like you're in a silo.

I guess on top of that, I've really enjoyed being with members of the queer community.

Page last updated: 14/12/23