Dylan talks about pride

We sat down for a chat with Dylan, who recently joined Estia Health as a People and Culture Coordinator, to ask him about his experience acknowledging Pride month and its broader significance in the workplace.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I recently returned from New York on a prolonged visit to see my boyfriend, Brian. After spending almost, a year in America because of COVID restrictions we were able to secure a flight back to Australia, where we now call Melbourne home. Brian is so excited to be in Australia, learning all the Aussie sayings! Our families and friends have been so supportive during the entire process of dating and relocating, which makes us feel quite lucky as it’s not something afforded to everyone.

2. Can you tell us about your role at Estia Health and what you enjoy about it?

I am currently the People and Culture Coordinator at our Central Services office in Victoria, where I handle contract processing and advertising, while supporting candidates, employees and homes in-between! I’m three months into the role and have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the teams that support our residents, while working on projects that enhance service delivery.

3. What does Pride Month mean to you?

PRIDE for me is primarily about visibility. At its core it commemorates the turning point for the LGBT community. I’m not usually the first person to jump up and down to express my sexuality, but I do appreciate the opportunity these events afford to those who may be struggling with their identity. Having celebrated PRIDE in New York City during 2019, the atmosphere of PRIDE is both exhilarating and reassuring, which can be absent from the lives of members of the LGBTIQA community.

4. How do you think we can continue to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace, particularly our LBGTIQA+ communities?

We can lean into diversity by celebrating events like PRIDE, IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia) and various other days of significance to show commitment to people that otherwise might not be resembled in the workplace. That’s a particular important concept; everyone should be included and encouraged to bring their authentic self to work - not just during PRIDE; it’s every day of the year. In the past at other organisations, I edited my conversations in the office to fit a heteronormative culture, and I critiqued the way I came across to not be an ‘only’. While my experiences are not quite as adverse as some, it is an important reminder of how far we’ve come and how much further we must go. “…everyone should be included and encouraged to bring their authentic self to work - not just during PRIDE; it’s every day of the year.”

“…everyone should be included and encouraged to bring their authentic self to work - not just during PRIDE; it’s every day of the year.”

5. With your experience in aged care, how do you think aged care homes can support LBGTIQA+ communities?

Both as they age and are considering moving into aged care and when they do move into care? Social norms are changing, and our workforce must be there to respond to changing dynamics. We are people-centred and we are family focused and that should be reflected in the way we carry ourselves when interacting with employees, residents, families, and the public. Diversity and inclusion training and awareness are core pillars to ensuring we can move in a positive direction, both for our residents and for our workforce.

6. What planned Pride celebrations are taking place in your Estia Health home/team?

We will be holding a virtual meeting to celebrate PRIDE while acknowledging the challenges that we have faced during our professional career, or personal endeavours. I think it’s important for those that feel comfortable sharing to do so, to learn and grow from lived experiences. After all, we all have a story to share!

7. What will you be doing to celebrate Pride?

I will be reaching out to my friends close and far to check-in, offer support and see what they have planned. I’ll also likely visit my local bar to have a few drinks with friends!