Last updated: 17/03/2018
As passed in the Committee Meeting this Strategy Brief will look at what we aim to achieve in the next year (rather than the next six months).
This cycle I will be continuing my role as Director and Charlotte will be stepping up from her role as MOD to Director. Roman has also stepped up as Director, in name only – the reasons are listed in this Brief.
Like last cycle we will be focusing on BUILDING COMMUNITY, but as we have a stronger foundation and function, we can now focus on SUSTAINABILITY.
Our technology is being constantly updated to ensure it is user friendly and accessible for our diverse membership – as advised by the members like you.
For the next year we have a new initiative to focus on: building a Red Files phone app. We have Red Files member Roman leading this investigation as to whether this is possible, who could do it, how much it would cost etc. We will consult with the community about what this should look like, how it functions and whether we have (or can find) the resources to build it.
I am also looking into building the capacity for more member-to-member interaction and engagement within the platform. This will look like a chatroom. It is the stepping stone between database and forum – depending on how this goes, we can start looking at branching off into a forum.
We have recently built the capacity to archive, retrieve and future-proof information relevant to sex workers. Ultimately, we’re hoping to create a hive-mind of everything we know to navigate our business – and futures – safely and smartly.
So how are we doing this?
First route is donations and volunteer effort. We’re depending on our membership to donate their knowledge and time by putting what they know onto paper. This creates articles and articles create conversations in the comments. Most of this is subjective or experience-based information. While we remind our membership every Newsletter to try to contribute a peice, not everyone who can, has taken on this task. Administration will continue to remind members to share their experiences and insights.
The second route is other sex worker organisations. Most sex worker organisations have been around for decades and have a plethora of information for sex workers. We’re trying to collate all this information to the one spot. Most of this information is also objective – things like sexual health, history, laws and advocacy.
Third route is collating what’s already out there. There are countless blogs and information sheet on the web that could be useful to sex workers. We just need someone to centralise these things onto the Red Files platform.
Charlotte has taken on the task of archiving articles that have to do with sex work from mainstream media. This creates an extra dimension and a great timeline of what’s happenings outside Red Files. If you ever come across a news article to do with sex work – always feel free to ping it to Charlotte.
One of the aims of the last cycle was to get sex worker organisations onboard and sharing resources. Unfortunately, our efforts have been met with lukewarm responses, and this is outlined in the Performance Review.
For the next year we aim to tighten these relationships with the orgs. There is a number of strategies we can employ to make this happen – our membership will be informed when we need more action from our community. Our membership (that’s you) are key to winning over these other orgs as we represent the population group they need to be addressing. At some point they will need to recognise they are ignoring not only ‘Estelle’ but a whole community of sex workers.
There have been big changes on the corporate front – a lot sooner than anticipated. It was made clear in the last Committee Meeting that many of the areas that need improvement (sustainability, support, engagement) depend on us legitimising our community efforts through corporate structure.
Charlotte is leading these changes as the new Director. She is looking into becoming incorporated and then a non-for-profit. Directorship has also been given to Roman, in name only. The reason why is because we need three Directors to evolve – it is impossible to take any action before. Roman is also incapable of the Director duties (as he cannot coach MODs having not worked as a MOD before) and so he is taken on the roll as Admin Assist. Roman has no authority in his capacity as Director until he is fully trained as a MOD, experienced, and then trained as a Director.
Once we are either incorporated or NFP, it means donations may be tax deductible, other sex worker orgs will take us seriously, sex workers can have faith in our community efforts and we can apply for funding.
We’re aware that there are more incidents happenings around Australia then there are reports entered into Red Files. Reporting is essential to prevent these situations from occurring – even if this means commenting on a report to say this ugly mug is active again.
The administration is doing their best to centralise all the reports out there, through a variety of methods, but it’s important to realise that you, as a member, have as much influence as us. You can keep up accountability by asking a sex worker to join (or to anonymously add) a report/incident you come across.
For the next year, sustainability is a hot topic. I had originally saved money so that Red Files would be functional for the first year – with the MOD’s wage now at $100 a week (and no current MOD installed) Red Files will feasibly be above water until the end of the year. However, after this, our future is uncertain. Donations – our main source of financial sustainability – was lacking in the former cycle, resulting in a balance of -$8158.56.
In the last Committee meeting the idea of an ambiguous GoFundMe to gather financial support from the outside Red Files was squashed. That leaves us with a few options. We could keep pressing for donations which I feel will become more regular as Red Files becomes more useful for sex workers.
Another option is funding. The idea is that the app, the non-for-profit status and the funding will all work together. This will be researched by Charlotte and Roman.
The third options are sponsors. When designing Red Files, I made the capacity to ad-placement for sex worker friendly businesses to showcase their non-discriminatory work. I have paid absolutely no attention to this space since the launch. Over the next year I’ll start focusing on sponsors and looking for sex worker friendly businesses interested in furthering their services to sex workers only. If you have a sex worker friendly business in mind (accountant, sex shop, incall locations, photographers, website creators etc.), or want to work with sex workers, please let me know. This will help keep us financially stable.
Our membership grows daily. I’m hoping that by the end of the year we will have 400 sex workers plugged into the Red Files service. We are also creating the capacity to allow former workers involvement and memberships. The reason why we haven’t been able to before is because of legal reasons – but we’ve figure out a way around that.
We have the capacity for two more MODs and these positions are open. I implore members to learn more of these paid roles. At the moment we don’t have a new a MOD as Charlotte is capable of handling the current workload singlehandedly. But we do need members with MOD skills and training, in the event that Charlotte cannot continue doing MOD duties or there is an influx of work.
There are still lots of room for volunteer effort, especially in the outreach and networking front. We need interstate volunteers to help widen the geographical diversity of our membership – at the moment it in quite Victoria-centric. The administration – being Melbourne based – is incapable to doing this task with the same ease.
Another thing we could have volunteers do is collate all the information online for sex workers to add to our resource section. Members can comment on articles and resources and start conversations. They can share friendly businesses that service them as sex workers, and share this as a resource, and possibly a sponsor.
More comradeship could be developed by the membership – by commenting on reports and resources. For example, if an UM contacts you, and you find his number on Red Files, it’s always worth commenting and letting the membership know that mug is active again.
We are also looking to run workshops to increase in person community engagement. We need members to do this. We are happy to coordinate, host, facilitate and support – but it is the members who are the experts in what they do. If you feel there’s something you could hold a workshop on, or if there’s something you’d like to see, let us know. We hope to run at least 4 workshops by the next year.
By Estelle Lucas