Our Membership elects the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd. The Board exists to ensure the organisation stays attuned to the wishes of members and the broader community. Its role is one of governance, developing policy, lobbying and ensuring the company has the right professional management team.

Fran Bowron - Co-Chair

Fran been involved with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras since starting as a 'Lemonhead' Marching Girl in the 1996 Parade and first dancing in a community show at Party in the same year. Many shows and many many many parades later, this is Fran's 4th year as a Director and third year as Co-Chair.

Fran is a senior executive programme and change leader with over 25 years experience in the governance of large-scale transformation programs consulting to government, private sector and for purpose organisations. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Technology Management and is currently completing a Masters of Human Rights Law and Policy. Fran is a passionate believer in the power of communities celebrating together both to highlight social justice issues and to honour the journeys already made.

•    Co-Chair
•    People and Governance Committee

Damien Hodgkinson – Co-Chair

Damien is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of DEM Asia, a strategic solutions and transformation group dealing in crisis management transformation and distress investment.  Damien has over 28 years experience in the financial assessment and sustainability.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

Damien provides his transformation and governance skills to a number of not for profit and community organisations seeking to re-align themselves with their changing needs and expectations.

This is Damien’s fourth year on the board of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, three years as Treasurer and now Co-chair. Prior to joining the Board, he was Treasurer and President of Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.

•    Co-Chair
•    Public Fund Committee

Brandon Bear

Brandon has been involved with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for a number of years, as a member and manager of the Parade Creative and Community teams. He became a board associate in 2013 and was elected as a director in 2014. He has a passion for working with and for our communities to ensure that our stories and messages are amplified.

Currently, Brandon is a Project Coordinator for the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, delivering a range of projects to support people with a disability increase their voice choice and control. he has over 12 years experience working directly with marginalised communities, including roles on the board of the Youth Action Policy Association and the NSW Association for Youth Health. For over 10 years he has also been a volunteer with Camp Goodtime, a residential recreation camp for children and teenagers living with HIV.

•    People and Governance Committee
•    Events Committee (Chair)

Jesse Matheson

Jesse has been a participant and volunteer of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras since 2007. He joined the Marketing and Communications team in 2010 to help produce the popular 'Say Something' viral video campaign and has been a volunteer member of the organisation's Event Creative, Youth and Membership working groups.

He is also a supporter of the Sydney LGBTIQ community, including its nightlife, artists and many community organisations. Jesse is a Communications (Journalism) graduate from University of Technology, Sydney and has been published across a range of community, national and international publications. He is currently studying a Masters of Public Policy.

•    Membership Committee (Chair)
•    Relationship & Development Committee

James Brechney

James is a Sydney based MC and community activist. He is the founder of chalk rainbow movement DIY Rainbow.

He has worked with the likes of YouTube, Facebook & Junkee regarding anti-bullying and other LGTBQI issues such as fighting for marriage equality. He produces and hosts the regular ‘Q&Gay’ community conversations at the Midnight Shift on Oxford Street.

This will be his 4th year producing a Mardi Gras float. He has previously been a breakfast radio host at and Director of Sydney’s Northside Community Radio 2NSB and the Australian Law Students’ Association.

•    Development and Relationships Committee (Chair)
•    Events Committee

Silke Bader

Silke Bader is the publisher of LOTL, Australia's only lesbian magazine, Curve, the US bestselling lesbian magazine and DIVA, Europe's best selling Lesbian Magazine. Combined she reaches 1.2 million women every month through print, digital and online platforms.

Silke has been a board member since November 2015 and also is the managing director of the Australian LGBTI Awards.

Silke is also the founding director of LOTL Rescue, an animal welfare charity (trading as Zambi Wildlife Retreat) in Sydney. She lives in Coogee, with her partner of 18 years.

•    Membership Committee
•    Development and Relationships Committee

Kat Dopper

I am so honoured to be one of the Directors of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.  I have spent the last decade actively contributing to Sydney arts and culture as an Executive Event Producer for many brands and charities plus larger organisations such as Destination NSW & the City of Sydney.

I have made it my life’s work to provide inclusive spaces for LGBTIQA people across Australia as the Founder and Director of Heaps Gay, which has grown from a series of parties into an all-inclusive community that exists across a range of platforms that include online commentary, support and events. In the past 6 months Heaps Gay was awarded Best Music Event by FBi Radio & Timeout Magazine.

I am about to embark on a 6 week cultural events and policy training course with the City of Sydney and I am excited to bring this knowledge to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in the lead up to the 40th anniversary. I'll also be producing my 4th float in the parade this year and look forward to meeting everyone across the festival.

•    Events Committee

Aidan Read

Aidan has more than 15 years Talent Management (Generalist HR, Performance & Reward) experience predominantly in the Australian Financial Services industry. He has a mixture of both top tier consulting experience and ‘in house’ (ASX top 100 companies) experience. Demonstrated abilities in; leading organisation wide change programs, partnering with senior executives to e.g. improving divisional performance, and solving strategic people and performance issues. 

Aidan has a Bachelor degree (Human Resource Management) and returned to study to complete a Masters of Business Administration. The program finished at Bocconi University Italy in 2015 where he returned to Sydney. He is a certified practitioner in Human-Centred Design (HCD) using design thinking skills to deliver on enterprise wide projects. Aidan currently works at NAB and is an active member of the Pride@NAB leadership team.

•      People and Governance Committee (Chair)