MIDSUMMA Festival director Tennille Moisel has stepped down from the helm after heading her first festival in the role earlier this year.

According to the organisation, Moisel communicated her intention to leave the festival — regarded as Australia’s second-largest LGBTI pride festival after Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras — as a means to pursue other opportunities.

She said while she planned to undertake more corporate work, she loved working with Melbourne and Victoria’s LGBTI communityl.

“Midsumma is an amazing event and festival, I’ve always been passionate about it,” she told the Star Observer.

“I’ve absolutely loved working with the community and getting to know everyone, it’s been amazing understanding the diverse community and working with so many different groups.

“It’s also been educational from a political and personal perspective.”

 

This year’s Midsumma Festival was one of the most successful yet, with over 100,000 people attending Carnival in Melbourne’s Alexandra Park — where advocates called for an increased push towards marriage equality.

Its Pride March event even saw Australia’s federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, in attendance for the first time in its 21-year-history.

Moisel said she still planned to do work in the local LGBTI sector.

“I’ll still be around, I’m talking to a couple of organisations about doing some stuff with them,” she said.

“But Midsumma’s still such an important event – I think it’s one of the most important things you can do as a member of the LGBTI community, going along to support a Midsumma event.

“[It] does such a great job of bringing people together, and both Carnival and Pride march are the biggest gatherings of queer people in Melbourne.”

Moisel has been involved in Midsumma for more than 10 years in various roles such as an event producer, stall holder, and board member.

She became acting festival director in 2014, before being appointed as Midsumma’s festival director proper in the lead up to this year’s festival.

Midsumma chair John Caldwell said Moisel played a significant part in Midsumma’s journey.

“Personally and on behalf of the board, I would like to acknowledge Tennille’s passion for the community and for Midsumma, her engagement and considerable achievements,” he said.

“The festival has gone from strength to strength in recent years and Tennille has played a significant part in this journey, firstly on the board and then as festival director.

“Tennille leaves us with our thanks and best wishes.”

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