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candidates for election


There are 11 candidates for election. Their statements are shown on this page in ballot order.

Please contact our Returning Officer at returning.officer@mardigrasarts.org.au if you have any enquiries regarding the election.



Evan Gray

My name is Evan, and I'm asking for your vote in this election.

I'm proud to be part of a vibrant queer community that has been the centre of so much social change over the past 40 years.

I'm also proud to have previously been a Co-convenor of CAAH, where alongside so many of you, we organised the largest LGBTIQA+ rights protests in Australian history last year and managed to win marriage equality. I was also overjoyed to have worked with Jenny Leong, the MP for Newtown, in organising door knocks and phone banks for the Yes campaign.

These political experiences have given me the strength to stand by my convictions, and do what's right, and have also given me a wealth of experience in organising large scale events on a shoe string budget. I'm also glad to draw on my experiences as a past volunteer facilitator at ACON, as a former volunteer at the ICLC, as a union official, and having organised large Mardi Gras floats for the past 8 years.

I encourage you to vote 1 Holly Brooke, 2 Evan Gray, 3 Salem Barrett-Brown, & 4 Kleon Toffetti for a Mardi Gras team that takes Pride In Protest.


Christopher BROOKE

Christopher Brooke

As current Treasurer, member of Governance, Audit and Risk Committee (GAR) and long-standing member of Mardi Gras, I am delighted to nominate as Non-Executive Director. 

Vision for SGLMG
My vision for SGLMG is to be a sustainable, well governed organisation, with the key objective that the operations are sustainable in the long term. To support this objective, I will actively work with Board and CEO to grow and diversify SGLMG’s income streams, ensuring that costs are tightly managed and the organisation is well governed.  

I will continue to bring my substantial experience in finance and governance to the SGLMG Board:

• 20+ years’ board and committee experience for numerous not-for-profit organisations including the Aids Council of South Australia.
• Currently CFO/Company Secretary of a publicly traded company.
• 25+ years’ experience in senior finance, management and executive roles with not for profit, large private businesses and high profile publicly listed entities. Substantial experience in accounting, board processes, financial reporting, business analysis, risk management, disclosure, governance, business structures and operations.

• Bachelor of Economics (Accounting)
• Masters of Business Administration 
• Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors 
• Grad Dip - Applied Corporate Governance 
• Fellow, CPA Australia 
• Fellow, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration (UK) 
• Justice of the Peace 


Adrian PHOON

Adrian Phoon

I’m a grassroots volunteer with a passion for promoting the diversity of our community. My day job involves training organisations to practise good governance based on safety, accountability and inclusion. 

I love Mardi Gras. It’s the progressive legacy of the 78ers and all those who, through protest and celebration, advance the dignity and rights of LGBTIQ+ people.

There will always be more to do to ensure that Mardi Gras:
• engages and welcomes LGBTIQ+ people of all cultural backgrounds, genders and life experiences
• remains viable and financially sustainable
• builds platforms for continued advocacy of LGBTIQ+ rights in metropolitan, rural, regional and remote Australia and abroad

I will draw on my:
• volunteer experience at Team Mardi Gras, ACON, Australian Marriage Equality and elsewhere
• professional experience as a governance, risk & compliance subject matter expert
• broad interest in LGBTIQ+ issues (I’ve written on topics ranging from gay rights in Uganda to sexual racism)

Many of you will already have affiliations with other candidates. If you can’t make me your first preference yet value diversity, inclusion and good governance, please consider me for your second preference.

Thank you.



Ricky Macourt

I am a passionate Indigenous and LGBTIQ+ advocate, lawyer and author with experience in international law and human rights at the United Nations. I have dedicated myself to telling the real stories of our community and fighting for us on the global stage. I currently sit on the Mardi Gras Social Justice Committee and work on Indigenous reconciliation, disability advocacy and making sure our festival is inclusive, diverse and accessible for all. I have designed education and disability programs for government, been a big brother for Barnardos and a volunteer campaigner for marriage equality.

Mardi Gras is a platform and a safe space for our community, but it can be difficult to access for those of us from minorities without our own community, a disadvantaged background or from regional and remote areas. This is something I want to change. I have dedicated my life and profession to being a voice for those of us who are may be afraid to stand up. I want Mardi Gras to speak up, use its privilege and financial capacity to promote social change and create impact. It’s time for more diversity on the board I have the skills and experience to represent our community.



Salem Barrett-Brown

Growing up in a conservative area as a non-binary person, I found my first ever sense of community aged 17, marching with Wear It Purple in the Mardi Gras parade.

I’ve dedicated years to supporting queer spaces because they are vital to our wellbeing. I’ve directed several USyd Queer Revues, organised queer comedy nights and Glitter Gala was as VP of Shades - USyd’s queer events group, campaigned for YES with CAAH and GetUp, and regularly perform stand up at queer festivals. I'd love to bring that experience to Mardi Gras - the event that started it all in this city. 

Marginalised groups are pushed to the fringe of Mardi Gras in favour of organisations with much to answer for. As a trans sex worker I've been assaulted by police and discriminated against by Liberals; while these organisations are promoted in Mardi Gras spaces I cannot feel included.

Non-binary people suffer appalling rates of suicide and mental illness, queer refugees are deported to danger, and our Prime Minister attacks transgender children online. While these injustices stand, Mardi Gras can and should be parade, party and protest. 

Vote 1 Holly Brooke, 2 Evan Gray, 3 Salem Barrett-Brown, and 4 Kleon Toffetti.



Louis Hudson

Mardi Gras exists thanks to the volunteers and community members who work tirelessly for our communities. After 15 years of volunteering with Parade and other events, I believe it is time for me to stand forward and support SGLMG to continue to become a more socially aware, global and responsive organisation.
After serving as the Community Manager for Parade for the last 5 years, I have listened to and worked with tens of thousands of members of the LGBTQ community and worked to make our Parade the loudest platform for diverse voices I could. I believe these skills, paired with my professional project management expertise and my volunteer experience with other community groups such as Tropical Fruits, makes me an ideal board candidate.
I am committed to ensuring that we continue an open dialogue with volunteers and members, and that the board support staff to deliver a world class festival that highlights the diversity and strength the LGBTQI communities are known for. I have always acted with integrity, responsibility and transparency through my involvement with Mardi Gras and I will take those values into my role as director if elected.
Once again if you would like to support me in this endeavour please renew or become a member at http://www.mardigras.org.au/become-a-member
I look forward to working for all members.


Jesse Matheson

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is incredibly important to me and our community. It’s a platform for self-expression and a festival of which we should be proud.

As a longtime volunteer and board member for two years, I’ve used my experience in not-for-profit governance, communications and advocacy to ensure Mardi Gras remains financially stable, respects its history and continues to evolve.

This work included leading the redevelopment of our membership model to provide more value to members and establishing the Social Justice Committee with 78er Robyn Kennedy to ensure Mardi Gras proactively engages community on social justice matters.

I’m proud of this work, but there are many challenges ahead. If reelected, I will work to:
- Find Mardi Gras a community accessible workshop.
- Develop a Reconciliation Action Plan to ensure Indigenous representation throughout Mardi Gras.
- Push Mardi Gras to innovate by diversifying revenue streams.

I’ve always put Mardi Gras first. I ask that you VOTE 1 for Jesse Matheson so I can continue to make positive change for Mardi Gras.

I encourage you to preference Christopher Brooke, Kat Dopper, Katherine Wolfgramme, Louis Hudson, Rick Macourt and Adrian Phoon.

To contact me, email: jesse.matheson@mardigrasarts.org.au.


Katherine Wolfgramme

I am a proud transgender woman, and have been a part of the SGLMG LGBTQI Family since 1991.

I am not a Gender-Whisperer, I am a Gender-Guardian.

I wish to: 
• help enable the voices of my trans siblings to be heard at board level
• show positive trans diversity
• improve trans inclusion and visibility nationally.

I believe in inclusion not exclusion, I believe an organisation born as a reaction to exclusion and discrimination should remain an example of tolerance and a beacon and celebration of acceptance, all members of the LGBTQI Community who work in any organisation and their allies should always be welcome and share in the Spirit of Mardi Gras.

My passions are Community, Social Equity and Social Justice, and I proudly continue to serve the transgender population and the LGBTQI Community, through initiatives, committees, partnerships and board appointments which currently include the Wear It Purple Board, the Trans Day of Remembrance Organising Committee, and very soon the official Ambassador for Australia’s peak trans* NGO.

I am a self-employed Gender-Diversity-Consultant & Trans-Awareness-Trainer and am also a fixture on Oxford St, working for one of Sydney’s most popular Gay Venues. 

I am always honoured to serve the Community.



Holly Brooke

I’m Holly and I’m nominating to represent activist, left-wing, and community voices on the Mardi Gras board. I have significant event planning, budget management and high-level committee experience, and solid skills in collaboration.

Having been born to lesbian parents, and being proudly queer myself, I’ve been in the LGBTQI+ community my whole life. From organising snap actions against the Daily Telegraph’s homophobia, to attending gay weddings with my mum as a kid, to building rallies for safe schools and marriage equality, to singing in a gay and lesbian choir as a teenager, to extending queer solidarity to the refugees in offshore camps, with No Pride in Detention and the broader refugee movement, to travelling rural NSW enrolling young people to vote YES; I know what queer community means. 

I know we’re a proud, strong, resilient community that stands up and fights back when we see injustice. That’s why I’m running with Pride in Protest, to offer an alternative to the homophobia of the Liberal Party, the violence of the police, and the exploitation of the corporations that now have such a foothold in Mardi Gras. 

Vote 1 Holly Brooke, 2 Evan Gray, 3 Salem Barrett-Brown and 4 Kleon Toffetti.


Kat Dopper

I love SGLMG. It’s without a doubt one of the most important voices in Australia. Two years ago I was appointed to the Board and have been a voice at the table on behalf of the queer community, youth and alternative arts communities here in Sydney. My skill set has complemented other members on the board and I would love to continue this journey to help ensure Mardi Gras remains strong, sustainable. The current board is united and working so well together and it would be great to continue the work we are doing on diversifying the organisation, re engaging communities and building networks in regional areas.
In my professional career, I have made it my life’s work to provide inclusive spaces for LGBTIQA people across Australia and have been actively involved in community building, participation & fundraising. I am the Founder/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, charity support and events including regional areas. I am also an experienced Event Producer and have spent the last decade actively contributing to Sydney Arts and Culture through events and consultation. 


Kleon Toffetti

Hi, my name is Kleon and I am asking for your vote in this election. I am a queer person living in the Northern Rivers. I am a proud black queer person, I belong to the Meeroni people of the Gooreng tribe.

I believe Mardi Gras should be a safe space and a platform for the people in our communities and run to benefit us, not driven by the interests of corporate sponsors or dominated by politicians and police. I have previously been a Secretary of a community organisation so I bring some governance skills and experience relevant to the role.

The  broader political class are not our allies. The Liberal party, responsible for introducing the binary definition of legal marriage, defending this exclusionary definition at all costs and later claiming a win for equality when we won the Yes vote are certainly not our friends. 

I am proud to be here nominating on a platform that embraces firm positions on the direction of Mardi Gras and takes Pride in Protest! I encourage you to support the Pride in Protest  team by voting 1 Holly Brooke, 2 Evan Gray, 3 Salem Barrett-Brown, and 4 Kleon Toffetti.