Alan Joyce patron of lobby group that’s campaigning to stop workplaces from using the word MOTHER

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Qantas boss Alan Joyce is the patron of a controversial not-for-profit organisation that’s advising workplaces to stop using the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’.

Sydney-based queer health organisation ACON, primarily funded by the NSW Government and receives money from the ABC, advised companies to abandon the terms to promote LGBTQ inclusion.

The lobby group has suggested the words’ mother’, and ‘father’ be replaced with ‘primary caregiver’ and ‘secondary caregiver’.

Alan Joyce patron of lobby group that’s campaigning to stop workplaces from using the word MOTHER

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce attends Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards in 2018 after becoming a co-patron of ACON – a group that wants to ban the use of ‘mother’ and ‘father’

Qantas' website only mentions the word 'mother' on its Mother's Day sales page - with the airline refusing to comment to Daily Mail Australia on if it follows ACON's guidelines

Qantas’ website only mentions the word ‘mother’ on its Mother’s Day sales page – with the airline refusing to comment to Daily Mail Australia on if it follows ACON’s guidelines

Mr Joyce was announced as a co-patron for ACON’s Pride in Diversity campaign in 2018 and has appeared at several events alongside other directors.

‘I’m honoured to be part of ACON’s efforts to create workplaces where LGBTI Australians feel confident to be themselves,’ he said upon his appointment.

‘Companies have so much to gain when employees bring their whole selves to their job, but I’ve heard too many stories from people who feel they have to devote a lot of energy to hiding a big part of their identity.’

In welcoming Mr Joyce, ACON President Dr Justin Koonin said that he brings a wealth of experience in leadership and advocacy from the corporate sector.

‘Even with the successful passage of marriage equality legislation in 2017, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do, and it is important that in all aspects of Australian life we have outstanding leaders, advocates and allies – including of course within Australia’s major business, governmental and educational institutions,’ Dr Koonin said.

ACON, which stands for AIDS Council of NSW, receives $13million in government funding annually and $4 million from organisations that sign up as members, including Qantas.

The organisation was originally founded to respond to the AIDS epidemic in 1985. It has since diversified into advocating for national workplace policy.

The lobby group advises workplaces to avoid using gendered terms when writing office policies to make sure gender norms are not reinforced.

‘When we continue to use terms that buy into that, such as ‘maternity leave’, ‘paternity leave’, ‘mother’, ‘dads’, all of these terms, that’s reinforcing those gender norms,’ the lobby group’s training video for employers states.

‘Often, our parental leave policies have been written, using a traditional view where a woman will become pregnant, have a child, take six months off work to be the primary caregiver of a child. The male husband might also take a couple of weeks off work,’ it says.

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ACON recognises Qantas as a ‘silver LGBTQ inclusive employer’, with other powerhouses including PwC, Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte and JP Morgan, and others recognised for making workplaces more inclusive for LGBTQ staff by following some of the lobby group’s advice.

Qantas’ website has only one mention of the word ‘mother’, on its Mother’s Day sales, and no mention of the word ‘father’.

The airline instead refers to ‘parents’ or ‘guardians’ when talking about children flying.

In response to Daily Mail Australia, Qantas said they would not comment directly on any relationship with ACON and whether it follows its guidelines, but noted Mr Joyce has used the term mother personally in the past.

The airline also said it regularly mentions mother and father in social media posts.

Jetstar, the sister company of Qantas, does use the term ‘mother’ on its website, referencing ‘new mothers’ in its section on pregnancy. 

Competitor Virgin Australia also uses the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’, offering travel tips for parents and pushing its not-for-profit partner Gidget Foundation Australia – which emotionally supports expecting and new mums and dads.

‘Nearly 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers will experience perinatal depression and anxiety (known previously as Postnatal Depression), with suicide a leading cause of maternal death,’ VA says on its website.

‘That’s around 10,000 Australians each year. Nearly 50% of all parents experience adjustment disorders.’ 

Sydney-based health organisation ACON, which is primarily funded by the NSW Government, has advised workplaces abandon the terms to promote LGBTQ inclusion (stock image)

Sydney-based health organisation ACON, which is primarily funded by the NSW Government, has advised workplaces abandon the terms to promote LGBTQ inclusion (stock image)

2GB Radio host Ben Fordham described ACON's push to remove the words as 'another crackpot idea'

2GB Radio host Ben Fordham described ACON’s push to remove the words as ‘another crackpot idea’ 

Up to 60 government departments and agencies – which includes schools, the Prime Minister’s office, universities, the Police and private businesses – have signed up as members of its schemes.

In a statement addressing the ‘repeated attacks’ in recent months from ‘opponents of LGBTQ equality, ACON said the goal of the employer support program was to create more inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ employees.

‘Our members strive to be inclusive of all employees and create inclusive workplaces for all Australians. Pride in Diversity provides members with LGBTQ subject matter expertise in this aspect of their diversity and inclusion strategy,’ it stated.

‘Pride in Diversity was established following requests from employers, seeking advice and support in this area to enable parity with their international offices and emerging best practice in diversity and inclusion.’

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In a statement addressing the ‘repeated attacks’ in recent months from ‘opponents of LGBTQ equality, ACON said the goal of the employer support program was to create more inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ employees.

‘Our members strive to be inclusive of all employees and create inclusive workplaces for all Australians. Pride in Diversity provides members with LGBTQ subject matter expertise in this aspect of their diversity and inclusion strategy,’ it stated.

‘Pride in Diversity was established following requests from employers, seeking advice and support in this area to enable parity with their international offices and emerging best practice in diversity and inclusion.’

ACON’s 2022 Australian Workplace Equality Survey of 45,000 employees found less people were comfortable with being out to everyone they work with – falling from 66 per cent in 2020 to 58 per cent in 2022.

‘Another 33 per cent said they felt they wouldn’t be accepted by some members of their team, and 19 per cent said being out at work would negatively impact their career progression,’ it said.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted ACON for comment.

‘Another day, another crackpot idea’: 2GB’s breakfast host BEN FORDHAM unleashes about lobby group that wants the words mother and father removed from the workplace

BEN FORDHAM LIVE AIRS ON 2GB 873 SYDNEY ON MONDAY TO FRIDAY BETWEEN 5:30 AND 9:00

BEN FORDHAM LIVE AIRS ON 2GB 873 SYDNEY ON MONDAY TO FRIDAY BETWEEN 5:30 AND 9:00

A lobby group – that has an official relationship with the ABC – wants the words ‘mother’ and ‘fathe’  removed from the workplace.

This comes from a mob called ACON.

They want ‘mother’ and ‘father’ banned.

It’s another nutty proposal from people completely removed from reality.

But- here’s the rub- ACON is in bed with the ABC!

I’ll return to that in a moment.

Instead of ‘mother’ and ‘father’ – ACON reckon we should be saying ‘primary… or secondary caregiver.’

Its advice to workplaces comes in a document titled:

‘Don’t Say Mother.’

ACON says:

‘When we continue to use terms such as – maternity leave, paternity leave, mother and dads- this is reinforcing those norms.’

This dopey thinking is starting to gain momentum.

According to the Daily Telegraph- 60 Government departments have signed up to ACON’s schemes.

That includes the office of ‘Prime Minister and Cabinet’.

They’re a bronze member!

Is Anthony Albanese going to step in today and say ‘no, thanks’

The lobby group receives $13 million from taxpayers every year.

And their relationship with the ABC is under the microscope – big time.

Media Watch tackled this issue on Monday night.

It turns out- the public broadcaster pays thousands of dollars a year to be a member of ACON.

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That gives them access to something called the ‘Australian Workplace Equality Index’

This is where ACON publicly lists the country’s most inclusive organisations- based on who follows their ideas.

The ABC received ‘gold status’ at ACON’s industry awards earlier this year and so did the ABC CEO – David Anderson.

The ABC scored extra points because Mr Anderson personally appeared at Mardi Gras.

If he spoke at the event, he would have scored more points!

You can see what’s happening here.

The ABC is sucking up to this group – to try to get a higher spot on the scoresheet!

And that also impacts the independence of the ABC.

That’s why Paul Barry blew the whistle on Monday night.

And he had proof to back up his point.

Media Watch revealed documents obtained under Freedom of Information requests.

They showed the lobby group has been offering editorial tips on how the ABC should be covering sensitive stories.

One email shows an ABC journalist seeking advice from ACON on the correct definition of the word ‘family’

Another email confirms the ABC will receive extra points towards its inclusion ranking… for positive coverage of trans issues.

As Paul Barry points out on Media Watch:

‘The ABC had failed to cover the controversial closure of the UK’s famous Tavistock gender clinic.

‘We also noted that the ABC had ignored legitimate medical debate about caution and safeguards in treating gender dysphoria in children.’

Only last week- ABC chair Ita Buttrose had to apologise over a story about trans athletes.

The original story failed to discuss research showing athletes born male have physical advantages over females.

Ita described it as ‘serious editorial lapses’.

As Paul Barry says:

‘Imagine if the ABC was paying thousands of dollars to Greenpeace and winning prizes for running stories attacking the fossil fuel industry.

‘The problem here is a media group partnering with and being rewarded by a lobby group — any lobby group. And how that can lead to perceptions of bias in coverage or to bias itself.

‘We think the ABC should review the arrangement.’

Of course they should.

And so should the office of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

And any other Government department who have signed up with ACON.

This is a group that doesn’t want anyone saying ‘mothers’ or ‘fathers’

If you’re taking advice from this mob, you need a check up.

Pay them out of your own pocket.

Because we don’t consent to our money being spent on this crap.

 

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