My name is Sen(thorun) Raj and I am the new policy and development coordinator for the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. Beginning work at the GLRL has proved to be both hectic and exciting. I am delighted to work in such a dynamic organisation to promote social justice and equality for members of the GLBT community.
My campaigning experience to date has been in broad human rights advocacy, primarily as an activist for Amnesty International Australia (AIA). I have worked as a refugee caseworker, researching in the area of sexuality-based persecution. I had the privilege to speak on behalf of AIA to launch Festival Guide for Mardi Gras 2009.
As a White Ribbon ambassador, I have lobbied the Federal Government to endorse a national plan of action to eliminate violence against women and have participated in the This is Oz anti-violence project. I currently co-chair AIA’s national committee on diversity.
My work with the GLRL so far has touched on a broad range of campaigning outcomes and priorities. In the upcoming months it will focus primarily on NSW adoption reform, federal law reform, community education, surrogacy and civil marriage.
Following the Standing Committee on Law and Justice’s recommendations, there is scope for same-sex parenting reform in NSW. Currently, same-sex couples are ineligible to adopt due to definitions in the Adoption Act 2000 which limits partnership to opposite-sex couples. We are working to garner support from parliamentarians and the community to endorse the findings which support same-sex couple adoption.
The GLRL is also working on an education campaign to make the gay and lesbian community aware of recent legislative changes (both state and Commonwealth) regarding same-sex relationships and entitlements. We will host information nights in November, which will cover a range of issues.
Civil marriage will also be a priority for the GLRL as it continues to engage with the current Senate Inquiry and develop its own civil marriage campaign.
I look forward to fighting for equality on behalf of the GLBT community.

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