Nik Walls


What is your role at Grampians Health?

Health Information Clerk at the Ballarat Base.

Why is IDAHOBIT important to you?

Growing up, queer people were portrayed in the media as one of three things: punchlines, villains, or victims. Stigmatisation of queer people has material consequences for our health and wellbeing; for instance, around 40% of trans people will make a serious attempt on their lives at some point. It’s important to me that young queer people don’t grow up feeling like they have a secret that they absolutely must hide, or that they won’t be accepted because of one arbitrary thing about them. Perpetuating how we’ve been treated historically has no place in our society, and it’s important to both talk the talk as well as walking the walk.

What is one thing you would like others to know about the LGBTQIA+ community?

Sexuality and identity is not a choice. Regardless of who we love or how we present, we deserve the same respect, compassion, and rights that have been extended to the broader cisgender-heterosexual community.

In what ways do you see Grampians Health supporting the LGBTQIA+ community?

I’ve transitioned socially in the time that I’ve worked here, and with only a handful of notable exceptions everyone’s been great about it. Most people have got the spirit even if they’re not 100% sure what to do in each individual case, and that’s the most important part. We’re not just employees here, we’re also members of the community, and I’ve never felt like I’ve had worse medical treatment because of my LGBTQIA+ status. Grampians Health also had plans to actively participate as an organisation in St Kilda Pride this year. We cancelled because of pandemic-related reasons, but I’m looking forward to participating in future years. Moving forward I’d like to see some development in queer-specific healthcare with outreach into the broader Grampians region, but that’s probably more viable when we have more physical space further into the redevelopment.