What is Respect Inc?
Respect Inc is a non-profit community based association of past and present sex workers focused on the rights and wellbeing of sex workers in Queensland.
History of Respect Inc
Respect Inc developed in the two years after the closure of SQWISI (Self-Health for Queensland Workers in the Sex Industry) in 2007.
Crimson Coalition (previously SSPAN – Sexual Service Providers’ Advocacy Network) was established in Brisbane in 2004 to provide sex workers’ voices for law reform activities. SQWISI appeared to be moving away from a peer focus on their management committee and in recruitment of health educators and Crimson Coalition members were eager for sex workers to present their views to government themselves.
United Sex Workers North Queensland was established in 2007 as a direct result of the closure of the North Queensland SQWISI offices in March of that year. Our members were directed by the needs of our peers for workplace health and safety training and peer support.
Both groups were members of Scarlet Alliance, the peak national sex workers’ organisation. Together we contributed to the Sex Workers Assessment of Needs (SWAN) Review conducted by BB Professional Services, independent consultants who were contracted by Queensland Health to talk to sex workers and other stakeholders and identify our needs for health services. We also produced the Scarlet Alliance, Crimson Coalition and United Sex Workers North Queensland “Submission to the SWAN Review of Sex Worker Services in Queensland", May 2008 .
United Sex Workers North Queensland became incorporated and began working with Crimson Coalition to establish a state-wide organisation which was proposed to be called Sex Workers United. In keeping with the recommendations of the SWAN Report, Scarlet Alliance, United Sex Workers North Queensland and Crimson Coalition actively participated within the SWAN Working Group facilitated by Queensland Health. Queensland Health then made a commitment to supporting a community capacity development approach: to establish a community-based affirmative action sex worker organisation able to deliver a funded program of HIV, hepatitis C and sexual health promotion services.
Respect Inc was incorporated in October 2009 and set about establishing the offices, resources and infrastructure to deliver health promotion services to Queensland sex workers. Since that time, we have had recurrent service agreements with Queensland Health.
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A society where all sex worker rights are realised, and all Queensland sex workers are aware of and feel confident to access all of the information and support we want and need to enable us to be empowered and control our own lives, health and occupational circumstances, equal to others in the workforce.
We are Queensland sex workers united to provide a formal medium to communicate sex worker issues and concerns so as to improve the rights of our peers and respond to our workplace health and safety and other needs regardless of gender, age, location, industry sector, cultural background or linguistic abilities.
1. To provide a range of education, information and resources that will support sex workers and increase their awareness of occupational health, safety, emotional wellbeing, legal and taxation rights and responsibilities, in a non-judgmental and non-invasive environment.
2. To provide appropriate health promotion programs to sex workers.
3. To operate within a context of accountability, equity and transparency.
4. To recognise that by providing education, information and support to sex workers, sex workers will be effectively resourced as safer sex educators to pass on those educational benefits to the larger general population.
5. To operate within an affirmative action approach, that is, with all direct services by peers (sex workers past or present) within all levels of the organisation, including management, staff and volunteers, and to foster a culture of inclusiveness and mutual respect within the diverse community of sex workers.
6. To lobby government to provide sex workers with legal avenues to work within any area of the Queensland sex work trade/industry as they choose (e.g. escort, in-house, agency, private/sole operator, co-operatives and/or street) without fear of arrest or prosecution for criminal offenses related to sex work business activities.
7. To provide a legitimate voice for Queensland sex workers advocating for legal and other social policies to support sex workers’ human, civil and workplace rights and access to remedies without discrimination, including programs and initiatives that aim to reduce discrimination and stigma against sex workers, past and present.
8. To support and liaise with national, state and regional sex worker rights groups in the development of networks, programs and objectives.
9. To build and foster constructive relationships with all stakeholders for the benefit of sex workers.
Respect Inc accepts memberships from past or present sex workers who support our objectives! All Respect Inc Members receive 10% discount off the total of any safe sex supplies purchased. This includes orders via our free postal service for people not able to easily access one of our four offices. If you would like to become a member of Respect Inc please complete a membership form and pass it on to one of our staff! A membership card will be posted to an address nominated or can be collected from a Respect Inc office.
Respect Inc is guided by a voluntary management committee who meet monthly with staff to oversee the running of the organisation and service delivery. Management committee members are all past or present sex workers and represent a diverse range of sex workers.
There are 9 positions on the Management Committee; four Executive members (Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary) and five General committee members.
The 9 positions on the Management Committee must include one person from each of the following representative groups:
Regions: There must be one person from each of the 5 regions represented
(1) Far Northern Cairns area
(2) Northern Townsville area
(3) Southern Brisbane rea
(4) Far Southern Gold Coast area
(5) A region 200 km from a Respect office.
Sex worker diversity: There must be one member from each of the 3 priority groups represented
(1) Male sex worker who sees predominantly male clients
(2) Cultural and linguistically diverse sex worker, specifically of Asian ethnicity
(3) Transgender sex workers
The Management Committee is elected by the members each year at the Annual General Meeting which is held each year in a different region. The October 2011 AGM was held at the Gold Coast.
Who is who at Respect Inc in 2015-2016?
Jenny King, Chairperson, Townsville
Candi Forrest, Treasurer, Brisbane
Jackie Kneipp, Casual vacancy, Townsville
Dee-Amela, Secretary, Brisbane
Robert Fawkes, Male (MSM), Townsville
Kayla Rose, Committee Member, Youth
Lisa S, Committee Member, Casual vacancy Brisbane
Neddy Westa, Committee Member, Cairns
Charlotte Swan, Committe Member, Gold Coast
Michele Mann, Peer Educator, Townsville
Joe Q, Peer Educator, Brisbane
Annie Mundy, State Coordinator, Brisbane
Mo, Peer Educator, Cairns
Vickki Boon, Asian Focused Peer Educator, Brisbane
Eva K, Career Development Program Peer, Brisbane
Angelina L, Casual Relief Worker, Brisbane
Rachael, Relief Gold Coast Peer Educator, Gold Coast
 Scarlet Alliance, Crimson Coalition and United Sex Workers North Queensland “Submission to the SWAN Review of Sex Worker Services in Queensland, May 2008 http://www.scarletalliance.org.au/laws/qld/08/
 Following application for incorporation the proposed name Sex Workers United was rejected by the Queensland Office of Fair Trading due to it being too close to the name of the already incorporated association, United Sex Workers North Queensland.