The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia (GALFA) will be officially launched next week, as it attempts to carve out its position as Australia’s premier GLBTI charity.
GALFA was established earlier this year as a philanthropic organisation to raise money for community groups and activities aimed at assisting Australia’s GLBTI community. It was inspired by community contributor, the late Bruce McNicol.
Although the launch is in Melbourne, the foundation is a national body with points of contact in most states and will seek donations and bequests nationally.
GALFA spokeswoman Carol Wilkinson said the challenge for GALFA is not just shaking the money tin, but building trust in the community to hand over hard-earned dollars to be dished out to community projects.
“It’s a low-key launch. We just want people to know and be aware of it and the word will spread,” she said.
“The next few years, there’ll only be small amounts [of funding] but our aim is this will grow and we’ll be around for a very, very long time.”
Areas targeted for development include GLBTI health, education, aged care and combating discrimination.
“We’d like to think in 20 years time we are doing some really good work — but at the moment we have to build our reputation,” Wilkinson said.
“We want people to leave money to GALFA and we need to show them we’re responsible and do the right things.”
GALFA has been strategic in its choice of board directors, choosing respected community members. It has a governing constitution which maintains projects must be continually funded from the funding pool.
“We’re going to use good and nice people to do that, and it may sound corny, but people are not going to deal with an organisation they think, ‘Oh, not that person’, ” Wilkinson said.
“We want to show we’re honest, decent people and we need to prove that, we’re aware of that.”
Board directors include Colin Krycer, Dr Ruth McNair, Cath Smith, Mark Burgess and Sarina Jackson.
The private launch will feature guest speaker Lesbian Herstory Archives (New York City) founder and author Joan Nestle.

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