(She / Her) – Chairperson
Caitlin is a resident of in Baw Baw, proud wife to Meleah and Mumma to fur babies Beau and Jerry. Caitlin is Director of Full Circle HR & Business Services in Warragul.
Caitlin is no stranger to community activation, co-founding the Blue Stockings Association with best friend Sarah at 19, having moved from Melbourne two years earlier. Caitlin completed her studies at Monash University in HR & Employment Law and in 2006, she obtained the Ancora Imparo inaugural leadership scholarship, and soon secured a Graduate role in the public sector. 6 years later, after 2 years living and working in London, Caitlin 'retired' from Blue Stockings and 'accidently' (and literally), fell in to roller derby, where she would go to serve over 5 years as President, Statewide Tournament Director and also where she would meet her beloved Meleah.
Through sports and community group participation, Caitlin's passion and spare time continued to centre around activation, advocacy and governance support. It was alongside her Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby family, that she would take her experience in business management and later, mental health, and apply it to causes most close to home. Being outspoken and active during the Marriage Equality plebiscite, she was distressed and enraged at the direct impacts this had on the LGBTQI+ community, particularly in relation to regional and rural areas mental health and suicide statistics.
In 2018, she secured a place in the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, and later participated in GPHN LGBTQI+ suicide prevention consultation in Gippsland. Following extensive community consultation, the club went on to produce the extraordinarily successful Gippsland Pride Initiative Forum, Roller Derby Pride Cup and Inaugural Pride Gala in June 2019.
In September 2019, she secured a position in the Leadership Victoria LGBTQI+ Program and retired from the Presidency her beloved Roller Derby Club.
With the support and blessing of GRRD, she has since led the formation and continuation of these efforts beyond 2019, as Chair for the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.
(She / Her) – East Gippsland / Wellington Representative
Sarah grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, prior to moving to Gippsland in 2003. The gaps between the urban and rural social scene were quickly evident in many areas, particularly inclusion and space for LGBTQI+ people. Sarah currently resides in East Gippsland, and is a strong advocate for increased access to health care; primary, secondary and tertiary, mental health service expansion, and social justice.
Sarah’s professional background has been in primary health, for the last 10 years, where she worked in a community health organisation, prior to management roles within the health sector. Sarah frequently travels within Gippsland with her role, and has a passion for establishing relationships based on trust, respect and transparency. Sarah studied her Diploma of Community Health (Counselling) in 2013, Health Sciences in 2014, prior to undergraduate studies in Social Sciences (Community Welfare & Counselling) in 2015.
Sarah is a mother of three young children, and in her spare time, volunteers as Secretary for Gippsland Lakes Roller Derby club, Gippsland Pride Initiative, roller skates, and likes to travel.
(He / Him) – Baw Baw Representative
Russell Wright is from Walhalla, co owner of Walhalla’s Star Hotel, a Volunteer Fire Fighter 2nd Lieutenant and Secretary of the Erica & District Fire Brigade for over 10years and also volunteers his time facilitating learning sessions for new brigade Secretaries and Treasurers in the District 9 Area.
Russell is indeed a busy man, if he’s not working at the hotel he’s working across our communities in his 2nd job as a CFA Community Liaison Officer.
He’s also a committee member of the South East Region Fairness and Inclusion Council.
Member of Emergency Management Victoria’s Pride Council.
President of Walhalla & Mountain Rivers Tourism Association.
Russell is the Founder of CFA Pride an LGBTQI+ network within CFA.
Russell is also a former CFA State Inclusion and Fairness Council member and former LGBTQI+ advisory council member to LaTrobe Community Health.
Russell looks forward to helping us grow the Gippsland Pride initiative
(She / Her) – South Gippsland Representative
Sally Conning who in her own words is just a crazy chick enjoying life. But seriously she is a well-travelled and acknowledged LGBTQI+ Elder, advocate, educator and speaker who has a great message to share about life, transgender issues and working on older and aged LGBTQI+ issues.
At the present time Sally is working with;
Bass Coast Health on their quest for Rainbow Tick in their Family Violence Unit
West Gippsland Healthcare Group on their “Community Voices” working group and their internal LGBTQI+ training plans
Alice’s Garage on many projects around older and aging LGBTQI+ people through their Kinfolk and Embolden projects
A founding member of both Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc. and the South Coast Inclusion Network Inc., advocating for LGBTQI+ people across Gippsland
Founding member of Moonee Valley City Council's LGBTOI+ Community Working Group and Rainbow Tick Working Group
In the past, Sally has also worked with Victoria Police at the VicPol academy as a volunteer with their “Community Encounters” sessions talking with the new recruits, and with Eastern Health on their Rainbow eQuality Working Group
- Regional Ambassador for Switchboard Victoria
- Founding Member of Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.
- President South Coast Inclusion Network
- WGH Community Consultation Committee
(He / Him) – Latrobe City Representative
Clinton Savage is a Latrobe Valley local all his life and lives in Traralgon.
Working in Telecommunications for all his working career he works for local Communications company Aussie Broadband and is an active member of their Inclusion and Diversity committee and Aussie Pride.
A father of 3 kids he has had community involvement in local sports and community for many years including Athletics, Australian Rules Football and Badminton.
A passionate LGBTQI+ advocate Clinton is looking forward to establishing and growing Gippsland Pride Initiative to help and promote others in the community.
(She / Her) – Baw Baw Representative / Event Logistics
Kerrie Taylor is an Aged Care Nurse who lives with her teenage son in Trafalgar, and was our Logistics Coordinator and all-round amazing volunteer for the Gippsland Pride Initiative Gala in 2019.
She is a proud lesbian woman, and grew up Thorpdale, so is no stranger to hard work picking spuds, cutting asparagus and all kinds of seasonal work on the Baw Baw hills for many years.
Very comfortable with yarn, she found her voice working in the local pub and pursued her qualifications in nursing as a mature aged student.
She believes society is changing, but sadly not quick enough. And she says, while our young people may have better self-expression nowadays, this doesn't yet translate to improved mental health, suicide, or employment outcomes, or consistent acceptance in the general community.
She is passionate about aged care, LGBTQI+ accessible health services and multi-generational LGBTQI+ experiences.
Kerrie sees isolation and lack of connection (particularly in regional areas) as the biggest motivators for an annual event like the Gippsland Pride Gala, to bring LGBTQI+ people from across and to Gippsland, so that the lived experience for future generations and for all in the rainbow community, is continually improved.
Kerrie is a founding member of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.
(She / Her) – Latrobe City Representative
Dannii was born and raised in Melbourne’s western suburbs before moving to Gippsland in 1996 to study Behavioural Science at Monash University.
After commencing several undergraduate courses Dannii ‘accidentally’ found herself enrolled in a Nursing degree and eventually found her passion - mental health nursing. Dannii has worked in clinical, educational and management roles in hospitals and prisons, and is currently the lead member of the Rainbow eQuality committee at her hospital-based work place servicing the whole of Gippsland.
Dannii is passionate about destigmatising mental health and improving access to mental health care for LGBTQI+ members in the community.
Dannii is a proud queer who lives in Trafalgar with her wife, 2 kids and 4 fur-babies, and is proud to be a part of the inaugural Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc. Committee.
We would like to extend a special thanks to our patrons for their continued ambassadorship of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.
Harriet Shing MP
(She / Her) – Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc. Patron
Harriet Shing MP, MLC for Eastern Victoria and Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Equality and Creative Industries is the Patron of Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc, lending her voice to the inclusion, celebration and improvement of LGBTQI+ lives in Gippsland.