Lee-Ann is a proud Awabakal woman who grew up in Newcastle and has had extensive experiences in the LGBTQIA+ community, beginning as a Committee member of Rainbow Visions Inc committee from 2004 – 2010.
Lee was involved in a number of significant community projects, amongst many, creating “Mixed fruits in suits” and the annual Winter Ball held at the Newcastle City Hall. Lee passionately believes in equality for all and that Pride groups, safe spaces, festivals and events are vital in regional and rural areas for all LGBTQIA+ people and for the future of our youth.
In March 2018 it became clear to Lee there was a lack of venues, safe spaces and events in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter for the LGBTQIA+ community, leaving people feeling socially isolated and unsupported.
Lee felt it was the right time to launch Newcastle Pride, https://newcastlepride.com.au/
to provide our community with a sense of belonging and safe inclusive spaces to celebrate equality, diversity and our fabulous culture.
Newcastle Pride welcomes everyone who has a genuine interest in ensuring that everyone is treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status and their own individuality. https://newcastlepride.com.au/newcastle-pride-festival-2022/
THE NEWCASTLE PRIDE COMMUNITY
The Community Hub would be a place that brings people together as a connector and would act as a point of reference for people within the area. The Hub would be a fun, safe and inclusive space for gender and sexuality diverse people of all ages and backgrounds. A place where everyone can express themselves without fear or judgement. It would be a space where health and wellbeing services would be readily available. Queer-friendly support workers and education resources would be within reach and would offer support services in a confidential, welcoming, encouraging and supportive space. The Community Hub would also provide the Newcastle and wider Hunter LGBTIQA+ community with a new level of accessibility to Newcastle Pride as an organisation. The Hub would also allow Newcastle Pride the room to continue to grow, connect and collaborate with relevant partners and community organisations (like ACON Hunter and Headspace Newcastle), with increased visibility in the local community.
St Kilda. Melbourne is the location of the Victorian Pride Centre https://pridecentre.org.au/
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Awabakal and Worimi peoples are acknowledged by LGBTI conversations as the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters situated within the Newcastle local government area, including wetlands, rivers creeks and coastal environments. It is known that their heritage and cultural ties to Newcastle date back tens of thousands of years.