I’d like to introduce myself as the new co-convenor of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.
In 2005 I was a first-year graduate law student looking to get some experience working in a community organisation. I contacted GLRL and was voted on to committee at that year’s AGM. In 2007 I became committee secretary and continued in that role until mid-2008 when I went overseas.
I was invited back to committee earlier this year and was recently asked to be co-convenor with Benjamin Keats.
I helped facilitate the 2006 statewide community consultations on relationship recognition, the results of which were published in our 2007 report All Love is Equal… Isn’t it? I also worked on our 58’08 campaign and helped coordinate volunteers during Mardi Gras and other GLRL events.
I have witnessed the Lobby’s campaign efforts come to fruition in state law reform for lesbian co-mothers, and for lesbians and gay men who now have substantial legal equality at a federal level, thanks to the 2008 federal law reforms.
Although the GLRL is recognised for achieving legislative reform, the community is often not aware of the extent of ‘behind-the-scenes’ work the GLRL does developing campaigns, drafting submissions, liaising with other community organisations and meeting with politicians.
Since the 1999 NSW law reforms and the 2008 federal law reforms lesbians and gay men have substantially the same legal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. Adoption equality at a state level, and federally marriage and anti-discrimination legislation, are the missing links in removing discrimination against the GLBT community.
Working as a lawyer in the community sector I know legislative equality often does not equate to substantive social equality. However, achieving legislative equality is the necessary first step in achieving social justice. I feel honoured to have been asked to assume a position which will allow me to lobby for equality and social justice on behalf of our community.

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