Adrian Murdoch started out as a social media volunteer at Minus18 in 2017. Now they are the Partnerships and Campaigns Coordinator for the LGBTQI organisation.

They were born and raised in Darwin before moving to Melbourne.

“My high school was in the deep western suburbs of Melbourne, and it was quite conservative when it came to LGBTQIA+ identity, and diverse sexuality and gender identity,” Murdoch said.

They noticed the school did not provide much support to LGBTQI people and to be queer there was “very taboo.”

They came out after high school and broadened, what they described as, their “small” and “narrow-minded perspective.”

Freedom To Be Their True Self

Now Adrian is free to be their true self. This is evident in the passion and excitement they have for their work, and the rainbows, glitter, and vibrancy they display on social media.

“When I became familiar with Minus18 in my early 20s, I had that kind of moment of ‘wow, things would’ve been so much different if I knew that this thing existed’,” they said.

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Wanting to contribute in a meaningful way, they joined the organization around the time of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

“I think for me, and I think this is a big part of why I’m still at Minus18, I really admire and look up to the next generation of LGBTQIA+ leaders and people,” they said.

These role models include non-binary trans writer Nevo Zisin, speaker and educator and queer First Nations activist and artist Aretha Brown, and co-creator of Hue: Colour the Conversation Elsa Tuet-Rosenberg.

Religious Discrimination Bill Will Increase Inequality

Currently, the Religious Discrimination Bill is a focus of Adrian and Minus18.

We are “engaged with advocacy groups, such as Equality Australia, as this [Bill] could create a greater divide in the equality of LGBTQIA+ Australians.”

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In 2018, Minus18 along with change.org and Equality Australia delivered nearly 60,000 signatures to Parliament. Each signature represented Australians, allied with LGBTQI youth, against these discriminatory religious exemptions.

“Back then, Prime Minister Morrison backtracked on expelling gay students, but these were empty promises, with a bill in the works that could enshrine this ability to discriminate,” Murdoch said.

Over the next four years, Adrian would like to see “schools continue to become inclusive environments for LGBTQIA+ young people.”

“Truly every student should feel safe at school, and I think at Minus18 we’ve made big steps to remove the barriers to achieve this.”

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