Better Together Conference Schedule

FRIDAY 12 JANUARY, DAY 1 schedule at a GLANCE

8.00 am | Registration

9.00 am | Opening Plenary +

  • Welcome to country by Annette Xiberras & Matthew Gardiner
  • Welcome message by Martin Foley, Minister for Equality
  • Ceremonial handover by Jamie Gardiner
  • Welcome message by Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Executive Director, The Equality Project
  • Music by Frock Hudson
  • Community Impact Survey report by Kaye Bradshaw from Collective Impact & Ian Seal from Three For All Foundation
  • Personal story by Dani Weber
  • Panel discussion - Are We Better Together? with Daniel Witthaus, Esther Montgomery, Misty Farquhar, Grant Maynard
  • Personal story by Sarah McBride
  • Personal story by Dean Beck
  • Ross Murray (GLAAD) & Paul Twocock (Stonewall)

11.00 am | Break


  • Bisexual Caucus with Anthony Lekkas, Ruby Mountford, Misty Farquhar
  • Histories & Journeys, a roundtable discussion with Human Rights Campaign (Sarah McBride), Stonewall UK (Paul Twocock), GLAAD (Ross Murray) and GANDA Filipinas (Naomi Fontanos)
  • Outside the Big Smoke, presented by Daniel Witthaus, Andrea Boudville, Damien Stevens (A rural/Regional symposium)
  • Together We Sparkle, presented by Rainbow Families NSW
  • Queer People of Colour (QPOC) Caucus
  • Queers podcast by Ben Riley & Simon Copland
  • Deaf & Queer, presented by Sherrie Beaver, Deaf Victoria, delivered in Auslan, sign language of the Australian Deaf community, English interpreted. The panel includes Irena Farinacci, Tom McCaul, David Little and Karthik Vijayanandam

12.45 pm | Lunch Break

1.30 pm | Afternoon Plenary +

  • Bisexual research by Ella Buczak
  • Trans family story by Janet Rice
  • Music by Frock Hudson
  • Keynote by Matthew Cooksey
  • Lesbian research by Kate Marks
  • Surrogacy by Stephen Page
  • Deaf story by Caitlin Johnson

3.00 pm | Break

3.15 pm - 5.15 pm | Afternoon Sessions +

  • Creating Queer Families through Surrogacy, a roundtable discussion with Felicity Marlowe, Simon Crouch, Karen Walker, Sarah Gandolfo, Stephen Page, Michelle Sheppard, Parents of Gender Diverse Children Victoria & Rainbow Families
  • Bisexual Visibility — Anthony Lekkas, Misty Farquhar
  • Engaging Evangelicals, presented by Nathan Despott, Nicole Conner, Dean Beck, Natalie Coooper, Keith Mascord, Katecia Taylor, Tiarn Edwards
  • Mediation Training : Resolving Disputes & Creating Understanding by Robert Simon
  • Aboriginal Queer Perspective with Todd Fernando, Maddee Clark, Jimmi Peters, Denise McGuinness, facilitated by Thomas Bevan
  • Cartooning Workshop presented by Matt Glover

5.15 pm - 6.30 pm | Evening Sessions +

  • Intersex Justice & Equality, presented by Morgan Carpenter, Paul Byrne-Moroney, Steph Lum, Elise Nyhuis, Cody Smith
  • People of Colour - Performance, Representation & Visibility, with Dani Weber, Mama Alto, Racerage, Davey Thompson, China Aleisse
  • DETOX : A workshop that invites LGBTIQ commuity members (and allies) to reclaim our Pride in who we are. It honours the body as a site for building strength and Pride. Presented Catherine Barrett & Felicity Marlowe
  • Encountering the LGBTIQ Community Workshop for Allies by Matt Glover
  • Question the Question, Moving Beyond Subconscious Bias to True Equality and Equity by Sally Goldner
  • Post-Marriage Equality discussion with Rodney croome, Wil Stracke, Ali Hogg, Anna Brown, Sally Rugg, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Adam Knobel
  • Community Organisations and the Role of Volunteerism by Jo Ball, Switchboard Victoria

7.00 pm | Exclusive event with Billie Jean King +

  • Private screening of Battle of the Sexes at The Laneway Club, Garden Square, Rod Laver Arena
  • How to get there via tram: Catch the No.70 tram which stops at the Rod Laver Arena tram stop.
  • How to get there on foot: Walk via Birrarung Marr. 10 minutes from Flinders St Station.
  • Please make sure you bring your conference lanyards to gain access to this function. Hosted by the Australian Open.
  • Dress : smart casual


8.00 AM - 11.00 AM | GLAAD Media Institute

9.00 AM - 10.00 AM | MORNING SESSIONS I +

  • Transgender Caucus with Nevo Zisin, Michelle Sheppard, Loz Visser (9.00am - 11.00am)
  • Unfinished Business - Where to From Here in Australia and the Asia Pacific? presented by Lee Carnie, Alistair Lawrie, Emily Dwyer, Graham Willet, Aimee Cooper, Denis Altman
  • LGBTI Inclusion in the Workplace with Ashleigh Sternes & Mark Latchford (ACON)
  • Queering Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disability with Dr Amie O’Shea, Shea Macdonough, Jax Jacki Brown, Matthew Parsons & Nathan Despott
  • The Rise of Rainbow Atheism by Geoff Allshorn

10.00 AM - 11.00 AM | MORNING SESSIONS II +

  • Sports Symposium with Jason Ball, Ryan Storr, Angie Greene, Matt Jansen, Melbourne Dragons, Katie Lio, Casey Conway, Erik Denison
  • Reasons for Optimism : Working with History, presented by Lindy Edwards
  • Disability Symposium with Mellem Rose, Ayman Barbaresco, Grant Maynard, Jax Jacki Brown
  • Developing an Ally Network by Clare Ellis
  • Rainbows in Schools: How can we best influence schools to be more LGBTQIA inclusive? Presented by Megan Grigg & Vanessa Gonzales. If you’re a parent/carer or you work in or with schools, come along and add to the conversation which will include preliminary results of the Rainbows in Schools Survey, as well as a discussion about setting up an ongoing working party or interest group.

11.00 am | Break

11.30 am - 1.00 pm | Morning Sessions III +

  • Intersectional Queer Lives - LGBTIQ Refugees & Asylum Seekers
  • Tango Project : Encounters Workshop - This workshop brings LGBTI Elders together with advocacy, complaint & support services to empower LGBTI Elders and build more LGBTI inclusive services. Facilitated by Catherine Barrett
  • Building a National Rights Organisation, presented by GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and Stonewall UK
  • Integrating LGBTIQ Inclusive Practice into Generic Mental Health Services presented, presented by Katie Larsen + Mental Health & Transgender People by Brenda Appleton (Auslan interpreted)
  • Beyond Sorry, The Apology as Work, presented by Equal Voices
  • Gay Caucus with Simon Crouch, Adam Bourne, Max Primmer, Matt Renwick

1.00 pm | Lunch Break

1.30 pm - 3.15 pm | Afternoon Plenary +

  • Intersex plenary with Tony Briffa
  • Music by Dolly Diamond
  • Keynote by Gregory Phillips
  • Reflections on Faith & Inclusion by Nicole Conner, Anthony Venn-Brown, Matt Glover

3.15 pm | Break

3.30 pm - 5.00 pm | Afternoon Sessions +

  • PGD Trans Pathways Survey with Megan McDonald, Penelope Strauss, Karyn Walker
  • The Importance of Queer Identities on the Screen - Where to From Here?, a roundtable discussion with Ana Kokkinos, Caroline Pitcher, Cerise Howard, Graeme Mason, Ross Murray & Stuart Richards, Daniel White
  • Part 1 - Equality & Diversity from the Transgender Perspective, Lisette Claremont-Goulet, Part 2 - Think About It Project : “Where are they now?” presented by Damien Stevens
  • His/Their Story with Max Primmer, Daniel Witthaus, Michael Di Marco, Lucy Thomas
  • Melbourne Bi Network Strategies for Health & Resistance with Anthony Lekkas, Mellem Rose, Ruby Mountford
  • Lesbian Caucus with Wil Stracke, Esther Montgomery
  • Intersex Caucus with Tony Briffa & Morgan Carpenter

5.00 pm - 6.00 pm | Evening Sessions +

  • Queer Families & the Law with Robert Simon, Sally Nicholes, Stephen Page, VARTA
  • How Faith Communities can Support Transgender People, presented by Michelle McNamara
  • How Queer Muslims navigate the Muslim & LGBTIQ Communities with Hiba Casablanca, et al
  • The World of Work - Global Talent Trends and the Young LGBTIQ Workforce presented by Georgina Lee, Rhys McKinnon (Mercer)
  • Exploring Strategies to Engage the LGBTIQ Community with Elise Cafarella, Lucy Thomas, Tony Dang
  • Disability Caucus with Jax Jacki Brown

6.00 pm | Break

6.30 pm - 8.15 pm | Closing Plenary : What's Next? +

  • Personal story by Nevo Zisin
  • Justin Koonan (ACON)
  • Buddhism & Coming Out by Michelle McNamara
  • Policy Guide launch by Nathan Despott
  • Caucus presentations
  • Music by Mama Alto
  • Democracy & Colour, Tim Lo Surdo
  • Keynote speech, Benjamin Law
  • Final words, Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, Executive Director, The Equality Project

Session times and room allocations subject to change at short notice. A printed timetable will be provided on the day. All the plenary sessions will be Auslan interpreted.

Networking Events

BEER & BBQ Night | 11 JAN

On Thursday 11th January, the Victorian Trades Hall Council will host a Beer & BBQ Night that will mark the launch of Better Together 2018.

The event is a valuable networking opportunity for conference attendees to mingle before the 2-day conference begins on the 12th January. Leaders from LGBTI organisations from around the world including the Human Rights Campaign, UK Stonewall, GLAAD Institute for Media, GANDA Filipinas will be in attendance.

You must RSVP to attend the Beer & BBQ night.

Exclusive event with Billie Jean King | 12 JAN

The Australian Open is hosting an exclusive function for Better Together 2018 attendees on Friday 12th January in the evening. The time and location will be made available during the conference. Please ensure you keep your (1-day or 2-day) conference lanyard to gain access to this event. Dress code: smart casual.