Newcastle Pride Inc

Meet the committee

Lee-Anne McDougall Founder & Event Coordinator

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March 2018 Lee created and launched Newcastle Pride, her biggest achievement yet. Lee's vision and values for Newcastle Pride are 

Newcastle Pride celebrates sexuality and gender diversity in Newcastle and The Hunter Region. We work collaboratively to foster LGBTIQ Pride.  Newcastle Pride celebrates love and diversity within our community. We are fully inclusive. We collaborate with others. Our Vision is to empower all LGBTIQ people to find their voice and be proud. We aspire to a safer, more inclusive future.

"Freedom to be me"

Lee's goal is to grow Newcastle Pride into long-running spectacular and major festival in Newcastle and The Hunter Region. 

Previous to Newcastle Pride Lee was a committee member of Rainbow Visions Hunter Inc  from 2004 -2010 and held the Events portfolio position. 

Through RV, Lee founded Mixed Fruits in Suits (MFIS), a monthly networking group and the RV annual themed balls which were held at Newcastle City Hall from 2005-2010. 

Ivan Skaines Co-Founder & Event Coordinator

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Ivan was involved in Rainbow Visions Hunter Inc from its commencement and was Co-Convenor for a number of years.  Very proud of the achievements of RV including the annual Rainbow Festival and initiatives around ageing in our community, Ivan is looking forward to similar success with Newcastle Pride Inc.


Currently living and working in a rural area of the Hunter Valley, Ivan is keen to involve diverse groups from the community, businesses and organisations from throughout the Hunter, and further afield in the 2018 Newcastle Pride Festival.


Dr Geoff Macfarlane Administration

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Geoffrey is a Senior Lecturer 

School of Environmental and Life Sciences at University of Newcastle.

Geoff has been involved with the LGBTIQ counselling sevice as a counsellor, board member and fundraiser. 


Also involved in Rainbow Visions Hunter Inc, Geoff was also a part of the  annual Rainbow Visions Festival and is enthusiastic for Newcastle Pride's Festival to be another success in the community.

Debbie Hansen - Accountant

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Debbie has been an accountant for over 16 years. During this time she has worked in tax, lecturing, examining, auditing, business services and financial controller roles. 

Debbie brings extensive experience to Newcastle Pride. Not only is Debbie a proud Mum of two gorgeous kids, she also runs her own financial management business part time and works as a tax accountant part time. 

Ed abbott

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Ed grew up in the small country town of Dunedoo, and made the move to Newcastle in 2015 to kick start his media career. Knowing the importance of visibility for young LGBTQI+ people, he is passionate about safe spaces and helping create spaces to celebrate diversity in Newcastle. He is extremely proud and excited to be a part of Newcastle Pride, and looks forward to the festival getting bigger, better and more fabulous every year!

Jay Bellamy

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Jay has been involved in delivering LGBTI diversity community days / workshops for several years. Starting at the UON Ourimbah Campus where he was the Queer Collective lead organizer for ‘IDAHOBIT’ and ‘Wear It Purple’ day celebrations for 3 years - Jay created the stunning ‘Sea of Hearts’ community art display which grew with each incarnation and returns even more spectacular this year for the 2019 Newcastle Pride Festival.

Jay’s background is in the Human Services / Education – particularly delivering Election events and is people focused with everything he does. He is super excited to be part of the Newcastle Pride team and focused on building community, belonging and pride for all!

Sally Franco

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Sally has been involved in creating safe, empowering and collaborative connections through the Rainbow Book Club in Newcastle. With a policy and science background, Sally is enthusiastic about contributing to Newcastle Pride and assisting to build an inclusive and diverse LGBTIQ community in Newcastle and the wider Hunter Region. 

HELLEN RICHARDS

HELEN RICHARDS

Newcastle has had a long and proud history of having an inclusive and mixed  LGBTI Community. It has been my privilege to have been the employee, manager, owner and driving force of our most beloved community spaces including the Criterion Hotel, Pipers Nitespot, Whoosh and the Wickham Park Hotel. ”Its imperative for all of us to gather and celebrate our lives in our town”I’m looking forward to using my experience to help the Newcastle Pride Committee deliver the best Hunter Pride Festival yet!

My vision for the future is to provide guidance,help and support to the youth LGBTI Community.