The caffeine in Sally’s veins will always see her connections to Melbourne remain strong.
All the same, Sally began to venture beyond Victoria during this current decade. At the 2010 Health in Difference conference in Sydney, Sally connected with awesome peeps Dani Wright, Aram Hosie, Peter Hyndal and others thereby beginning a great run of national co-operation leading to improvements including passports, Medicare and federal anti-discrimination laws.
The world came to Melbourne in 2014 with the 2014 World AIDS conference*. The meaning of “think global, act local” began to achieve clarity for Sally. Hearing the stories of those from overseas further strengthened Sally’s desire to achieve her aims in relation to valuing diversity, in particular for gender identity.
There was even more clarity in late 2015 – albeit beginning in a somewhat surprising way. Sally awoke one October morning to a Facebook message inviting her to be a juror at a film festival – the Side-by-Side festival in St Petersburg, Russia. (Side by side translates from English to Bok-o-Bok in Russian — catchy, hey?) After hurriedly arranging crowdfunding for a passport, thermal underwear and a few other items she was up and away 6 weeks later – no time for a crash course to learn how to speak or read the Russian language.
There is too much to tell about the whole 2 week adventure here. Suffice to say good people, good food, good coffee and the odd drop of good alcohol made the trip an amazing experience of learning, growth and connection. Happily the thermals weren’t really needed after all.
It may sound paradoxical or ironic that Sally needed to travel 15,000 km to work out that connection is so vital for bringing people together, but that’s what happened, resulting in even greater clarity.
Sally’s world travels continued in November 2016 when she travelled to Bangkok for the ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) world conference to represent Bisexual Alliance Victoria. Thai food and queers was a good combination.
* We honour those lost on flight MH17 including those heading to Melbourne for AIDS2014. Always in our hearts and minds, always striving to complete your legacy.