After over a year of design, campaigning and development, it brings me sadness to announce that we have decided to wind up Q Co-Lab Limited. We have voluntarily ceased being a charity as of 25/08/2022.
As a young person interested in design, I created the original prototypes and plans for Snowglobe in my spare time after school, frustrated with the complete and utter failure of existing services to properly reach my community, and listen to their voices for successful adaptation.
Through all of our difficulties, we became a chosen family, with many triumphs, but also overwhelming loss and grief as we lost not only members of our family, but our hope. The culture and arts we used to cope were beautiful in their resilience to a society where even our existence is defiance, quantified through our intersections of hidden disabilities, neurodiversity, violence, learning disabilities and cultural diversities. I watched as my family couldn’t find the support they needed – there was no one there to listen in the ways they could be heard, and that was their fault?
There is so much trauma within our community that I believed was not only important for reflection but something that can be thoroughly learnt from to support the next generation of young queer people. I founded Q Co-Lab to harness this potential, but unfortunately, we found that it was extremely difficult to radically innovate within the constraints of an antiquated sector and legislation.
We still believe in the potential of Digital Mental Health Interventions (DMHIs) for young LGBTQIA+ people and are proud to have continued research in a nascent field with ripe opportunities for innovative support models.
The co-design process requires a delicate investment of time, money, skills and community, all of which are hard to ascertain in a community that is just as underfunded as it is vulnerable. Underfunded co-design is dangerous to the people involved and can not only reinstill but create trauma and cause co-designers to lose trust in the system and power of their lived experience.
Finding talent willing to contribute to the project and the adequate resources to compensate them is a difficult task for a small charity like ours. Building Snowglobe without properly utilising our sector’s designers, developers, researchers, psychologists, educators, doctors, and all intersections of our community, would be a failure. With these things considered, we believe in our sector to pick up where we left off and continue to pioneer impact for our community with more consolidated resources. We’re sorry we weren’t able to create the change we set out to do.
We will redistribute all monetary donations to Pride Foundation Australia, a national charity funding LGBTQIA+ initiatives and projects across our community. This is in line with our company’s constitution and relevant legislation.
We thank our generous donors and supporters, but most importantly, we thank the young people of the LGBTQIA+ community who have contributed their time and wisdom from lived experience to the project. We are proud to have created trauma-informed safe spaces built on trust and truth-telling, involving young people directly within the design process and removing academic power imbalances.
For anyone with queries regarding the handling of their personal information, or with any other questions please contact us.
We wouldn’t be here if not for the elders of our LGBTQIA+ community. Thank you to our past, present and emerging members of our queer community who have worked hard to promote the health and wellbeing of their peers, children, families, friends and country. We will always celebrate the diversity of people’s bodies, genders, sexualities, relationships, what they represent, and the rich culture and heritage within our community.
We acknowledge the people of the Dja Dja Wurrung whose unceded lands upon which Q Co-Lab was founded and operated; pay our respect to their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging; and recognise their abiding connection to this land, its waterways and community. Q Co-Lab also acknowledges our community’s brotherboys, sistergirls, and tiddas and the intersections they represent.
Additionally, we acknowledge the support of the Victorian State Government, Pride Foundation Australia, Awesome Foundation Melbourne, Transcend Families, Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service, Tiny Pride, Centre for Social Impact, ACON NSW, Transgender Victoria, WayOut, Connecting Up, Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, VentraIP, Linktree, Canva, PayPal, Stripe, Hotjar, Grammarly, VideoAsk and Facebook.