As the board of the Auckland Pride Festival Inc. sadly farewells Emma Henderson, they are pleased to welcome a new member, Robyn Vella, and add another member of the whānau, Kyle Habershon, as a volunteer youth advisor.
After more than a year of service Emma Henderson will step down from the Board of the Auckland Pride Festival Inc. in November. The Board would like to express their gratitude to Emma, who has decided to step away to focus her energies on a new role, and to enjoy more time with her family.
Board chair, Cissy Rock says “Emma has been a huge part of the Auckland Pride Board over the past year. Her experience in event management and marketing has been a great asset to the team and we are very sad to see her go. We are so thankful for Emma’s contribution to the Auckland Pride Festival during a turbulent period and wish her all the best for her next stage.”
With Emma stepping down from the board at the end of October, the Board are delighted to welcome new member, Robyn Vella. Robyn joins the Board with a background in vocational education, and brings expertise in programme facilitation, needs analysis, resource design and development, people wrangling and everything in between. She also helps to organise the Queer Together (QT) potluck dinners, that evolved out of the Pride organising hui earlier this year and have been held bi-monthly ever since.
“Being involved in QT dinners has really confirmed for me that loneliness and the need for connection are two of the biggest issues facing the queer community,” Robyn says. “I feel strongly that one of Pride’s main roles is to hold space for community and connection, and I believe that the new iteration of Pride is doing just that. #ourmarch was an awesome community event that was really energising and liberating to be a part of and I can’t wait to help organise and plan the 2020 festival, making it more and more a celebration of community and connection.”
Alongside Robyn, Kyle Habershon joins the Auckland Pride whānau as a non-voting youth advisor to the board. Kyle is already very active in the community, acting as a representative for Unite Union on the [email protected] Council of Trade Unions, and volunteering for Auckland Sexual Health’s Youth Peer Sexual Support Programme, and Ending HIV.
“I’ve always wanted to represent queer voices,” Kyle says, “and I see this youth advisory position as an opportunity to help shape the future of how pride is celebrated and understood by the next generation of LGBTQIAT+ youth. Being able to work to amplify the goals and values set by Auckland Pride, while standing behind the culturally diverse and intersectional groups we represent is a dream come true.”
Board Chair, Cissy Rock, says “It’s great to be able to add more voices and perspectives to our organising group, and so encouraging to feel the support from people who want to get more involved in the running of the festival. I can’t wait to see what the added support of Robyn and Kyle bring to our discussions as a group, and what we can all create together for the festival in 2020. ”
Auckland Pride Festival will run 1 -16 February 2020.
Event registrations are now open – https://aucklandpride.org.nz/about/festival-registration/
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