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I was already aware of some sex worker history from NT that had crossed over into the national sex worker rights movement. There was once a co-convenor of Scarlet Alliance in the mids who also was behind organising sex workers in the NT, LeeC. This snippet of history brings me to when I first popped up here in NT, which was To come together. The issues for sex workers many years ago was around legalisation, having a special legislation that noone was criminalised under.
Act Up started as well. So we had all of these really strong groups everywhere across the country. We at times had time to plan beautiful passing ceronomies as our friends knew the timeline to their death back then.
It was more about the way the department was looking at what the outcomes should be for programs. That again is further voluntry work for the reference group participants. Its always ongoing. I mentioned LeeC. I think that NTAHC gives people, anybody, a space to go into to remain anonymous to access our services. Alice Springs, Katherine or Nhulunbuy sex workers, because of the stigma and discrimination across the Northern Territory, it is not so easy to cover the work.
When sex workers travel through places like Darwin, interstate, into sex worker organisations, also in Sydney and Melbourne - sex workers meet other workers. SWOP NT supports workers regionally over the phone as best we can as possible without meeting face to face because we are unable to, we have to be very careful in checking settings of confidentiality, for example the space the worker is speaking within. We ensure we maintain links as best as possible for travelling workers and FIFO workers.
Organisations like Scarlet Alliance are really good for maintaining those links because there is now individual membership too. Scarlet Alliance only had organisational membership. The internet helps too. So we get on the phone again and we talk about how to check the client and lots of giggles, but it all works. And at the same time, try and balance getting to work at a 9. Or shift work. If there was decriminalisation of drugs, that would give better access to a known quality of drug in a way that the drug using community thought would would work, then people would be able to work and live better.