On Tuesday night, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association held its Annual General Meeting.

The Annual Report for the 2017-2018 period can be found here. After 11 years on the board, and 6 as President, I stepped down, and a new leadership team was elected.

I am delighted that Katherine Maver, and Jarrod Lomas were elected President and Vice President respectively, and wholeheartedly pass on my congratulations and best wishes to both of them and the wider team. Click here for details.

It has been some time since we have been able to say ‘Madame President.’ Katherine is the fourth female president of the association, following Linda Pace (1985-89), Gina Machado (1998-99), and Vicky Brackenreg (2001-03). In addition, Katherine is the first transgender woman to be President of the SGLBA. She is a driving force in the trans community – a community that has seen increased visibility and leadership over the last 12-18 months in particular.

Jarrod, at 27, is likely the association’s youngest VP. He has a great eye for detail, but can see the big picture too. I believe his appointment will generate renewed interest in the association by younger members of the LGBTIQ+A community, just as Katherine’s appointment will see the association welcome more members of the trans community.

Between them, Katherine and Jarrod head up a team of comprehensively qualified and passionate individuals, committed to the continued evolution of the SGLBA to reflect that of the community more broadly.

My time on the board has enriched my life – giving me the opportunity to meet people I would likely otherwise not have met; to give back to a community that has given me so much; and to grow as a person as I worked with and learnt from successive members of the team over the years.

I would like to thank the re-elected team for their commitment this past term: Katherine for her support and guidance; our Secretary, Christopher Colwell for the deep Governance knowledge he brings to the team; Derek Bell, our Media / Communications Director, for the significant increase in technology that he has overseen in both the website and CRM platforms; Emma Hunt, Women’s Director, for listening to women about what they want from the SGLBA and for co-ordinating the Women’s committee to start putting those initiatives in motion; and Jarrod Lomas for his passion for members and for securing the best possible benefits for them. I also thank the entire team for their friendship.

Thanks also to departing Directors, Gin Shum, our Treasurer, for the three years he dedicated to the team throughout a period of significant workload increase in his paid role; Michael Shevers, for laying the foundations for future partnerships; and Ivan Flinn, for giving us greater insights into our data.

Congratulations to incoming Directors, Ben Cabello, Jon Le Breton, and Cesar Moreno.

I encourage your continued engagement with the association, and your support of the incoming board. The future of the SGLBA is in good hands.


Mark Haines
Outgoing President