Last Thursday night, around 175 people attended ‘A Conversation with Michael Kirby.’

Interviewed by the inimitable Anthony Venn-Brown, Kirby regaled the audience with recollections from his recently released memoir, A Private life: Fragments, Memories, Friends. He also provided insightful commentary on the fight for equality in the law and HIV/AIDS education in poorer nations in Africa; and same-sex marriage and the fight for equal rights.

“Everything Michael said was fair, balanced, and just makes sense,” SGLBA member Tim Daly said.

“Michael’s magnetic presence on stage simply answering questions in a conversational manner belied his sheer appeal and wisdom,” member Andrew Greig added. “The man was enigmatic and, with a dry self-deprecating sense of humour, had us hanging on each candid sentence.”

“The evening was an overwhelming success,” SGLBA vice president Mark Haines said. “The chemistry between Michael and Anthony was fantastic. Feedback we received crystallised for me that there is an audience for an event such as this to be held, say, three times a year.

“Clearly networking is a vital element of what we’re about, and we’re mindful of that. However, this type of event exposed the SGLBA to a different audience in part and that’s important.

“I was delighted to see so many women attend, and also a number of people from outside our community. The people who attended made the financial commitment to attend, and so I believe were really intent on hearing what Michael Kirby had to say.”

In addition, the SGLBA awarded $2900 to Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI). The newest initiative from Anthony Venn-Brown, ABBI is committed to ending the unnecessary suffering caused by ignorance and misinformation about sexual orientation and gender identity through the distribution of relevant information, providing education and creating dialogues.

The SGLBA board also mandated to provide a further $1000 per quarter for the next 12 months to cement its success.

Venn-Brown said he was overwhelmed with the support from SGLBA and its recognition of just what a vital service ABBI will provide. Having a guaranteed stream of income for the next year will greatly assist him in establishing the organisation.   For more information, email info@gayambassador.com or call Anthony on 0416 015 231.

‘A Conversation with Michael Kirby’ was made possible with the generous support of Mercedes-Benz Sydney, which donated a prize of a weekend away in a stunning SLK roadster.

Visit Mercedes-Benz Sydney at www.mbsydney.com.au or drop into their showroom at 43 – 47 O’ Riordan St, Alexandria, or contact Luke directly on 0418 671 023 or luke.endean@daimler.com

The Christmas Fruits in Suits will be held on Thursday, December 15, 6-9pm at Water Bar, Blue Hotel, 6 Cowper Rd, Woolloomooloo. To reduce delays at the bar, there will be two mobile bars as well as significantly more staff. We are already working on a great members prize — think five nights in Bali!

If you’d like to promote your business at the event, contact Mark Haines on 0411 544 433 or fruits@sglba.com.au

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