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The Team

Shane Sturgiss

CEO

Shane is an out and proud Gay Aboriginal man with family originating from Gundungurra Land. Raised in Queanbeyan and lived most of his adult life in Newcastle and Sydney. Shane is seen as a specialist in Corporate and Social responsibility with a strong social justice belief. Commencing his career in Banking and Finance, Shane realised that this did not meet his personal value set and enrolled in university. Now a qualified Counsellor with tertiary education in Community Services Management, Indigenous Leadership and Community Advocacy Shane’s career spans across a number of social services, including, health, financial counselling, disabilities, homelessness and education. Married at an early age, Shane knows firsthand the feeling of not living in your own skin and welcomes the innovation that is BlaQ and all that it will bring to the Aboriginal LGBTIQ+ community. Growing up in a loving and supportive family environment, Shane wants to deliver this same level of care and nurturing to all community, who may not have the same positive opportunities that he was provided as a young man. Allowing people to be who they are, to be able to define themselves and celebrate love the way they feel they are meant to and educating community on acceptance and care for everyone is his highest priority.

Peaches Rahmanovic

Events Coordinator

Peaches Rahmanovic is a proud descendant of Truganini from Trawlwoolway land, now known as Tasmania. Peaches is trans-non-binary and comes from a professional background working in communications and marketing for not-for-profits including Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, with a passion for First Nations engagement. Outside of work Peaches works as a professional Drag Artist, hosting events with their good judys and spreading awareness about what it means to be an AFAB, trans-non-binary Drag Artist in a predominately male dominated industry.

Leigh Simon

Community and Advocacy Coordinator

Being a Proud Yorta Yorta, Euahlayi woman Leigh Simon embraces Heritage, Culture and identity with a deep-rooted passion for community service and a commitment to making a positive impact, Leigh has dedicated years of their life to serving and supporting community. Through their extensive experience and unwavering dedication Leigh has worked tirelessly to promote equality, respect, and cultural preservation. Leigh brings a unique perspective, a profound understanding of cultural sensitivities, and a track record of successful collaborations with the Community. Their experience not only showcases their ability to lead initiatives and implement programs that address crucial issues faced by Indigenous communities but also reflects their genuine respect for and dedication to the diverse needs and voices within these populations.

Peter Jones

Interim CEO

Peter is an innovative senior leader with extensive experience in supporting and managing medium to large teams. He is passionate about providing quality support to individuals, ensuring their needs and preferences are met, promoting their safety and well-being, and amplifying their voices. Peter excels in stakeholder engagement, possessing strong skills in building effective working relationships with stakeholders at all levels. His commitment to human rights and supporting the local community is evident in his work. Additionally, Peter is a fervent advocate for digital inclusion and is dedicated to closing the digital divide.

Luke Pidgeon

Operations Administration

Luke Pidgeon is a proud Kamilaroi man from Western Sydney, Dharug Country. Luke has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Media and is passionate about all thing’s media. Luke has worked closely with his community especially at his Indigenous Strategy at Macquarie University as an Administrative Assistant to the faculty. He has also volunteered and participated with Aboriginal ACON’s First Nation Float ever since he has identified as a gay man. Luke is passionate about his community especially helping with the rainbow mob in any way he can. “I always wanted to give back to the community that has been so good to me in my life. They are the reason that I have achieved so much, and I am truly thankful for everything they have provided me. I came out a little later in life and the first community that was so accepting was my rainbow mob. They have treated me so well and I’m thankful to be working with BlaQ because it gives me a chance to give back to my community that has given me so much”.

Acknowledgement

BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and pay special respects to our LGBTQ+SB mob. We honour their legacy in everything we do.