The newly elected president of the Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network (GLBN) has detailed his plans for a grant the organisation received from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

Tyrone Shandiman (pictured) said the size of the $35,000 grant was unprecedented and would be vitally important to the ongoing success of the network.

“The Gaming Fund Grant is a huge deal for our network as an amount of funding this large has never been provided in the past,” Shandiman told the Star Observer.

“The purpose of the funding was to assist in lifting our membership and getting more people to attend our events.

“With greater marketing and attendance of our events also comes the prospect for corporate sponsorship and this is something our new committee are working towards in the New Year.”

Given the political climate and recent developments with the Liberal National Party (LNP) government in Queensland, Shandiman sees the grant as a fairly significant decision and win for the group and LGBTI community.

“This is quietly an important milestone for our network to be recognised in a time where funding is scarce,” he said.

“We have had great support from our local state member Robert Cavalucci and councillor Vicki Howard… I think this recognition is important because it shows we do currently provide value to our members and guests but also have much greater potential.”

Shandiman hopes that the grant will see the GLBN grow and move towards becoming self-sustaining and offering more value to their members as well as the need for the group to attract new members from everyone in the community.

“As a committee we are putting a great amount of emphasis on attracting more young professionals to our network and as well getting more involved with the Lesbian community, two areas where we are currently under-represented,” he said.

The GLBN was given $10,000 for guest speakers and Shandiman said that the new committee was considering several high-profile names such as Justice Michael Kirby and Magda Szubanski for appearances and talks at future events.

The next GLBN Fruits with a Twist event will be held at a new venue, Era Bistro in South Brisbane, on November 2.

INFO: www.glbn.org.au

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