Lismore LGBTI Group Tropical Fruits Welcomes New Club Manager

Northern New South Wales LGBTI group Tropical Fruits is bidding farewell to their club manager of eight years, Hannah Rice-Hayes.

The club manager is the group’s key role, and Tropical Fruits said Hannah has helped the club blossom in recent years and she’ll be sorely missed.

Hannah (pictured, right) said she’s leaving to pursue new opportunities in the environmental conservation sector.

“Eight years ago I was running down the hill at Taronga Zoo, racing to catch the last ferry of the day, when I took a call inviting me to apply for the then Administration Assistant position,” Hannah said.

“In a fluster I agreed to apply, but only on the proviso that it would only be temporary, and when opportunities came up in my chosen field I would take them.

“Evidently, I was lucky enough to get the job. Since then, opportunities have come and gone, we’ve grown the role and the club, and I have never once regretted that ‘yes’.

“Now, the time has come for me to pursue my passion in my chosen field, and to step aside for someone bright and fresh to bring new skills and ideas to the role.”

Hannah said after taking a break she’ll return to support the group’s new manager and she’ll still be an active volunteer with the Tropical Fruits’ new Bush Fruits Landcare group.

She expressed her deep gratitude to Tropical Fruits’ committees, volunteers and members for the opportunity to lead the group.

“The past 8 years have been formative for me, both personally and professionally, and I’m sure I will never ever forget this experience,” she said.

“It has been an honour to have the role, and an ongoing delight to have had worked with such a wonderful bunch of kooks.”

Taking over from Hannah is Tommy Mu Brogden (pictured, left), who said he moved to the Northern Rivers region four years ago from Daylesford in Victoria to “escape the cold winters, dry climate and aggressive bees.”

Since living in this area, Tommy has worked on several community projects including Casino Neighbourhood Centre, On Track Community Programs and Social Futures, and can often be seen marching down Lismore’s Molesworth Street waving a banner or rainbow.

Tommy is also a musician and entertainer, performing at venues in Lismore, Byron, Nimbin and Uki and also presents the Fierce LGBTIQ radio show on local station River FM.

Next month, Tropical Fruits will hold their signature New Years Eve Festival for 2017.

This year’s theme is “Neon Garden,” and the group’s colourful Street Parade through the CBD of Lismore – known by locals as the Rainbow Region – will open the festival before the New Year’s Eve Party and the Recovery Party are held at Lismore Showgrounds.

Partygoers on New Year’s Eve can sashay between three massive dance spaces featuring top Australian and international DJs. Revellers can get the full experience by camping on-site, and local queer artists, musicians and creative types will showcase their work at the Art Exhibition and Cabaret.

For tickets and more information about the Neon Garden NYE Festival, visit the Tropical Fruits website here.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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