Naomi Mourra

As Sydney’s only Lebanese, lesbian, ex-Jehovah’s Witness, comedian, Naomi Mourra grew up as a door-knocking Jehovah’s Witness and closeted lesbian to Lebanese parents in the 1980s in Cabramatta, Sydney, Australia.

Naomi is your gateway woman to chicks, chickpeas, cults and culture.

Her solo shows, An Open Book, debuted in 2018.

An Open Book, Naomi explores her own anecdotes as well as some of the Biblical stories you may (or may not) know and what lessons our modern world can learn from them. Like why you shouldn’t turn around, why seeds must never be spilled and why it’s really important to be articulate in a registry office.

She’s been around the block a few times and knows that when opportunity comes knocking, sometimes it’s best to pretend you’re not home and that for every door that closes another also closes.

“Laughed out loud! It was like someone holding up a mirror – which they so rarely do!” – God

Naomi who has performed in London and Sydney. She is the co-founder and co-producer of What She Said, the only weekly all women’s comedy night in Sydney. She is also in the improv troupe Shut Up Darryl, and has performed at The Factory Theatre and the Belvoir. She has trained at LMA and Second City Chicago.

NEW SHOW AT NEWCASTLE FRINGE from 17 to 19 March Tickets  @ 


Lee-Ann McDougall

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,

 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.



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


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.

Andrew Mercado

Andrew Mercado has been named one of TV’s most significant commentators while The Sunday Telegraph describes him as a walking TV encyclopedia.
Andrew Mercado developed a love of TV and movies early on in his youth while spending every Saturday night hanging out with the projectionist at his local suburban picture theatre.


His first job in television was a Village Roadshow Movie World Studios as Location Manager for the series Paradise Beach. Following this, he became the Unit Publicist for such TV shows as The New Adventures of Flipper and Pacific Drive. Shortly after becoming the publicist at Foxtel music station Channel [V], he was moved into an on-air role.


Andrew Mercado is now fondly remembered by a generation of music fans as Super Mercado after becoming Channel [V]’s inaugural entertainment reporter in 1998. Later, he became the first VJ on sister channel Music Max. Whilst he would work simultaneously on both stations, eventually he crossed over to Max full time to create, produce and host the panel show The Know.


Over the years he has interviewed such A-listers as Robbie Williams, but he also has loved meeting Aussie TV legends through his work as a TV Historian for the National Film and Sound Archive. Andrew also released a top selling book call Super Aussie Soaps: Behind the Scenes of Australia’s Best Loved TV Shows, available now from Booktopia Andrew newest passion project he is working on call outrageous, a documentary taking a walk back in  time when Australian TV once led the world with diversity and queer representation on screen. Fine out more at

Tobias Madden

Tobias is an author and editor from Sydney, Australia. His debut young adult fiction novel, ANYTHING BUT FINE, is out now in Australia and New Zealand (Penguin Teen) and in the US (Page Street YA). His second YA novel, TAKE A BOW, NOAH MITCHELL, Now available in Aus/NZ  and the US in 2023.

Originally from Ballarat, Tobias worked for ten years as a performer, touring Australia and New Zealand with musicals such as Mary Poppins, CATS, Singin’ in the Rain, and Guys and Dolls. In 2019, he edited and published UNDERDOG, the first #LoveOzYA short story anthology for previously unpublished Aussie young adult fiction writers. Also in 2019, he wrote the cabaret show Siblingship, which played to sold out audiences in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Tobias is a passionate member of the #LoveOzYA and LGBTQ+ communities, and currently works in publishing as a Senior Marketing Executive.

Brad Harker

“I was originally a Mormon missionary; I baptised 65 people,” he says. “[But then I became] a missionary for marriage equality, a missionary for LGBTIQ+ rights.” Mr Harker is from a sixth-generation Mormon family and was an ardent follower of the faith, but after decades of being “taught to live a lie”, he came out as gay in 2011. He is one of about 12 former and current Mormons who will march as part of the “Peacock Mormons” float at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. 

Mr Harker says like other Christian groups, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the official name of the Mormon church) has a history of espousing anti-LGBTQIA+ teachings. 

“Historically, they would produce anti-gay literature, they would have books on how not to be gay, they’d teach you not to be gay, that it was a sin,” he says. “Basically, it was Satan’s territory. You were taught, if you were gay, to have shame and to lie.” 

Mr Harker married twice and had four children before he came out. He went on to marry his partner Scott, and says his children continue to be “very supportive” of his journey. “I now just want to advocate that being gay is OK,” he says. “We can be visible, not invisible.”The Peacock Mormons 

The Mormon church, headquartered in the US state of Utah, says it has about 150,000 members in Australia. It has strict rules around sexuality and “sexual purity,” with church material saying, “sexual relations between a man and woman who are not married, or between people of the same sex, violate one of our Father in Heaven’s most important laws and get in the way of our eternal progress”. In regard to homosexuality, church material says, “the experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is.”gainst this backdrop, Brisbane-based Mr Harker is still officially a Mormon, but no longer practises. He calls himself a “Peacock Mormon”.Since coming out, he has been lobbying the church to be more accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community.

This included organising the Peacock Mormons group and its first float in the 2018 Mardi Gras parade, where dozens of former and current Mormons dressed in black-and-white missionary attire with name tags reading “Elder Equality”. “I feel like I betrayed the [LGBTQIA+] community because I was closeted and when I came out, I felt that I never want to betray them again,” he says.            

Mr Harker was part of a global push that saw the church recently remove two of its policies.In 2019, the church announced it would no longer characterise Mormons in same-sex marriages as “apostates”, and removed a ban on baptising children of LGBTQIA+ couples. But rather than feeling bitterness towards the church, Mr Harker says now is a time for “forgiving each other and being able to move on together”.

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