SYDNEY’s Oceania Rainbow Network (ORN) has been officially launched in a stunning event at Paddington Town Hall.

The Oceania Rainbow Network was set up to celebrate the sexual diverse gender community of all people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, South Seas Islander, Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian origins.

“We felt the need to cater for the Oceania LGBTI people, the Pacific Islanders who have been coming to Australia since the 1930s,” said Ken Moala, event organiser.

“With regard to the LGBTI community, they felt they didn’t belong in the LGBTIQ framework, but because in the Pacific Islands we have our own identities, we are very community and family oriented.

“It’s a double whamer being LGBTI in those communities, they were shunned and discriminated against.

“So there was a need for them to be welcomed by this group.”

The event on Tuesday night was attended by members of the network and people from Sydney’s LGBTI community.

ORN’s new co-convenors, Bryan “Capri” Lafaele and Joseph Sikulu were announced and the group also launched an new event that will be a first of it’s kind and that will aim to show true inclusivity amongst Pacific People.

“I commend Oceania Rainbow Network on providing services to promote access and equitable outcomes for members of the Oceania Rainbow community,” said Clover Moore, City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“I appreciate your goal to provide a safe place for people to come together and support one another; share their stories, and celebrate their culture, traditions and religion without prejudice.”

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