The founder and creator of Gay Sydney Australia, Daniel Matatahi, has died after suffering a seizure on Saturday.
Fifty-Two-year-old Daniel suffered a seizure on April 25 while he was walking in Surry Hills and was unable to be revived by paramedics who attempted to stabilise him.
He is survived by his family, his friends, and Sydney’s LGBTQI community.
Daniel was well known and respected for long-standing work in advocacy and support. Daniel established Gay Sydney Australia as a safe space for all facets of Sydney’s LGBTQI community, a platform for connectivity and support service to help those who needed it most.
Speaking to Star Observer, Daniel’s close friend and Gay Sydney Australia brand manager, Andrew Ewing, wants those who had known Daniel to celebrate his life and remember him as a compassionate person who worked tirelessly to bring his community closer together.
“Daniel, growing up as a young teenager in New Zealand, didn’t have the platform that he needed during the ’70s and 80’s when he was feeling low or down or lonely,” he said.
“He always wanted to create a platform about love. Where there was no judgment, and there was just peace. It didn’t matter whether you were gay, bi, trans… all communities could come together and feel it.
“Daniel was always there to listen and help those who were struggling. That’s what made him beautiful, he created a platform where people could feel loved and could share anything.
“He’s helped and supported so many people in his life. He was loving, caring, and kind and never cared about himself as much as he cared about the community. He loved Gay Sydney Australia more than anything else, the community was the most important thing to him.”
Ewing discussed plans for Daniel’s memorial, which he says will be held after COVID-19 lockdown has ended.
Ewing says that the memorial will most likely be held under the rainbow flag at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst. The LGBTQI community will all be invited to pay their respects in a place meaningful to Daniel.
“Reading messages from those he’s touched, and knowing that he’s created such a loving and welcoming space which will live on – I really just want everyone to remember him for what he’s done, for his big heart and the unconditional love that he’d shown everyone,” Ewing noted.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Daniel’s family to help cover funeral costs and provide financial support.
We at Star Observer also send our condolences to Daniel’s family, friends, and those who have been affected during this difficult time.
If this story has affected you or someone you know, you can contact these services for further help and support.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
ACON: (02) 9206 2000
Twenty10 inc. GLCS: (02) 8594 9555