Local community group Wendybird to close after seven years


wendybird brisbane social group new farm lgbtiq
Photo: Wendybird/Facebook

For seven years Wendybird has redefined community in Brisbane.

In a touching Facebook post on Tuesday, the group announced its closure.

Citing burnout and a lack of funds the group will host their final event in November.

Wendybird: Redefining community

In September 2014 a small community social group was formed in Brisbane.

Led by local woman and co-founder Sally Morris the group started small with big aspirations.

Their first goal, to create a safe community space that redefined how the LGBTIQA+ community connected.

Creating safe, inclusive, drug and alcohol-free events that connected community members in new and innovative ways proved a hit.

From this small idea grew a thriving community as year after year Wendybird grew bigger and brighter.

As the group increased in size they continued to expand and connect with others groups in the Brisbane community.

The group and their co-founder Sally Morris collected countless awards, including at the local Trans Community Awards and the historic Queens Ball Awards.

As the years went by Wendybird became involved in LGBTIQA+ national fundraising, even securing small community grants to keep them running.

In 2018 Wendybird launched their own podcast, Trailblazers.

When Covid-19 tried to grind the world to a halt, the group persevered, moving their events online.

It seemed like nothing would stop them.

A farewell to Wendybird

In an all too common situation for volunteer-run organisations, in 2021 the organisers have reached burnout.

Taking to a Facebook on Tuesday the group announced that they no longer have the capacity to continue operating.

“We would like to share with you all that after 7 years we have made the incredibly difficult decision to close Wendybird” the group announced.

The group acknowledged the amazing community that has been created and the countless hours of volunteer work that helped keep it running.

However, they had to acknowledge the deep toll the organisation took on its organisers and their ability to continue operating.

“Our commitment to Wendybird meant that personally, we put many things in life on hold. Our personal goals, our hobbies, our self-care, our health, our own social lives and friendships – in the doing of Wendybird our own needs came last. We’ve reached a stage in life where putting ourselves last is no longer sustainable. We need to reinvest our time, energy and care back into ourselves.”

“You can’t pour from an empty cup”

Describing the countless hours of work it took to keep the group operational the group acknowledged their need for and lack of funding to keep operational.

“We also worked hard on countless funding applications and pitched partnering opportunities but were never successful in getting the big wins across the line, the kind that could pay people for their time, knowledge and skills.” A harsh truth that the group had to acknowledge and face and a decision that would not have come lightly.

But while the announcement was tinged with sadness, as is the Wendybird way they encouraged the community to continue to connect in their absence.

“While Wendybird may be ending, we invite you – our vibrant community – to continue carrying on the spirit of Wendybird. When you are feeling alone, remember that community isn’t somewhere we go, rather something we do. So find your people, reach across the divides, connect with each other, and continue to build the communities you dream of.”

You can join Wendybird for their final event on Sunday the 28th of November 2021.

The event will be held at the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre from 1pm – 4pm.

Take a look at Wendybird Speaks: LGBTIQ Digital Story Telling Project below.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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