COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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CAITLIN GRIGSBY 

(She / Her) – Chairperson

Co-founder of the Blue Stockings Association with best friend Sarah at 19, Caitlin is no stranger to community activation. A Monash University Alumni (HR & Employment Law) and Inaugural Ancora Imparo Leadership Scholarship recipient, Caitlin progressed early in her HR career spurred on by her work in grassroots volunteerism in the Gippsland community some 15 years ago. Concurrently serving as President of the Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby Club and Tournament Director of the Victorian Roller Derby Competition 'Statewide Stampede', she met and fell in love with her now wife Meleah prior to the Marriage Equality plebiscite.
For the past 15 years, Caitlin has professionally and personally pursued justice, equality and dignity for communities through various empowerment and advocacy initiatives. In 2018, she secured a place in the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, and later participated in GPHN LGBTQI+ suicide prevention consultation in Gippsland. With these experiences and with the backing of her beloved GRRD roller derby family, she would go 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 Department of Premier and Cabinet's Leadership Victoria LGBTQI+ Program and retired from the Presidency her beloved Roller Derby Club. With the support and blessing of GRRD she then led the formation and continuation of these efforts beyond 2019, as Chair for the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.
In 2020 and 2021, Caitlin has continued on as President of the Gippsland Pride Initiative, and has successfully advocated for DPC LGBTQIA+ Organisational Development funding for the organisation, and the launch of the Rainbow Brick Road health consultation project 2021 - 2022, to enable greater health advocacy and experiences for LGBTQIA+ Gippslanders.
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CLINTON SAVAGE 

(He / Him) – Vice President/Latrobe City Representative

Clinton is the vice president of Gippsland Pride Initiative and is a fan of sports, football, and spending lots of time with his family. Helping others, music, dancing, and his children brings him lots of joy while he is also passionate about our rainbow community, equality, and his family. Giving back and contributing to our community is what drives Clinton to be part of the committee as he advocates and educates others, connects with the community, and better the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community within Gippsland while bringing lots of passion, understanding and strategy. Clinton is most proud of coming out as a mature gay man, completing the LGBTQIA+ leadership program in 2020, and the beginning and growth of Aussie Pride at Aussie broadband where Clinton is a service delivery team leader. Achievements Clinton has made within the community include the 2020 Victoria LGBTQIA+ Leadership program, Aussie Pride, and being a finalist in AWEI Pride in diversity ‘out role model’ of the year.

Clinton is a founding member of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.

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SARAH CLARKE 

(She / Her) – Secretary/ East Gippsland 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 is our representative for 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 12 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 Pride Initiative, and enjoys socialising, gardening and likes to travel.

Sarah is a founding member of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc.

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SALLY CONNING 

(She / Her) – Bass Coast 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;
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

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

Sally is also the regional ambassador for Switchboard Victoria, founding member of Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc., and works on the WGHG Community Consultation Committee, West Gippsland Healthcare Group [Warragul Hospital], Community Voices and Rainbow/Diversity committees.

Sally is a founding member of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Inc. advocating for LGBTQI+ people across Gippsland.

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KERRIE TAYLOR 

(She / Her) – Baw Baw Representative / Event Logistics

Kerrie Taylor is a Nurse who works for GLAAS as OHS and support coordinator and lives with her teenage son in Trafalgar. She is also our Logistics Coordinator and all-round amazing volunteer for the Gippsland Pride Initiative Gala in 2019. She is a proud lesbian woman who grew up Thorpdale and 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 helping people, LGBTQIA+ accessible health services and multi-generational LGBTQIA+ 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.

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KYLIE DUBRICH-MCLOUGHLIN

(She / Her) – Treasurer / Exec Member

Kylie is the treasurer for Gippsland Pride Initiative and spends time with her wonderful husband and friends in her free time, when she has free time of course. She also enjoys pop culture and movies in her free time as well as antiques, buying collectibles and traveling. Both her human family and fur babies bring Kylie joy as well as friends, mentoring, volunteering, and of course watching Schitt’s Creek or drag queens. Kylie cares about her community, human rights, animal rights, social justice and inclusivity drives her to be part of our committee. From working with LGBTQIA+ young people in her previous roles, Kylie wanted to continue supporting the community and educate others about respect and acceptance of inclusivity. Kylie brings her community experience, volunteering experience, and background in welfare to the organisation and is most proud of her work and study achievements, as well as the success stories held with young people and families. She is also proud of working alongside ana amazing cohort of young people in the community with a youth lead perspective while working on the Latrobe Youth Space project and the Latrobe Youth Space film festival. Kylie is currently teaching community services at TAFE Gippsland and strives for a world where everybody can be who they are with no questions asked.

 

Kylie provides Crisis support for Lifeline and participates in the TAFE Gippsland Equality, diversity & inclusion working group.  Kylie is a current mental health first aider.

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DANNI FRANTZ

(She / Her) – Youth Representative

Danni is the youth rep for Gippsland Pride Initiative and likes to spend her free time reading, drawing, collecting pop vinyls, and of course binging retro tv shows and movies. Spending time with her nephew brings Danni lots of joy, as well as seeing social justice in the community and work in the community. Danni cares about the wellbeing among the LGBTQIA+ community as well as cares deeply and their safety and their rights. Making the world a safer place for everyone is what drives Danni to be part of the committee as well as her dreams for a world where people feel safe to be who they are without having to explain themselves to others. Danni brings a youth perspective to the committee as well as her experience running a rainbow group as a youth worker and an LGBTQIA+ training presentation that she had created with her fellow youth workers. Danni has not only achieved the LGBTQIA+ training presentation, but has also achieved delivering this presentation for LRH, Wellways, Ladder, and the wider community with her fellow youth workers. She has also achieved leading the rainbow group at Latrobe Youth Space, talking to the media, running a radio program for Gippsland FM, and being nominated for Australian of the Year for her work as a youth worker.

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RIVER GILMORE

(They / Him) – Wellington Representative

River is a new member to the Gippsland Pride Initiative Committee and when they’re not sleeping, likes to spend their time Twitch streaming, playing video games, being creative, and content creating. They also enjoy listening to great podcasts, reading a juicy book, and playing Dungeons and Dragons in their spare time. River is dedicated to helping the LGBTQIA+ community with queer happiness and spreading joy driving them to be part of the committee. They also have great organisational skills when it comes to organising events with the committee and loves to see queer people thrive here in Gippsland.

River is most proud of their impact on queer kids and queer people around them as they are a positive influence and a positive example that people can look up to. Their greatest achievements include self-improvement of who they were at 16 compared to who they are now, as well as gaining confidence in themself, who they are, and what they represent.

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RONALD EDWARDS PEPPER

(He / Him) – Aboriginal Advocate, Latrobe City

Ronald joins as an Advocate for the Gippsland Aboriginal Community on the Gippsland Pride Initiative Committee in 2021. Ronald is a very proud Gunai man, and proud gay man.

The grandson of Dulcie (Dolly) Mullet and Watson Pepper, Ronald Edwards Pepper is a proud Gunnai man. His family moved from Lake Tyers Mission to Morwell in the 1960s. He is well respected for his community activations and advocacy right across our vast region.

Since graduating from Federation University with a Bachelor of Visual and Media Arts in 2017, Ronald has completed several commissions and participated in numerous exhibitions in Australia and overseas, including a life changing recent opportunity. To celebrate YIRRAMBOI Festival – Australia’s premier First Nations arts and cultural event – the Metro Tunnel Creative Program commissioned Ronald Edwards Pepper to create new work for our Town Hall Station site.

Ronald primarily paints in acrylics on canvas, sometimes incorporating ochre into his work. He also enjoys experimenting with non-traditional materials such as neon and glow-in-the-dark paint.

“I incorporate the traditional lines of Gippsland into my paintings, and the cultural symbols of the Gunaikurnai people, such as lines, diamonds, circles and meeting places," says Ronald.

Ronald also serves as the Community Liaison and Artist in Residence at Gippsland Latrobe Aboriginal Advocacy & Support from their Newborough office. He travels across Gippsland providing Art therapy and disability support services. Ronald likes to spend his time with his partner Cameron watching movies, seeing the country, and going out to special events like the Pride Gala. Coming out as a gay Aboriginal person in the country area and seeing how it affects his way of living and career is what drives Ronald to be part of the Gippsland Pride Initiative Committee.

Ronald's aims are to support the wider community in learning about Aboriginal culture, specifically in the Gippsland context, and making his beloved mum proud everyday (which he does). He is also proud of what he does for and within the community, sharing his beautiful art pieces to educate people around him, and proud to be part of the Gippsland Pride Initiative.

The Gippsland Pride Initiative is proud to be a recipient of Ronald's most famous recent works displayed in Melbourne in 2021 and will be auctioning off this generous donation to support the operations of Gippsland Pride Initiative beyond the impacts of COVID-19

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CASSIE SHEEN

(She / Her) – South Gippsland Representative / Roller Derby Pride Cup Liaison

Cassie is a new member of the committee at Gippsland Pride Initiative and likes to spend her free time roller skating, practising her roller derby skills, reading, writing short stories, and being with her animals. Seeing other people being happy and being treated kindly brings Cassie joy as well as seeing children develop and supporting vulnerable children in vulnerable countries. Cassie cares that people are treated equally and fairly, and that people feel safe within the community which is why she is a strong ally for the LGBTQIA+ community and wants to challenge stigmas and educate others about the community. Cassie brings a voice for South Gippsland to the committee and is most proud of her roller-skating achievements and her time volunteer teaching in Kenya and Fiji. Cassie is currently an educator/babysitter and has achieved third place in the Coal Creek Literacy Festival out of 100 entries for a short story she had written about a farmer in drought-stricken Queensland.