GIPPSLAND Pride Initiative (GPI) held an open pool event for those within and connected to the LGBTQ+ community recently.

About 30 people attended the event at Trafalgar Swimming Pool on Saturday, February 3.

Tents were set up with a range of stallholders.

Gippsland Pride Initiative had five tents, while Gippsland Rangers Roller Derby and Ambulance Victoria also promoted its services. GPI supplied food, drinks, free clothes from their community op shop, and some merch.

Sunny: Gippsland Pride Initiative celebrates the warmth between the LGTBQ+ community by the pool. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

The inclusive event allowed people to relax and enjoy with like-minded people in a safe environment for free.

GPI held a similar event on February 10 at Yallourn North Swimming Centre.

Groups such as SES, Headspace, Proud 2 Play, Uniting, Moe Lions Club, Way Finder Podcast and even Victoria Police made their rounds saying hello.

Many people came to the Yallourn North event, rivalling the numbers that travelled to the first, with some going to both weekends.

Ambulance Victoria attended both events, sharing information about CPR practices, priority health clinics in the area and further information on staying well during intense weather. Two priority health centres within the Baw Baw and Latrobe Valley regions are the closest to the event in Moe. For the second pride festival, Ambulance Victoria also acknowledged how to treat snake bites and the summer safety tips.

AV Pride: Jess Shephard and Jacqueline Reid sharing kindness in the community as well as helping people. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

Health seemed to be a significant point over the weekends. Mental, physical and social health was all taken care of.

Headspace was doing the rounds by sharing mental and social health awareness within the LGBTQ+ community and sharing knowledge on groups, services and events that families and individuals can attend.

Throughout the day, Uniting shared its services, including free food for those in need and other care needed within the community.

In Gippsland, Proud 2 Play shared how they hoped to bring inclusiveness into sporting groups and that they are branching out from Melbourne to implement guided change and acceptance.

Finding acceptance is hard for some, and receiving that help is hard for others. The Way Finder podcast set up camp dring the day, and people were welcome to share their stories and experiences with services.

Promoting inclusiveness, the SES services came to the pride event to share how they are inclusive to all volunteers no matter who they are and that they are always looking for more members. They also offered free merchandise sharing what SES does, fun foldable frisbees and good old pens.

Moving: The Yallourn North Pool invited all to dance, laugh and destress the day away. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

The event’s glory was the Lion’s Club of Moe making their incredible hamburger, sausage and pancake spread. All the food at the event was free, like the event itself.

Each year, Gippsland Pride does different events like these.

For more information on Gippsland Pride Initiative, go to or visit their Facebook page.