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.
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”.
Jessica is an out lesbian who has been advocating for LGBTQ+SB rights throughout her career. She has also marched in Pride Parades all around the world, including Dublin, Cape Town and Auckland. Being a biracial, cis, woman, with English and North African heritage, she has benefited from experiencing a multicultural upbringing. Jessica’s Moroccan grandparents were indigenous Amazigh (Berber). Her career has involved roles in corporate Australia, in finance, in publishing and in the not for profit space. Being a vegan she has compassion for a world which is safer for human and non-human animals. Jess relishes being at BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation and as well as serving the Community. When not at work Jess enjoys sunny beach days and calm emerald oceans, cooking and tending to her array of plants.
Sami was born on Gadigal Country (Sydney), her late mother Cecilia Cummings was one of many Aboriginal people taken from their community to Palm Island of Queensland. Her bloodlines connect her to Warumungu/ Wombaya country. She has recently returned from Darumbul land in Rockhampton to join the BlaQ team. Sami was heavily involved in conversation of BlaQ long before it’s conception and has always advocated solid representation of LGBTQIA+ mob as a vital part of collective community wellbeing. “Knowing there is a space now where people can come and feel a sense of belonging and family is really amazing. BlaQ is a space where all are welcomed and that warms my heart."
Alicia is a proud Taribelang Bunda woman who recently trekked down to New South Wales from Rockhampton’s Darumbal Country. Alicia is currently completing a double degree of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Indigenous Studies and a Bachelor of Law (Honours). Alicia’s firm desire to contribute to positive outcomes for mob has driven each career decision she has made so far, including roles such as an Indigenous Student Engagement Advisor and a Community Education Counsellor. “I am particularly grateful to be granted the opportunity to work with BlaQ and be surrounded by people that are like-minded and just as passionate as I am about improving outcomes for our mob. I look forward to contributing to achieving all of the dreams that are being born and nurtured at Blaq.” When not at work, Alicia enjoys spending time with her menagerie of pets and partner to unwind.
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 LGBTQIA+SB mob. We honour their legacy in everything we do.