In 2019, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby launched the ‘Gippsland Pride Initiative’, a series of three events spanning from 'International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia' (IDAHOBIT) in May to the first Australian Pride Cup of Roller Derby and Inaugural Gippsland Pride Gala in June.
These activities were informed by state and local LGBTQI+ Suicide Prevention consultation efforts, state and national legislation and policy, Council health and well-being objectives and current community and media activities relating to the LGBTQI+ community in Gippsland.
Where the national average participation rate of LGBTQI+ individuals in sport is 2%, Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby club (with ~25% of our members identifying as LGBTQI+), are determined to be a part of a positive and necessary change in the conversation and the living experience for the Queer community in our region.
Gippsland Pride Initiative
The concept was simple:
- Tackle the barriers to inclusion through awareness/education
- Engage with the community in a positive sporting context to encourage visibility and participation
- Create a space of safety, celebration and socialisation independent of the sporting field.
In post-activity survey and review, the ambitious project exceeded all measures of success and engagement, with calls for the continuation of the Gala coming from far and wide.
You can access the 2019 Gippsland Pride Initiative Report HERE.
The Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc is born!
Following the incredible success of the project, the roller derby club passed a unanimous motion supporting the external formation of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc - an incorporated association continued by outgoing President Caitlin Grigsby, independent to the efforts of GRRD.
In October 2019, The Gippsland Pride Initiative welcomed 7 serving committee members to the association, established to continue and develop efforts for LGBTQI+ people in Gippsland and beyond.
(He/Him) – Community Liaison Officer
Our newest addition to the Gippsland Pride family and our first employee, Daniel brings a wealth of experience in community building, volunteer leadership and expert knowledge from across the LGBTIQ and PLHIV (People Living with HIV) sectors. His career spans a 17+ year period in the not for profit sector, which he commenced after several coaching and training roles in corporate environments. His vast networks will assist to leverage existing community services and programs, and help to forge strong partnerships and seize new opportunities.
In addition to taking on his new role, Daniel remains the Volunteer and Student Coordinator at Thorne Harbour Health (THH), a role he has been performing for the past nine years. During his time at THH, Daniel has worn many hats, including Staff Representative to the Board and a central member of the team that established Australia’s first point of care rapid HIV testing service (PRONTO).
Prior to working in the LGBTIQ sector, Daniel developed a passion for leading volunteers whilst managing centres of charity for Vinnies (St Vincent De Paul). This role grew to take on the role of Gippsland area manager, which saw him lead a passionate group of volunteer store managers. This travel and exposure led him to fall in love with the Gippsland region.
Originally from Brisbane, Daniel now calls Victoria and Gippsland home. After many years of dreaming of moving to Mirboo North and building a tiny house, Daniel and his partner seized the opportunity in COVID lockdowns to purchase acreage in Childers. Someone who practises what he preaches, Daniel is an active volunteer, assuming many roles in the Gippsland region, including with his local Red Cross Emergency Services Response Team and as a mentor in the L2P program. However, he is most proud of his volunteering with Living Positive Victoria, helping to facilitate workshops for those newly diagnosed with HIV.
Daniel takes on our first paid staff member position at Gippsland Pride, joining us on secondment from long term partner and supporter Thorne Harbour Health. His role is generously funded by Aussie Broadband, Uniting Vic/Tas and Thorne Harbour.
Hi! I'm keen to get to know community members and welcome you to our new Gippsland Pride Hub for a catch up. Perhaps you have something on your mind, wanted to ask about support services or just wanted to be keyed in with the latest information from Gippsland Pride.
I am normally based at the Gippsland Pride Hub on Mondays from 9-5pm and welcome you to book a 30min appointment slot to come and say hello. If you have something specific you'd like to talk about, please mention it in the booking so I see if we have resources or referrals at the ready. However, you don't need a reason to come and say hi. If you can't make it to the Pride Hub in Trafalgar, just pop me an email letting me know if you prefer Zoom or a simple phone call.
Look forward to chatting soon and thanks for your interest in Gippsland Pride.