In relation to the community known as LGBTIQ+, or as Sally sometimes calls it, BRIE (Bodies, Relationships, Identities and Expressions) it is her aim to march with every group in Melbourne’s Pride March during this lifetime. She even managed to sneak into Vicbears without using makeover skills in 2016.
Sally has been proudly been involved in many groups since 1995 when she began to come out. She started out with Seahorse Club of Victoria utilising her accounting skills as Treasurer. Over 2 years she realised that advocacy was more her passion than social events (Sally’s idea of event organising is phoning for pizza when people come to her place) and she also likes her friends too much to cook for them. She left the Seahorse committee in 1999 and proudly received a life membership in 2007 – the first life member who was out enough to receive a framed certificate.
She helped found Transgender Victoria (TGV) in the late 1990s and has been involved ever since. It is a source of great and pride️ and joy to see what a totally volunteer-run, no-salaried-staff organisation has been able to achieve in 17 years and see the improvements in the lives of TGD people and in the last few years, their families and friends as well.
Sally got involved in JOY 94.9 in 1998, first as a newsreader, then as a founding co-presenter of “Trans-mission Time” in early 1999. Along with Jayne and Lauren (and help from Miles, Katrina and Hillary as well), Sally firmly believes the program helped increase understanding of TGD issues at a time when there was little favourable discussion. Having three varied and often warped senses of humour added to the mix.
In 2007, she became Treasurer (community organisations always find that the hardest role to fill) for the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL), which had been a great supporter of TGV since day one. Seriously, it wasn’t all number-crunching; being able to liaise between organisations had become necessary as things began to expand over time. The bridges built became vital and the high water mark was the world class co-operation between BGILT+ in the lead-up to the achievement of protection for the attributes of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status in 2013. Sally became the proud recipient of a life membership on retirement from the committee in January 2015.
2007 must have had something in the water because Sally joined the working group (later committee) of the newly formed Zoe Belle Gender Collective (ZBGC). The aim of ZBGC was to be a be a centre to support and improve the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s TGD population. Having a focal point for TGD people had become a key aim in itself and needed cross-community collaboration via a specific organisation (and still does need it). Sally was awarded a life membership in 2013.
In 2008, Sally realised she identified as someone supportive of the idea of multiple ethical relationships: “polyamory”. She became Treasurer of Polyvic later that year and remained in that role for just over 3 years. She was awarded life membership in late 2014 and has completed PolyVic’s “Train the Facilitator” workshop with the aim of facilitating discussion groups.
In 2010, a B buzzed in. Sally had identified as her true sexual orientation, namely, bisexual since 1997 and like many had been involved with the social group Bi-Victoria for some years. Bisexual Alliance Victoria formed as an alliance of the need for an advocacy group and combined with the existing discussion group, hence the alliance. Sally personally uses the label bi/pan in this area of her life.
Sally has used her concise written skills for SBS sexuality online.
Sally notes one common thread: acknowledging Melbourne for the wonderful city it is. This is not rah-rah or a tourism promotion; she deeply believes Melbourne tries its best in relation to diversity and wants to it better. She doubts her life would have had the same level of fulfillment had she been born almost anywhere else. Sally’s theory is that Melbourne’s diverse climate that makes the city open to all sorts of ideas and cultures. She is yet to receive a grant to prove the sociological linkage.
There is a sense of community on many fronts in Melbourne that also plays a strong part as well, going beyond BGILT+. Combining that sense of community with pragmatic approaches is one of many strengths Sally has to offer.