MUTUAL AID PROGRAM

Ever since Bigger Sister Channel was established, the need to set up a mutual aid project for members of the community has been recognised.

The mutual aid project is a community-led and run initiative dedicated to supporting workers in crisis. Our goal is to assist participants get out of and stay out of crisis, recognising that each individual’s needs and priorities are unique. This project is built on the principles of mutual aid, which emphasizes self-determination and collective effort. Twice a year, we plan to run fundraisers to raise funds to provide financial assistance to those in need.

The donations we receive through our fundraisers will be matched 100% by a private donor, with the private donor matching up to $10,000.

Principles informing the project

  1. Our mutual aid project operates on the principle of solidarity, not charity. Our support extends freely to all sex workers in Australia, without any conditions or obligations.
  2. Trust is a fundamental cornerstone in the operation of our mutual aid fund. We believe that trust is essential for building strong, supportive relationships within our community. People do not need to prove their need to access the project and we believe the people that come to us.
  3. We are committed to upholding the dignity and self-determination of all individuals. We will not tell you what to do, we are led by you.
  4. We strive to meet people where they are, acknowledging their unique circumstances. We acknowledge the impact of failing systems on individuals, emphasizing that individuals are not the problem.
  5. We recognise everyone has something valuable to contribute, promoting interdependence and breaking out of the giver/receiver binary.
  6. We approach our work with humility, being open to and seeking feedback and willingly adjusting our program accordingly to best meet the needs of those we work alongside.
  7. Transparency is maintained in all our work and processes. We believe that being open about our actions and decisions builds trust and accountability within our community.
  8. The mutual aid project extends to political involvement to advocate for those most impacted by societal systems, promoting solidarity and liberation for all. This involves Bigger Sister Channel being involved in advocating for and being involved in policy changes and fighting for human rights.
  9. We believe in sharing our resources instead of accumulating them.

What kind of support is available?

The mutual aid project offers a range of support services, including:

  • Information and Referrals: We connect participants with resources and services that can help address their specific needs. 
  • Peer Support: We can connect participants with others to share experiences and knowledge.
  • Financial Assistance: Through our bi-annual fundraisers, we aim to provide financial assistance to those in crisis. Through the fundraising efforts, we aim to be able to provide individuals up to $500 per fundraising round. This $500 may not be able to be provided in one go, depending on the amount of requests for financial support received. If you have received less than $500 you can apply again. We can also share GoFundMe links, and mutual aid requests through our social media platforms.
  • Additional Support: We are flexible and responsive to the evolving needs of our participants, always guided by their priorities.

How can I get support from the project?

To access support from the mutual aid project, individuals need to fill out our intake form, which is available as a Google form. This form allows applicants to share their situation and specify the type of support they are seeking.

Within seven days of receiving an application, the mutual aid coordinator will contact the applicant to discuss their needs and priorities. Based on this conversation, we will begin the referral and support process, always respecting the applicant’s self-determination.

Who is eligible for support?

The mutual aid project is open to all sex workers in Australia. This includes:

  • Individuals currently engaged in sex work
  • Individuals recently engaged in sex work
  • individuals with a historical engagement in sex work that is still impacting their lives today.

To ensure equitable distribution of resources, to receive financial assistance applicants must:

  • be in or at imminent risk of financial hardship and/or
  • have no savings to fall back on

While we ask for some information about your financial situation in the intake form, we do not require proof, as trust is a fundamental cornerstone of our project.

 

    How can I support the project?

    There are several ways to support the mutual aid project:

    • Donations: Contributions can be made through our bi-annual fundraisers and via our website. These funds are crucial for providing financial assistance to those in crisis.
    • Skill and Resource Sharing: Participants can offer their skills and resources to others in the community, helping to break the giver/receiver binary and foster a supportive network.
    • Feedback: We welcome feedback from participants to ensure our support and referrals meet the community’s needs and are directed to safe services.
    • Spread the Word: Sharing information about our project within your networks can help us reach more people who might benefit from our support or wish to contribute.

    By supporting the mutual aid project, you are helping to build a community where everyone’s strengths are recognized and utilized, promoting solidarity and systemic change.

    All information and participants will be kept confidential. Please find our privacy policy here:

    The only exception to confidentiality is if you or someone else is at risk of serious harm.

     

    If you have any questions or concerns please contact our mutual aid coordinator through this email: mutualaid@biggersisterchannel.com.au

    Want to support our community project?

    Bigger Sister Channel is now accepting financial donations for those who share our vision and want to support our mission. Donations go to operation costs, providing free workshops, compensating expert presenters, developing peer-to-peer education content, having monthly giveaway and supporting sex workers in need or crisis.

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    In Partnership of City of Melbourne's Social Investment Program

    Bigger Sister Channel acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we live and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
    Bigger Sister Channel pay our respects to all Elders, past and present of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations.