Carmen Rupe Trust

 Self Determination   Social Innovation       Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust


"Our goal is to build a community organisation in the spirit of Carmen Rupe that will work to educate, empower and engage, both within our own community and within wider society on issues of social disadvantage." 
In love's embrace- a call to arms in the spirit of
 Carmen Rupe   - Can one person make a difference?


Carmen Rupe certainly thought so and through a remarkable life�s work has left us a legacy of courage and inspiration - a road map to how one passionate person made a positive difference in the lives of so many and greatly empowered herself in the process.


Through political action and the power of celebrity, Carmen worked for decades to challenge the allpervasive ignorance and occasionally brutal homophobia and transphobia common from the 1950s to the 1980s. Through volunteer work within the GLBTi community and other disadvantaged groups, Carmen demonstrated the power of human kindness as a force for social change. Understanding the potential of her legacy, Carmen's will envisaged a charity that could continue this work - a volunteer based organisation in Carmen's name that would harness the energy of the entire transgender community as a force for positive social change.


Responding to Carmen's wish, our small but dedicated team has been busy for months, developing the organisational infrastructure, building important relationships and refining the strategies that will be required to successfully launch the CRMT.


Our goal is to build a community organisation in the spirit of Carmen Rupe that will work to educate, empower and engage, both within our own community and within wider society on issues of social disadvantage.


As we move towards officially launching as a registered charity over summer, we're seeking people with a passion for making a difference to join our advisory committee or to simply volunteer a little of their time to help out with some of our various projects. Below you'll find a synopsis of TransAction, one of several projects the CRMT is in the process of initiating


Other projects include producing a multi media performance piece reflecting on Carmen's life, developing our website, producing a float for the 2013 Mardi Gras and working with The Community Brave Foundation to develop long term sustainable solutions to tackle, and hopefully ultimately eradicate, online bullying, homo/bi/transphobia and youth suicide. Over the coming months, we'll be renovating CRMT HQ, the community hall at 320 Riley St.


Once completed, we'll run regular seminars, discussions forums and other social events. Ultimately the CRMT will be defined by the talent and passion of those who contribute their own time and energy to help us develop our strategies and programs. Right now we're a small organisation with big aspirations and much passion for effecting positive social chance in Carmen's honour.


For further information about how you can get involved with the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust, check out our Facebook page ( or contact Kelly on 0452 454 965 CRMT TransAction �


synopsis of concept One of the ideas that received broadest support during the CRMT community consultation process was the concept of setting up a service organisation called TransAction or similar, operating under the auspices of the CRMT, that will bring transgender people and their friends together in the spirit of Carmen, to work on a range of community and charitable activities in a safe and supportive environment. Carmen drew tremendous personal pride from opening her heart to others in this way and devoted much of her time to this type of work. This organisation would operate in a similar fashion to other service organisations such as Rotary or Kiwanis but with it's own specific strategic focus. Community members can volunteer their time to become involved in various charity and community based projects � some that will benefit the GLBTi community directly � and others that will support the broader humanitarian goals of the CRMT.


For instance, raising money to address issues of social disadvantage here in Australia, possibly partnering with other GLBTi organisations, indigenous charities or organisations like the Starlight Foundation. Other possible activities could be fundraising for children living in poverty and suffering from HIV in third world countries, possibly partnering with UNICEF or similar organisations. In keeping with CRMT�s broader vision, a primary aim of TransAction will be engaging members of the transgender community to become involved in activities that not only benefit society but also empower participants � enabling them to develop a stronger social support network, build self-esteem, compassion and empathy while developing practical life and professional skills.


The CRMT is developing strategies to publicise the work of TransAction through mainstream media and other channels which will help change the community's perception of transgender people, by seeing them as productive, proactive citizens committed to making a difference for others less fortunate than themselves.


As gender-related stigmatisation is a leading cause of depression, suicidality and substance abuse in transgender people1, 2 changing the community's attitude will dramatically improve their lives.


Two members of the CRMT's Advisory Committee are past presidents of Sydney Kiwanis and consequently bring considerable personal experience and insight into how TransAction might operate and what it can potentially achieve.


In the coming months, we will test the concept by running sausage sizzle fund-raisers at various Bunnings' stores around Sydney. We believe this particular form of simple grass roots fund-raising effort has great potential to engage the transgender community, especially some of it's more socially isolated members, in the tremendously empowering pursuit of charitable fund-raising and community service. Whilst our longer-term fund-raising strategies will be primarily entrepreneurial in nature, the CRMT is currently looking for individual and corporate sponsors to help us develop the infrastructure required to bring this idea to fruition.


Any input or feedback you might like to provide would be greatly appreciated!


For further information, to provide feedback or get involved, please contact Kelly on 0452 454 965 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


References 1 Nuttbrock, L., Hwahng, S., Bockting, W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., Marci, M., Becker, J. (2010). Psychiatric impact of gender-related abuse across the life course of male-to-female transgender persons. Journal Of Sex Research, 47(1), 12-23. 2 Testa, R. J., Sciacca, L. M., Wang, F., Hendricks, M. L., Goldblum, P., Bradford, J., Bongar, B. (2012). Effects of violence on transgender people. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0029604..

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