Last week, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby sent out the notice for our upcoming AGM on November 28. We will be electing a new committee and executive, and members will have the opportunity to ask any questions of the outgoing executive on the past year’s work.

In addition to a new committee, we are also looking for volunteers to be involved with our subcommittees, beginning with out Mardi Gras team, but also extending to events and fundraising, IT and anti-discrimination.  So if you’ve got skills, or even just enthusiasm, that you’re keen to contribute,we’d love for you to get on board.

Sydney’s gay and lesbian community runs on volunteer efforts – whatever your interests, you will most likely find an organised group of gays and/or lesbians you can join. And these organisations are, in large part, managed by volunteers running the boards, keeping the organisation afloat, organising the activities and generating a friendly social environment for anyone who shares that interest.

My first involvement with the gay and lesbian community was as a volunteer for the Bobby Goldsmith Stand at Mardi Gras in about 1998.  My uncle took me along as a young lesbian to a briefing at the old AIDS Council of NSW office on the corner of Albion and Crown streets. And from there I have never looked back.

Getting involved in the community was a great experience because I was able to make a small contribution to making a few peoples lives a little bit better.  My role on that occasion was as an usher at the stand, so I certainly wasn’t setting the world alight, but by all those individuals volunteering all the money raised was able to go back to the organisation.  And this is true for all organisations.

I have also personally benefited from volunteering, having met a number of great people, and learnt new skills.

Being part of the community is about more than having a drink on Oxford St, although that is also very important; it’s about contributing to the organisations that help make our lives as a minority group more fulfilled than they have ever been at any point in history.

If you have an interest in the fight for equality and law reform, please check out the AGM details on our website at  And if you don’t, think about joining a different organization; any contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference.  It really is a great community, so get out there and be part of it!

by  LAINIE ARNOLD NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby

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