Report: SWASH Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women’s Health Survey 2016, 2018, 2020


ACON, October 28, 2020

The latest 2020 SWASH report was released on 28th October 2020 as part of a series of Mental Health month events. 

The SWASH survey is a comprehensive survey of important health issues relevant to lesbian, bisexual, queer and other non-heterosexual identifying women engaged with Sydney’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities. SWASH has been run by researchers in collaboration with ACON every two years since 1996, and since 2009 has been run by researchers at the University of Sydney. The survey is regularly revised to reflect the needs of LGBTIQ communities and knowledge deficits identified through research literature. Where possible, questions are sourced from established national surveys.

This report presents results from the three most recent iterations of the survey conducted at the Mardi Gras Fair Day and other community events and venues during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras seasons in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

In 2020, 1588 lesbian, bisexual, queer and other non-heterosexually identifying women (cis and trans) and non-binary people returned valid surveys; an unprecedented number in the 24-year history of the SWASH survey.

This data provides unparalleled insights into the health of lesbian, bisexual, queer and other non-heterosexual identifying women aged 16 to 71 years who engaged with LGBTIQ communities in and around Sydney (where 85% of respondents reside). Our analyses highlight several areas of particular concern – many of which have persisted over time – where mainstream preventive health interventions that are inclusive of, or targeted to, LBQ women are needed.



By J Pope

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