Chris who identifies as non-binary and believes gender to be an expression, not just something assigned at birth. Chris is dedicated in showing the world a positive side to the transgender community through fun laughter and enjoyment!
DAVID KENNERLEY is a journalist specializing in LGBTQ culture. For nearly two decades, he has been an Arts & Entertainment reporter for Gay City News, A New York City based LGBTQ newspaper and website. David’s work has been widely published in other outlets including Metro New York, Genre magazine, and Bravo TV.
Originally from the farmlands of Pennsylvania, David moved to NYC and became addicted to nightlife of the 1990s, where he became a club flyer hoarder and an unexpected expert on queer nightlife.
Massive dance clubs like the Roxy, Palladium, Limelight, and Tunnel drew fiercely passionate crowds and when it was time to leave, promoters handed out flyers for the next week’s parties. Most people tossed them on the sidewalk, but David saved each and every one.
Now with a collection of over 200 eye-popping flyers, not only visually stunning but tell a story of a unique movement in the history of LGBTQ communities, reeling from the AIDS crisis and promoting nightspots as a refuge. David Kennerley’s book, GETTING IN showcases the queer nightclub culture and provides a rare look inside a historic decade in gay history and culture.
Reece Carter is an Australian fantasy author who’s debut book, A Girl Called Corpse was first published in Australia and then internationally in the UK, Italy, Spain & Norway. It has gone on to become a beloved and bestselling children’s novel. Since then Reece allowed his imagination to run wild yet again to release his spooky follow up book, The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright.
Reece was raised in rural Western Australia and began writing short stories whilst in High School. He now resides in Sydney with his flat haired retriever, Hagrid who was inspiration for a character in his books.
love for stories especially those filled with whimsy, magic, and a little bit of weirdness began as a child growing up in rural Western Australia. There was an unfortunate lack of witches and ghosts on his family farm, and so Reece had to find them in books instead.
It wasn’t until high school though that Reece thought to try his hand at writing his own stories. He loved it, and never looked back.
Reece now lives in Sydney. When not reading or writing, he can usually be found talking to his dog, Hagrid, and hoping that one of these days Hagrid might decide to talk back.
Danielle Laidley is the most prominent transgender person in the country AKA Dean Laidley who played 151 games for West Coast Eagles and North Melbourne football clubs, winning an AFL premiership with the Kangaroos in 1996. She became one of the youngest senior coaches ever at 36, coaching North Melbourne for 149 games across seven seasons.
Her amazing career and personal life were never what they seemed on the surface. Danielle faced a private and lifelong battle with gender dysphoria and that constant struggle with her identity had led to legal troubles and addiction issues.
Her transition was publicly exposed without her consent by the St Kilda police when photos were taken and sadly distributed publicly, but this was just the start of her incredible journey.
Eric Marcus is the founder and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast, which mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews — conducted for his oral history book of the same name about the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
Eric is also an author of a dozen books including Is It A Choice?, Why Suicide?, and Breaking the Surface, A #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.
As a child questioning his sexuality, his parents taught him the word gay, means happy and this lesson has come full circle since Jonathan has come out as a proud gay man, found his decade long partner and gave life to his glamorous drag persona, Miss Betty Confetti.
Jonathan went into his local costume store to try on a super hero outfit for an upcoming fancy dress party and instead of the obvious Superman costume, he left the store inspired to dress as another famous super hero, Jupiter from Sailor Moon. This was the moment Jonathan allowed himself to express a new side of his personality and became Miss Betty Confetti, one of Bathurst newest baby queens.
Betty perfected her act as a finalist of Australia’s got drag and helped to create a local thriving drag scene as well as creating Bathurst first and very own Mardi Gras parade.
Miss Betty Confetti went on to create headlines as one of the recent story time drag queens who’s upcoming Goulburn gig was cancelled as a result of worldwide negative press, hateful social media comments and a personal threat. Find out how a local community fought back and welcomed Drag story time to their small town and allowed Betty’s own courage, uniqueness, nerve and talent to shine and rain down, just like confetti.
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. He’s been at it fifteen years, but his mum insists it’s just a phase and any day now, he’ll pursue a real career.As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories. He also signed his first book deal and published his first novel, Loathing Lola at only nineteen years old.
Will has since contributed to numerous anthologies, including the ABIA Award-winning Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology as well as his contemporary novels, The First Third and The Sidekicks.In 2020 Will was awarded the Maurice Saxby Award by the School Library Association of New South Wales for his service to children’s and young adult literature.
His latest novel, We Could Be Something is a wonderful story of two young men, each on a journey of self-discovery. There stories converge on the same Sydney street and explains how our dreams shapes us and what they cost us.
Bill Rossi is a successful entrepreneur and business leader and a proud advocate, a partner of twenty – two years and a father of twin daughters. Named Crain’s Notable LGBTQ+ Exec for three consecutive years Bill was consistently seeking ways to stand out and make a difference in the community. He stands for diversity in the workplace and actively fights for equality and inclusion.
Bill’s personal and professional journey has been marked by significant achievements and challenges. This has inspired him to lend his leadership and voice to support others and incite meaningful conversation about issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community, especially young people who face the challenges he once faced.
Councillor Declan Clausen was first elected to the City of Newcastle in February 2015 and has served as the City’s Deputy Lord Mayor since September 2017.
As one of the youngest candidates ever elected to Newcastle City Council, Declan is passionate about sustainability, urban development, equality and his elected city of Newcastle where he lives with his fiancé Steven and cavoodle Toby.
Declan also holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Urban Development,
A Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) with Honours and has completed the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
He was a known ally and supporter of the 2017 Marriage equality vote and his city of Newcastle proudly were the highest YES voters in regional New South Wales.
James Breko is a local Sydney celebrity hustling his brand of Trivia & Music Bingo.During Sydney’s lockdowns as MC work vanished, Breko quickly pivoted into hosting online Zoom Trivia for work teams across the Country. his zany brand of Trivia and Music Bingo has since been featured on The Today Show and on Nine’s hit TV show, Travel Guides.
In Sydney Breko hosting events 5 nights a week as well as corporate events.His annual events include a Mardi Gras float, the Sydney Grand Final Eurovision screening & a camp Vivid Dance Cruise.
Breko has dabbled in radio, TV and has written for various publications including The Star Observer & The Huffington Post. He is the founder of DIY Rainbow & also served on the Board of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for 3 years.
James ‘Breko’ Brechney founded the viral rainbow chalking movement DIY Rainbow in 2013 against the backdrop of the removal of the Sydney Rainbow Crossing. Chalk rainbow crossings went on to be an international success with many global landmarks gaining a chalk rainbow crossing for LGBTI equality. The Facebook page is still active today, regularly sharing LGTBI news to it’s followers as well as organising events, rallies and raising funds for local projects.
James went on to work with the United Nations body UNESCO on an anti-bullying and anti-homophobia project across Thailand, where chalking rainbows were used to bring groups together and start a conversation about homophobia in primary schools.
In 2014 DIY Rainbow was named one of the 10 memorable pages of Facebook of all time, celebrating a decade of the social network, alongside The Humans of New York and others, which led to James chalking a rainbow at Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley and celebrating San Francisco Pride with the Facebook and Instagram teams.
James continued to be community leader speaking at rallies, conducting fundraisers, and producing Mardi Gras floats for the community to take part in. He has hosted several live talk show forums on the Oxford Street strip covering topics including Marriage Equality, World AIDS Day and the 78ers.