GRAI Board Members — 2012/13
The Board of GRAI comprises a dedicated and highly talented group of individuals.
Each member of the Board brings with them their own professional expertise, a diverse range of community experiences and a special interest in seeing GLBTI ageing issues addressed.
The 2012/13 Board was announced following the 2012 AGM.
Dr Jude Comfort — Chair
Jude Comfort has over twenty years’ experience working in public health. She currently works in the School of Public Health at Curtin University where she has a teaching and research position. Her research interests include gay health issues and in particular tobacco use in the LGBTI community, the topic of her PhD.
She has been active in the Perth lesbian community for many years both socially and through supporting a social justice agenda. She is particularly interested to bring the health issues of lesbians to the GRAI table and encourage change at both a structural and individual level so that women can act positively to achieve healthy older years. She is also keen to see how intergenerational approaches within the LGBTI community can be supported to ensure social inclusion of older community members.
Cycling is her other passion.
June Lowe — Deputy Chair
June has been involved in social and environmental justice campaigns since the early 1980s, working with a wide range of community groups. June also took part in the gay law reform campaigns with GALE, leading up to the successful passage of the Lesbian and Gay Law Reform Bill in 2001.
June is currently at university studying Asian Studies and Anthropology. She joined the board of GRAI in 2009 and looks forward to learning more about GLTBQI aging issues and being able to contribute to this important field.
Wendy Bennett — Secretary
Wendy has over 30 years of community sector experience in both a paid and voluntary capacity, most of which has been undertaken in Victoria. Areas of work have included disability services, women’s services, project work and the aged care sector in both direct service and senior management positions. She currently works in a senior management Position with Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services Inc, an aged care service provider.
For the past nine years, Wendy has been working in the on multicultural aged care sector and is a strong advocate for the development of policy and provision of services that respect and respond to diversity in its many forms. Wendy has moved to Perth to continue working in the community based aged care sector with a focus on the provision of high quality services to diverse populations.
On a personal level, Wendy enjoys photography (she’s looking forward to capturing some new images on the west coast), woodwork and exploring Perth with her dog.
Paul Garde — Treasurer
Paul has had a very diverse career as a Sydney & now Perth lawyer and mediator for over 30 years working both for major Sydney law firms and as corporate counsel to bodies such as NSW WorkCover and the Joint Coal Board. Paul also helped to found both the ACON Legal Working Group in the late 1980s and then the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (NSW) in 1992. Paul served on HALC’s Management Committee for nearly 10 years and was proudly HALC’s Director from 1996-99 during a difficult time in the AIDS epidemic in Sydney.
At present Paul is doing contract and locum roles and mediations in Perth whilst establishing his new life in the West. He enjoys volunteering with bodies such as the AIDS Council and animal charities.
Daniel Parker PhD — Board Member
Dan Parker is a clinical psychologist who has specialised for over 20 years in providing mental health services within the LGBTI community, and to persons with HIV/AIDS, both in Western Australia and California. In recent years, he has focused his clinical and community work on issues of LGBTI healthy ageing.
In 2010-2011, Dan was the Director of Wellness and Counselling Services at the Golden Rainbow Centre—SAGE in Palm Springs, California, an innovative program serving LGBTI older adults. He is a clinical psychologist with the WA Department of Health’s Older Adult Mental Health program, and has a private psychology practice in Mount Lawley.
Dan has been active in LGBTI community and progressive political issues since the 1970s, in San Francisco, Palm Springs, and now Western Australia.
Leonie Stickland — Board Member
Leonie is a Perth academic and tertiary language teacher specialising in Japanese. Her current research area is residential accommodation facilities for LGBTI people in Japan, where she lived for almost two decades from the mid-1970s.
Since her days as a postgraduate student in Osaka, Leonie was an active member of the Kansai (Western Japan) Lesbian community, co-organising monthly coffee evenings for many years and attending annual ‘Women’s Weekends’ which enabled Lesbians to participate in workshops for serious discussion of topics of interest, play informal sports, and socialise in a safe, communal atmosphere.
After return to Australia in 1996, Leonie worked as an editor and journalist for a Perth Japanese newspaper. She then pursued a PhD in Asian Studies with a thesis on gendered performance and fandom practices in Japan’s famed Takarazuka Revue, a large-scale musical theatre company where all roles, male and female, are played by the specially-trained, all-female cast. This was informed by Leonie’s engagement with Takarazuka as a translator and voice actor for more than 6 years.