LBQ Women’s Health Forums

Launching the SWASH Report 2020!

Join us for three online forums focusing on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual and queer women (cis and trans) in Sydney.

The Sydney Women and Sexual Health (SWASH) survey was first carried out in 1996. It was initiated by workers from ACON, who were faced with a lack of evidence about women (cis and trans) of diverse sexualities.

Research on lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health and wellbeing is still scarce.

SWASH is now a comprehensive survey of our diverse genders; our sexual identities and sexual health; our sense of connection to community; our drug and alcohol use; our mental health and wellbeing; our health screening practices and so much more.

The survey is run every two years by researchers at the University of Sydney in collaboration with ACON.

SWASH is the longest running and only regular survey of lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women’s (cis and trans) health and wellbeing in Australia (and probably the world). 

People across Sydney filled out our surveys early in 2020 – at Mardi Gras events, at bars and clubs, at home online and in their hundreds at Fair Day – and now we’re coming together online to talk about the results and chat about the health of our communities!

We have three online forums this year, hosted over Zoom.

Register below for one or all of them!

You can submit a question for any of our panellists, or on any topic related to sexuality and gender diverse women’s health in the registration forum below.

You will be able to submit questions during the forums in a public chat window. We will answer as many as we can in the live session, depending on time.


SWASH 2020 Launch

28th October, 5:30-6:30pm

The official launch of the SWASH Report 2020!

Lead researchers Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon join host Amy Coopes for a detailed presentation and discussion on lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s (cis and trans) health. SWASH 2020 survey gave us an unprecedented number of responses; register now to hear all about the latest trends from the longest running regular study into lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s (cis and trans) health in the world.

Julie Mooney-Somers is an Associate Professor at Sydney Health Ethics, University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the health of sexuality and gender diverse people (primarily related to tobacco, alcohol and other substance use).

Rachel Deacon is a Research Associate with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney. She is an experienced clinical researcher in the drug and alcohol field and with other vulnerable populations.

Amy Coopes is a graduating doctor, journalist and editor at Croakey Health Media, a social journalism collective for health. After a decade in news reporting, Amy returned to university to study medicine, and will matriculate in December with her MD, starting her clinical career with the Victorian Rural Generalist Program in 2021. She lives in rural NSW with her partner and their two young children, and is passionate about accessible, safe and affirming health care for LGBTQI people, particularly outside of metropolitan settings.

Host: Amy Coopes

Panellists: A/Prof Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon.


SWASH: Healthcare & Screening

4th November, 5:30–6:30pm

Hosted by Amy Coopes, we’ll be talking about our experiences with healthcare and our rates of cancer screening and sexual health screening. Lead researchers Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon will talk us through what’s happening with LBQ women (cis and trans) in healthcare, and they’ll be joined by a panel of experts to talk about healthcare for our communities.

Are we comfortable with mainstream health providers? Does it make a difference to us to go to explicitly LGBTQ health care services? How have our communities responded to the availability of peer-led clinics?

Host: Amy Coopes


A/Prof Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon (SWASH)

Karen Price, Deputy CEO of ACON

Dr Viv McGregor, ACON Coordinator of Check OUT: LGBTIQ+ Sexual Health Clinic

Liz Duck-Chong, Peer Leader, [trans]TEST: TGD Sexual Health Service and Community Health Promotion Officer, Trans & Gender Diverse Health Equity, ACON


SWASH: Alcohol & Other Drugs and Mental Health

11th November, 5:30–6:30pm

Join Amy Coopes, SWASH researchers Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon, and experts in LGBTQ health, Lucy Watson (ACON) and Sarah Etter (NADA) for an in-depth discussion about LBQ women (cis and trans), alcohol, drug use and mental health.

Do we drink and take more drugs than other communities? How does this affect our mental health? Do we seek out support?

Host: Amy Coopes


A/Prof Julie Mooney-Somers and Rachel Deacon (SWASH)

Sarah Etter, Gender and Sexuality AOD Network, (Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies)

Lucy Watson, Community Health Promotion Officer, Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health Programs, ACON



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