Advisory Board members provide guidance on issues affecting LGBTIQ Catholic persons, their family, friends and allies. The Advisory Board provides practical and strategic advice to support the total work of the organising grassroots community to improve the lives of LGBTIQ Catholics, their families, friends and allies to promote a just and inclusive church and society.
Dr. Paul Collins, Advisory Board Member
“Jesus came to call us to discipleship and to be his ministers in the world. He didn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, but opened his arms to all – gay, straight, bi, trans – and included every single one of us in the call to the kingdom of God. If the church claims to be the community he founded then it too must include all and be open to all people, irrespective of gender and sexuality. Nature is immeasurably diverse and Catholicism, a word derived from the Greek meaning ‘the whole’, or ‘universal’, must surely be able to embrace that diversity. And, as Catholics, in the end it is our conscience that must guide us. It is there that we stand starkly before God, and it is there in our deepest conscientious decisions that we are most radically free.”
Melody Gardiner – Advisory Board Member
Prof. Sr Patricia Malone RSJ, Advisory Board Member
“We are all created with the potential to love and, as limited
images of a Creator, who is only capable of loving and knowing. My response to this mystery is one of absolute wonder and joy. I therefore can only wish to belong to Christ’s Church, as I understand it, with an attitude of openness and welcome, to all who love God and love each other.”
Les & Sue Mico, Advisory Board Members
“We are Catholic Parents of two gay sons – born out of love and nurtured
from the start with our love and our faith. Our sons have a God-given diversity and no one should connect misunderstanding, fear or ignorance with anything to do with their lives. We have learned to understand and affirm them & celebrate their presence at the table of our Lord and our families. We have lived sadness, confusion, pain and anger, through unjust Civil and Church attitudes. Yet, our pride of our children bursts from within us, as we talk of them and with them. Families are about love and respect, that’s what we are about, that’s what Families should be about. We have torn down any barriers between parent and child and readily accept them for who they are ‘God’s children’. All have the God given right to love and be loved, respectfully. Our sons and daughters should not be unjustly marginalised, nor discriminated against by church nor community. Our goal is to mediate with the religious and community leaders to break down unsubstantiated barriers and gain acceptance and equality in the world.”
Matthew Boon Meng Ng, Advisory Board Member
“Matthew is a youth campaigner, consultant and trade unionist. He’s worked and consulted for non-profits, trade unions, universities and faith groups. He spent his childhood in Saudi Arabia and received the sacrament of Holy Communion and Confirmation at the Irish and American Embassies. Matthew is a Board Director for Interns Australia – an advocacy and consulting firm and is a committee member for Acceptance Sydney, a welcoming ministry for Gay and Lesbian Catholics”
Benjamin Oh, Advisory Board member, Chair
“Like all forms of discrimination, hate and bigotry- Homophobia destroys lives, it damages the victim, the oppressor and the silent bystander by dehumanizing a fellow human being. As Christians, we are called to bring about peace with justice in our world. An inclusive and affirming Catholic Christian community grounded on social justice principles and Catholic Social Teaching can save lives, however the opposite is also true. I pray for a world where all lives are cherished and each person is supported to realize their unique flourishing.”
Tony Robertson, Advisory Board Member
Tony is a Brisbane based social worker, who also uses his skills as a photographer to promote social change and equity in the community. He spent six years with the Capuchin Friars as a young adult and has been involved in various public ministries of the Church as a speaker, educator and retreat leader. Tony is an occasional commentator on LGBTI issues for the ABC and has extensive media experience writing press releases and responding to interview requests. He is currently the Spiritual Life facilitator for the L’Arche community in Brisbane. Tony is a member of the Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group and supports Gar’ban’djee’lum Network an independent social network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, sistergirls and brotherboys (GLBTSB) in and around Brisbane.
Matt McGirr, Advisory Board Member
“Matt McGirr is a solicitor at Gilbert + Tobin, where he works in the litigation team, dealing primarily in commercial disputes, including arbitrations and mediations, along with investigations and regulatory difficulties. Matt also focusses his professional practice on insurance disputes and general legal advice. He has previously acted for a number of clients on various matters, including the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Commission, as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Matt therefore has a unique and in-depth understanding of the issue of abuse within the Catholic Church. Previously, Matt has worked in the residential college environment, and was Deputy Head of The Kensington Colleges within the University of New South Wales. This role involved a significant pastoral component. Matt was responsible, with the Head of College, for the welfare and care for over 220 university students. Matt has honours degrees in both arts and law, and wrote his arts honours thesis on gender and sexuality within Catholic seminaries in 1950s Australia. He has an ongoing interest in religious and cultural histories, and particularly in the context of Australia and Australian Catholicism. Matt was raised as a Catholic in the Blue Mountains, and as a young student, briefly studied at the Good Shepherd Seminary in Homebush for the diocesan priesthood. Matt left the seminary after discerning that his vocation lay elsewhere.”
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