GRAI Board Members
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.
June Lowe – Chair
June took on the mantle of GRAI Chair in November 2013. Since joining the GRAI board in 2009, she has contributed research and submissions to governments and agencies on LGBTI ageing, and produced the GRAI newsletter. She is also a member of the National LGBTI Health Alliance’s Working Group on Ageing and Aged Care.
June has been involved in community campaigns for social and environmental justice since the early 1980s, including gay law reform campaigns with GALE (Gay and Lesbian Equality), leading up to the passage of the (WA) Lesbian and Gay Law Reform Bill in 2001. June is passionate about justice and equity and is a firm believer in the important role that individuals can play to achieve social and political change.
June has a BA in Anthropology and Asian Studies from University of WA, and has lived and studied in Indonesia. She has also produced research papers on Justice Reinvestment and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder for the WA Greens.
Leonie Stickland — Deputy Chair
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
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 as an advocate for older people accessing aged care services.
For the past twelve years, Wendy has been working in the 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 moved to Perth in 2012 to continue working in the community based aged care sector with a focus on the provision of high quality services to diverse populations.
Wendy joined the GRAI Board at the 2012 AGM.an
Brett Tizard – Board member and Newsletter Editor
Brett is the School Manager for UWA's School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Brett has served on the GRAI Board on and off since 2010 and remains impressed by how much a small group of people can do. He has recently taken on the role of the editor for GRAI Matters, GRAIs quarterly newsletter.
In 2000 Brett helped establish a community radio station, Heritage FM, in the SE metro area.
Brett's weekend passion is kiln forming glass and he has learned more about earrings than he ever thought he needed to know.
Liam Elphick, Community Representative
Liam Elphick is currently the Associate to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, in addition to being a Sessional Tutor, Research Assistant and LGBTIQA+ Working Group Member at UWA, and Research Assistant at Curtin University. He completed his Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at UWA in 2016, writing his Honours thesis on the scope of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination legislation on the ground of sexual orientation. He was also the inaugural Queer Officer for the Blackstone Society (the UWA Law Students’ Society) in 2016. His research interests include anti-discrimination law, LGBTI+ people and the law, torts law, and equity, with a particular focus on which combination of these areas of the law best protects and balances the rights of minority groups, including LGBTI+ people and the elderly.
Recent publications of relevance include:
- Eileen Webb and Liam Elphick, ‘Yesterday once more: Discrimination and LGBTI+ seniors’ (2017) Monash University Law Review (issue upcoming)
- Liam Elphick, ‘Sexual Orientation Under Australian Anti-Discrimination Legislation: A Fuller Approach to Religious Exemptions’ (LLB Honours Thesis, University of Western Australia, 2016)
- Liam Elphick, ‘Coming out as LGBTI: How to Be An Ally’ (2016) 1 Blackbird 30
David Nicholson - Board Member
Dave moved to Perth 7 years ago to further his sales career within the health sector and is currently employed as a business manager for a clinical solution’s company working closely with both the public and private health sectors.
Dave and his partner have both been active within the Perth LGBTI community for several years.
Having spent several decades working in the area of disability support (both education and employment) Helen chose to change direction and work as a Guardian for the Office of the Public Advocate. Past academic pursuits in both psychology and law supported this undertaking.
The role of Guardian brings Helen into daily contact with the aged care and disability support sectors.The work of a guardian primarily focusses on assisting people who have a cognitive impairment, due to having a condition such as dementia, brain injury, psychiatric or intellectual disability, with lifestyle decisions.