Issue 12
Monday, 31 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Dr Stephen Kerry has been appointed Director for the Northern Territory on the Board of the National LGBTI Health Alliance
Dr Stephen Kerry has been appointed Director for the Northern Territory on the Board of the National LGBTI Health Alliance

Researcher extends outreach to LGBTI community

By Leanne Miles

A prominent researcher and champion for the wellbeing of transgender Territorians has been appointed Director for the Northern Territory on the Board of the National LGBTI Health Alliance.

CDU lecturer in sociology Dr Stephen Kerry has been the first to study the health and wellbeing status of transgender Australians who live or who have lived in the Northern Territory.

Dr Kerry said recent research indicated that transgender Australians still faced issues of social isolation, mental illness, suicidal ideation, unemployment and violence.

“The LGBTI National Health Alliance is a body that continues to build a network of organisations across the country working collectively toward the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Australians,” Dr Kerry said.

“I have been committed to improving the lives of LGBTI Australians for almost 30 years and see this as a great opportunity to continue that commitment at the national level.”

As an active member of the LGBTI community, Dr Kerry hoped to funnel issues facing Territorians into the national context.

“It is an important part of my role to draw the attention of a national audience to the issues of LGBTI people living in remote areas.

“LGBTI Australians continue to have the highest rates of illness, especially mental illness.”

Dr Kerry has started a research project focusing on suicide rates, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts among trans and sex/gender diverse people in the NT and hopes his position will help champion the issue.

“Recently the National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy was developed to systematically address the dramatic over-representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people in measures of suicidality and mental ill-health.

“It is widely agreed that the needs of LGBTI people living in remote and regional areas of Australia have been overlooked and there are unique issues associated with life outside of the urban centres of the south-east corner which need to be addressed.”