End discrimination & support mental health for GLBTIQ young people
  • Petitioned Jeff Kennett

This petition was delivered to:

Jeff Kennett

End discrimination & support mental health for GLBTIQ young people

    1. Tom Ballard
    2. Petition by

      Tom Ballard

      Sydney, Australia

Same-sex-attracted young people are 5 times more likely to suffer from depression, and up to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide. But former Victorian Premier and current Chair of the national mental health initiative beyondblue Jeff Kennett, has consistently made statements contributing to a culture of homophobia and discrimination.

Just last month Kennett claimed that children in a homosexual family would have worse mental health outcomes. Kennett has also previously compared a bisexual football trainer to a paedophile.

Jeff is entitled to his own opinions, but not to his own facts - and the facts speak for themselves. Beyondblue’s own research has concluded “all the research shows that it’s the quality of parenting that matters, not the gender of the parents” and other research consistently points to exclusion and discrimination as the main causes of depression and suicide amongst young gays and lesbians.

Kennett has been a champion of mental health for over a decade - but has comprehensively failed to show leadership on this issue. Together we can take this opportunity to force him to step up and help build a culture of inclusion and support. Sign the petition, and ask Jeff to:

- Show the same leadership in this area of mental health as he has in other areas

- Film an “It Gets Better” Video to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer-identifying young people, sending a message of respect, support and inclusion.

- Meet with GLBTIQ young people to talk about how Jeff and beyondblue can play a bigger role in building a culture of inclusion and support.

- Make a public statement calling for further action to support LGBT young people across Australia.

Recent signatures


    1. beyondblue responds to the petition

      Nick Allardice
      Managing Director, Asia

      Hi all,

      Beyondblue has responded to the petition - here’s a summary of the response we received from beyondblue concerning the petition:

      1. beyondblue has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate its commitment to the GLBTI community. To date the beyondblue Board has committed over $2 million in research grants, and $200,000 to research a campaign to raise awareness of depression and anxiety in the GLBTI community.

      2. A beyondblue GLBTI Reference Group have reviewed the “It Gets Better” campaign and it will be used to inform their upcoming campaign

      3. Meeting with gay and lesbian young people about mental health is part of the mandate of the GLBTI Reference Group

      4. The Chairman of beyondblue, Mr Kennett will be interviewed on Thursday at midday on JOY 94.9 FM. (On the Line).

    2. Jeff Kennett's Full Interview With JOY FM

      Tom Ballard
      Petition Organizer

      You can listen to JOY FM's President David McCarthy chatting to Mr. Kennett here.

    3. Reached 6,000 signatures
    4. Mr. Kennett To Appear On JOY FM This Thursday

      Tom Ballard
      Petition Organizer

      Exciting news! Mr. Kennett will be discussing the concerns of this petition publicly this week.

      If you can, please tune in to JOY FM (94.9FM if you're in Melbourne, VIC, alternatively stream online at http://www.joy.org.au/) this Thursday from 12pm to hear Mr. Kennett being interviewed.

      Thanks again very much for your support; hopefully we'll see a genuine response from Mr. Kennett and positive steps will be taken to help the mental health of GLBTIQ youth.

      Go team.



    5. RE: Acknowledgement of bisexuality

      Tom Ballard
      Petition Organizer

      First of all - already over 3200 signatures! Amazing, thanks so much to everyone, your support is incredible and rest assured that a statement is being made.

      I've been contacted by a few understandably concerned petitioners in regards to the absence of acknowledgement of bisexuality and the plight of bisexual young people in the petition. I apologise unreservedly for this omission and have edited the petition appropriately.

      This petition is in the interests of the ENTIRE queer community: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer-identifying people, on and all.

      I 'd also like to make a special thank you to all our heterosexual brothers and sisters who are getting on board, too. =)

      Cheers very much,


    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. Articles For Reference

      Tom Ballard
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks so much for all the support so far, friends!

      Some people have (quite reasonably) been asking for links to the relevant comments of Mr. Kennett.

      Here's the Herald Sun story from 2008 on Mr. Kennett's bisexuality/paedophilia comments - http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/kennett-gay-storm/story-e6frf7l6-1111117025363

      And here's Mr. Kennett's Herald Sun opinion piece on the mental health dangers of homosexual parenting: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/children-need-mum-and-dad-for-best-mental-health/story-e6frfhqf-1226132579875

      If you're convinced that it is simply untenable that the chair of a mental health organisation could propagate such damaging views for GLBTIQ Australians, please do everything you can to spread the word and encourage your friends to sign the above petition.



    8. Reached 750 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • christina bennett MURWILLUMBAH, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Gay and lesbian friends of mine who have depression are usually struggling with acceptance from their own families. It is little surprise that anyone would have depression if they were rejected by those closest to them. In my own observation Gay and lesbian friends and including myself who are lucky enough to have supportive families have good mental health and no depression.

    • Phillip Nixon FOREST LAKE, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I suffer from depression. My youngest son is gay. I believe in equality.

      • almost 3 years ago

      It is impossible to respect a depression initiative when its CEO publicly supports an attitude that encourages hatred and exclusion. These comments degrade and damage Beyond Blue's reputation and are completely unacceptable.

      • almost 3 years ago

      Beyondblue is supposed to operate on the principle of evidence-based practice, and this indicates same-sex attracted people, especially youth, should be one of the main groups on whom to focus. The organisation cannot afford to have a Chairperson who repeatedly provides erroneous messages to the public, whether intentional or not.

      • almost 3 years ago

      Because by failing to acknowledge the problem is adding to the problem. How can you run a support service for mental illness and continue to stigmatise and discriminate so many?


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