SGLMG Board 2017-2018 L-R: Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco, John Hannaford, Robyn Kennedy, Kate Wickett, Kat Dopper, James Brechney, Brandon Bear & Jesse Matheson.
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.
Brandon Bear | Co-Chair
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.
Brandon is currently the Strategic Manager - Projects for the Council for Intellectual Disability, overseeing a range of projects to support people with a disability increase their voice choice and control. He has over 15 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.
Kate Wickett | Co-Chair
Kate was previously on the Midsumma Festival Board for almost four years, where she was on the Sponsorship Committee - her role was to identify and secure long term, sustainable sponsorships. She was also responsible for initiating and co-creating the hugely successful Midwinta Gala Ball, now in its fourth year.
Kate has been a SGLMG Board Associate since April 2017. Her vision for SGLMG includes: The provision of an iconic, relevant and diverse creative arts festival for both emerging and established artists; and ensuring the organisation responds to, and is reflective of the LGBTI community views through advocacy and support - this includes the understanding that these views and issues may change over time, and the need for the organisation to be agile and flexible in responding to these changing priorities.
Giovanni has been a proud part of the LGBTIQ community since his first Mardi Gras 20 years ago: member of the former SGLMG and founding member of the current one. His passion for direct participation had him involved with a number of organisations and initiatives over the years, including two years as the Membership Director of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association and more recently four years as the President of Queer Screen (Mardi Gras Film Festival).
Giovanni's role as a Senior Project Manager for the last decade involves managing sensitive projects that require, beside governance, a strong focus on risks and issues management. Previous careers in theatre, events and photography make him attuned with the creative process as well.
Kat has 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. Kat makes it her 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.
She is about to embark on a 6 week cultural events and policy training course with the City of Sydney and is excited to bring this knowledge to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in the lead up to the 40th anniversary. Kat will also be producing her 4th float in the parade this year and look forward to meeting everyone across the festival.
John's service as a Director builds upon 10 years of volunteering with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. For the past five years he's led Mardi Gras’ Event Fundraising Team, responsible for event planning, financial governance and volunteer management. He says he prides himself in supporting a culture of inclusiveness and professionalism and works actively to champion Mardi Gras’ ICARE values.
John's experience with finance and governance comes from his full-time employment administering complex estates and charitable trusts. Building upon this, he's supported Mardi Gras in governance roles with the Budget Working Group and the Public Fund Committee.
Robyn Kennedy brings to the SGLMG Board high-level skills in strategic policy and planning, program development and implementation, business planning, monitoring and evaluation and the development of strategies to support growth and diversity.
Robyn has worked at senior levels in both the public and not for profit sector working across social and affordable housing, homelessness, Aboriginal housing, disability and health, with particular expertise in public policy and funding.
Robyn’s career choices and voluntary involvement have been informed by a commitment to addressing issues related to social justice and civil rights. She has worked closely with Aboriginal communities and public-sector agencies to address challenging social issues confronting these communities. She has also worked with United Nations advocacy bodies and the Asian Women's Human Rights Council.
Robyn is a proud 78er with a long history of involvement in LGBTIQ activism. She has experience in corporate governance through membership of several not for profit Boards.
Robyn’s vision for SGLMG includes outreach to marginalised members of the GLBTIQ community, leveraging the international profile of SGLMG to advocate on issues affecting GLBTIQ communities and ensuring the preservation of our vibrant, diverse, 40-year history.
Jesse joined the Board in 2017 following ten years of volunteer work across Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras's Youth, Membership, Event Creative and Marketing working groups. During his first year as a director, he authored the Board's submission to the Senate inquiry into Marriage Equality legislation and led the successful reshaping of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras membership scheme as Chair of the Membership Committee.
Jesse has a degree in Communications and has been published in a range of community, national and international publications such as BuzzFeed, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Associated Press. He currently studies a Masters of Public Policy and works as the Secretariat Officer for disability advocacy peak body Inclusion Australia.