Enormous congratulations to Bernie Green, winner of the Health and Wellbeing category at the 2011 Honour Awards.

Tamworth-based Bernie is a dedicated health promoter, mentor, carer, fundraiser, volunteer and community leader in New England and northwest NSW with more than 30 years of service to LGBT communities in regional NSW.

It’s Rainbow Festival time in the Hunter! The annual LGBTIQ festival celebrates our amazingly diverse and wonderful community.

It kicks off on Saturday, October 22 with the AGALA Dance Party at the Mingara Sport and Recreation Club which features The Frocks, Kitty Glitter, Lady Kinmee, and Kelly Lynch.

The Rainbow Picnic is on Sunday, October 23 from 11am at Gregson Park, Hamilton. There’ll be entertainment, a tug-of-love, a pet parade, handbag throwing, Hula’s mocktail bar, LGBT community groups, you, the sun, and fun times.

LGBT people aged 12 – 25, get your fluoro, taffeta, mesh tops and hair gel in order for the ’80s Prom on Thursday, October 27 at the Loft Youth Venue. There’s also a youth film night on Tuesday, November 1 at ACON Hunter, and a Youth Space at the Rainbow Picnic.

On Saturday, October 29, men can get their shoes off for Barefoot Bowls and BBQ at Hamilton Bowling Club, while women get their dancing shoes on for the LLINC Women’s Rainbow Dance at the Gallipoli Legion Club, Hamilton.

LGBT families are invited to the Family Fun Day on Sunday, October 30 at Edgeworth Miniature Railway. Afterwards, head to the Newcastle City Hall to meet PFLAG national spokeswoman Shelley Argent and local horse trainer and Say It Out Loud author Adam Sutton.

Do not miss the one and only Vanessa Wagner hosting Twisted Trivia on Thursday, November 3 at the Gateway Hotel. Much fun will be had and lots of prizes will be won. This is a fundraiser for ACON Hunter.

There’s also a comedy night, Super Fruits, Short and Curlies Film Extravaganza, Queer Colloquium, Race Around Newcastle, performance night, and beach BBQ.

The festival ends with the Rainbow Masquerade Ball on Saturday, November 5 at Newcastle City Hall. The theme is Grand Casino.

Full program can be found at www.rainbowvisions.org.au

info: For more about groups, services, organisations or community events in the Hunter, New England, or Central Coast, contact ACON on 02 4927 6808 or email hunter@acon.org.au

Lisa Ronneberg is the Community Health Promotion Officer at ACON’s Hunter office.

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