ILGA Oceania Newsletter No 15



Well what a rolling few months in the appointment of being Co-Chairs it has been! We have been tidying up the governance structure and working out strategies as to how we can communicate our advocacy efforts better to the membership. The revival of these regular weekly newsletters is an example of one of those initiatives.

In last month’s news, we shared activism in the form of the ILGA Oceania board’s submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020 (NSW) where we highlighted how the Bill promoted inequity, and that is a standpoint of which we at ILGA Oceania do not condone!

Wear it Purple Day”, an annual day put a side to celebrate diversity and young people from the LGBTIQA+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Asexual). Historically, the day was founded in 2010 following the attacks, harassment and bullying on rainbow young people that resulted in many of them taking their own lives. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people suicide rates are five times that of non-Indigenous young people, however, due to racism, stereotype and stigma, it is difficult to determine how many are from our Rainbow family. I have been contributing to the diversity discussions through a couple of radio yarns:

    1) 27 August 2020 - 93.9FM
    2) 5 September 2020 - 4K1G

Feeling depressed yourself! Contact “Switchboard”, “QLife ” or “Beyond Blue”:-


Switch Board

Q Life

Beyond Blue

The First Peoples’ Caucus aligned with the Equality Project has been instrumental in addressing inequality in researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+SGBB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, Sister Girls and Brother Boys), and I have been an active member of that caucus.

I have been working with “RUOK?” to develop Health Promotion Strategies for LGBTIQA+ and First Peoples suicide prevention. Nicky Bath (CEO of the National LGBTI Health Alliance) and I have been collaborating on the development of a reporting process whereby we start sharing on what other LGBTQI+A organisations are advocating through our newsletter. It is also an opportunity to see how we can support each other. I have also been collaborating with various Pride Networks to see how ILGA Oceania can work together on advocacy.

In other news, we have been instrumental in organising the on-line ILGA Oceania AGM (Saturday, 24 October 2020), which will be housed from the University of Sydney, through the Pride Network. This will be the second day of our 2-day ILGA Oceania regional conference / AGM (Thursday, 22 October 2020 - Saturday, 24 October 2020).

Vanessa Lee-AhMat

Bisexual Portfolio

Bisexual Awareness Week 2020

We are in Bisexuality Month (September) and this is Bisexual Awareness Week (Wednesday, 16 September 2020 – Wednesday, 23 September 2020), and Celebrate Bisexuality Day (Wednesday, 23 September 2020) is fast approaching!


The ILGA World bisexual representative position was added to the ILGA World constitution at the ILGA World conference in 2016 [Monday, 28 November 2016 – 02 December 2016 (Bangkok, Thailand)], with the first elections occurring for the position in 2019 [18 March - 22 March 2019 (Wellington, New Zealand)]. Karetai, originally one of the ILGA Oceania convenors (2016-2018), was the first person elected to hold this ILGA World bisexual representative position.

Rāwā Karetai’s focus has been on getting the ILGA World bisexual committee, made up of the bisexual representatives of each region, up-and-running. Capacity has been a big issue, and he has regularly relied on his team of industrious chairs from each of the regions for their individual regional work. He has reported many challenges, including a continual struggle to get the global committee working functionally. There has been little established administration support, the ever-present problem of communicating over different time zones, and a struggle to find the bisexual network’s global focus.

Despite all the hurdles, bisexual networking and events have flourished, with a plethora of conferences and webinars being hosted across the globe.


A bisexual subcommittee chair position was added to the ILGA Oceania constitution in AGM [Saturday, 01 September 2018 (Apia, Samoa)] at the Samoan ILGA Oceania regional conference [Wednesday, 29 August 2018 – Saturday, 01 September 2018 (Apia, Samoa)] which enabled the position to be filled by the ILGA Oceania SGM [Tuesday, 19 March 2019] at the last ILGA World conference [Monday, 18 March 2019 - Friday, 22 March 2019 (Wellington, New Zealand)].

Misty has been working flat out organising the “Stand Bi Us” Conference [Friday, 18 September 2020 – Wednesday, 23 September 2020]. Misty Farquhar: “I'm so proud to have worked with some of the most incredible bisexual / pansexual humans to present the “Stand Bi Us” Conference for “Bi+ Visibility Day 2020” (#standbius2020), the first of its kind in the Australia / New Zealand region.

The “Stand Bi Us” Conference [Friday, 18 September 2020 – Wednesday, 23 September 2020] started this Friday! Bi+ organisations across Australia and New Zealand have come together for this opportunity to reflect on the progress made in our communities since Bi+ Visibility Day began in 1999 and to celebrate the fabulous, diverse, and talented members of our community. This conference event includes virtual and in-person (where safe, legal and possible) workshops, panels, discussions, groups and even a party.

Each week we will be reviewing one of the proposals to reform the way ILGA Oceania operates.


There is a proposal being put forward by the ILGA Oceania board to set some official languages in ILGA Oceania constitution, English and French. The working languages of ILGA World, and all the ILGA Regions (except ILGA Asia), is stated explicitly in their respective constitutions.

NOTE: ILGA North America’s constitution may soon radically change due the inclusion of the English-speaking Caribbean islands into its jurisdiction.

To achieve continuity with the rest of ILGA, i.e. ILGA World and its regions, and to give the concept of an official language some weight, the ILGA Oceania constitution needs to state what ILGA Oceania’s official working languages are.

Adding a language to the ILGA Oceania constitution will impact on ILGA Oceania. ILGA Oceania documents, communications to members and outreach resources all need translation into those chosen languages. Additionally, ILGA Oceania conferences and ILGA Oceania events need to feature translations into ILGA Oceania’s official languages.


Any ILGA Oceania member organisation representative can sponsor the submission of a proposal. The deadline for that has not been reached. If you are keen to reform the way ILGA Oceania operates, makes sure your LGBTI organisation makes a proposal for that change. Remember, only changes submitted on the approved form will be considered for this virtual ILGA Oceania AGM.

The nomination deadline (Friday, 09 October 2020) for the ILGA Oceania Board is fast approaching! We encourage all ILGA Oceania delegates to consider putting their names forward for one of the 12 existing delegate positions:

Executive positions

Portfolio Subcommittee Chairs

1) Co-convenor (Female)

1) Women 

2) Co-Convenor (General)

2) Bisexual

3) Alternate (Female)

3) Trans

4) Alternate (General)

4) Intersex

5) Treasurer

5) Youth

6) Secretary

6) Elder

As well as the four additional ILGA Oceania Board positions that are planned to be launched at this up-and-coming virtual ILGA Oceania regional conference’s AGM [Saturday, 24 October 2020].

Portfolio Subcommittee Chairs

1) Disability

Regional Representatives

1) Pacific (Indigenous)

2) New Zealand (Māori)

3) Australia (First Nation’s People)

NOTE: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year there are grants available to assist certain organisations pay their ILGA World membership fees (a nomination pre-requisite). Indigenous delegates from the Pacific Islands and Australian first people delegates are encouraged to apply.



            ILGA Oceania AGM Deadline - Proposals, agenda items and campaign proposals [submit]

                        Thursday, 24 September 2020

            ILGA Oceania AGM Deadline – Grant applications [submit]

                        Thursday, 01 October 2020

            ILGA Oceania AGM Deadline - Board nominations [submit]

                        Friday, 09 October 2020

            ILGA Oceania Conference Day 1

                        Thursday, 22 October 2020

            ILGA Oceania Conference Day 2 & AGM

                        Saturday, 24 October 2020



            Better Together Conference 2021" in Adelaide

Friday, 18 June 2021 – Saturday, 19 June 2021

            ILGA Oceania “In Person” Regional Conference in New Caledonia

Second Half of the Year 2021

Note from the Communication’s team:

Enjoy Bisexuality Week! Until next week!

We always crave contributions to this newsletter! Would you like to participate? Perhaps a recent bit of news, something happening in your group, or perhaps submit a letter to the editors. Send us an email and we will happily share your contribution!



Ken Moala 

ILGA Oceania Co-Convenor


Vanessa Lee-AhMat

ILGA Oceania Co-Convenor


Rāwā Karetai

ILGA Oceania Secretary


Simon Margan

ILGA Oceania Treasurer