Friday 27th October, 2017

AYO Board and Management statement on marriage equality

The Australian Youth Orchestra is an organisation dedicated to young people, and their pursuit of happiness, excellence and inspiration through music.

Music has for thousands of years been an art that draws its strength from diversity, creativity and passion. Musicians as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, k.d. lang, or as home-grown as Stuart Challender, show us both the challenges that LGBTI people face and the incredible creativity that flows from inclusion.

We will always prioritise the welfare of the young people we serve, and we know that our stakeholders, supporters, parents and players expect us to do so. We also recognise, and welcome, the fact that Australia is a country where a wide range of views can be expressed openly, and that our musicians and supporters will naturally hold a variety of views about current political debates.

The debate concerning marriage equality is profoundly distressing for many young people. Many see the survey as an opportunity for the Australian community to debate whether or not their lives are valued. In this environment, we believe it is important for our organisation to demonstrate to our participants, staff and stakeholders that we support inclusion and that we support marriage equality.

The Australian Youth Orchestra supports marriage equality. More importantly, we support the right of every young person to feel valued in our community.

Today marks the last day that eligible Australians are advised to post their Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey ballot and guarantee its receipt before the deadline on Tuesday 7 November. The ABS has confirmed that 40% of the 18 to 35 demographic have not yet participated in the survey. Don’t forget to have your say today!