A leading voice for Queensland LGBTI advocacy, psychologist Paul Martin, has announced he will be leaving the role he has championed for 25 years.

The head of Queenslanders for Equality and principal psychologist at Brisbane’s Centre for Human Potential made the announcement today. Martin was a central figure in the ongoing effort to better the mental health of the LGBTI community and has counselled hundreds of people throughout his professional life.

Martin announced he would be leaving LGBTI community and advocacy work after 25 years so that he could focus on doing organisational consulting, another passion he has held and always wanted to undertake.

“I will be mentoring a new generation of psychologists to take over my role so we don’t lose the accumulated knowledge I’ve gained over the years,” Martin said.

After being involved with Exodus International for two years and later renouncing the organisation, Martin made the education of the LGBTI community to the dangers of gay reparative or “ex-gay” therapy movement a priority throughout his professional work and has fought against the recent rollback of gay rights in Queensland.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Rodney Croome said that while it would be upsetting to see him leave his advocacy work, he applauded Martin on the tireless work he has done for the marriage equality campaign by raising awareness of the mental health impacts that discrimination has on the community.

“Paul’s tireless efforts educating decision-makers about LGBTI mental health have demonstrably increased support for marriage equality. His support for other marriage equality advocates, as a friend and a counsellor, has also been valuable. I’m sorry to see him go,” Croome said.

Martin told the Star Observer that Stephen Page from Harrington Family Lawyers will be taking over as convener of Queenslanders for Equality.

“I have a great love for LGBTI communities and want to thank everyone who has encouraged me and stood by me through the years when the going got tough. Special thanks to my colleagues including Rodney Croome, Alex Greenwich, Dr.Kerryn Phelps and Shelley Argent,” Martin said.

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