February 24th 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
245 Wilson Street
Eveleigh NSW 2015
Moderated by Sarah Maddison, with panelists Robyn Laverack, Nayuka Gorrie, Katherine Wolfgramme, and Anna Hush
This panel will explore the role of women and feminist politics in building the LGBTIQ rights movement in Australia today. The discussion will bring together the voices of some very different experiences in these struggles, including Mardi Gras pioneer Robyn Laverack; Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman and queer writer Nayuka Gorrie; young feminist campaigner Anna Hush; and trans advocate Katherine Wolfgramme, together in conversation with University of Melbourne political scientist Sarah Maddison.
From the gay liberation movement to the queer politics of today, this panel examines the intersections of feminism, queer, trans*, race, age and Indigenous sovereignty, taking up the most pressing questions of how we can do better as a movement that is committed to justice and equality for all.
Sarah Maddison is an Australian writer and academic in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where she is also Co-Convenor of the Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration. She writes on reconciliation and conflict transformation, Indigenous political culture, gender and politics, and social movements. Sarah’s recent books include The Limits of Settler Colonial Reconciliation (2016), Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation (2015), The Women’s Movement in Protest, Institutions and the Internet, (2014), Black Politics (2009), and Unsettling the Settler State (2011). Sarah is Vice President of the Australian Political Studies Association and chaired the Board of GetUp! for several years until 2016.
Robyn Laverack has had an active role within the Mardi Gras throughout its forty-year history, in championing the place of women in the organisation. Having marched in 1978, ten years later Robyn became a Mardi Gras Board Director from 1988 to 1992. In 1989 Robyn was part of a small group who campaigned successfully to change the name from Sydney Gay Mardi Gras to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and for equal representation of men and women on the Board. In 1990 Robyn was the first female Parade Director and along with President Cath Phillips worked with the police to ensure that we provided a safe environment for both the participants and spectators. In 1991 and 1992 Robyn took on the role of Party Director, a breakthrough in lesbian involvement in Mardi Gras. Robyn is also a Founding Director and trustee of The Aurora Group, a charity raising funds to disburse to gay, lesbian and transgender community organisations.
Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman. She writes social commentary on self-determination, colonisation, feminism and queerness. She also writes for comedy television.
Anna Hush is a feminist advocate and campaigner, and a current PhD candidate in the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law. She is an Ambassador for End Rape on Campus Australia, a group working to end sexual violence in Australian educational communities, and a co-founder and Director of fEMPOWER Workshops, an organisation that provides workshops on gender, feminism and consent for high school students. Anna is passionate about engaging young people in community campaigns against gendered violence, queerphobia and racism, and advocating for survivors of sexual violence.
Katherine Wolfgramme is a positive and active advocate for the transgender population and is not afraid to demand equality by any means possible. Born in 1972, she arrived in Australia in 1974 and transitioned in 1990. At the age 23 Katherine became the first transgender woman in Fiji to legally obtain a female name. Katherine was a showgirl in 1990s including a 12 month stint touring NSW with Sydney’s Les Girls, simultaneously working in hospitality for gay Sydney venues including The Oxford and Stonewall. Katherine is currently studying Community Services and Social Work so as to be able to serve within the LGBTQI community sector. An administrator for Trans Sydney Pride in its earliest stages, she successfully initiated the first Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil at Taylor Square in 2016. Katherine has been active in marriage equality campaigns and a prominent speaker for transgender awareness.
Katherine has been a contributor for OUTinPerth, SameSame, and Star Observer.
A ticket to Queer Thinking on February 24 will include this panel and the other panel of the day, Activist Show & Tell: How to Change the World. Koori Gras’ Speakers Platform will also be on at 11am on February 24, which is free to attend.