QC’s Rebecca Reynolds on Year Endings and New Beginnings

qc president peter black melissa fox
Rebecca Reynolds, Melissa Fox & Peter Black at unveiling of portrait by Mikarla Teague.

Rebecca Reynolds from the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC) looks to the year-end and the year ahead. As QC looks to 2022, the organisation pays tribute to former President, Peter Black, and welcomes longtime board member Melissa Fox into the role.

2021 has been a year right? We thought that 2020 was one for the record books, but the endless pressure from Health Directives, finances and housing uncertainty to name a few has not really had much of an outlet… And the pressure kept building for many of us. We count our blessings for the good fortune to be able to celebrate together and celebrate each other on so many occasions this year in our corner of the world. But we acknowledge that it is a joy with an edginess new to many of us. It feels like the coming year-end will mark a point in time for us all in a way many have never known before.

It heralds new beginnings for the folk at QC also. Most significantly in our external facing world with the welcoming of Melissa Fox into the role of President of the organisation.

New President, Melissa Fox

Mel herself says she has big shoes to fill in continuing the work most recently taken on by outgoing President Peter Black. Not just in the integrity of the work needed to grow the equity much missing for many in our communities. But in holding the responsibility of advocating to those who hold the power and purse strings to make real the changes we desperately need within our communities, and who run the risk of being a casualty of COVID.

Where resources are scarce – resourcefulness is a much-needed skill. That is a skill that Melissa Fox has aplenty. She brings to many different roles in our Queensland LGBTIQ+ communities. With a new year and new challenges, resourcefulness is going to be a valuable commodity.

And so there is hope. Hope is a wonderful legacy to leave both the organisation and our communities as Pete moves on to new adventures.

You can read the public profile of outgoing QC President Peter Black in many places and immediately recognise the significant contribution he has made not only to QC, but to LGBTIQ+ communities in Queensland more broadly.

Brisbane Pride Lifetime Achievement Award

This year, Brisbane Pride recognised Pete with their Lifetime Achievement Award, which was fitting, as his publicly listed achievements are many.

Peter Black is the Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching for the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. He has a B.A./LL.B. (Hons I) from the University of Queensland and an LL.M. from Columbia University in New York. Pete is the President of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC). He also currently serves on the board of Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and the Postgraduate Medical Education Council of Queensland. He also sits on the Queensland Government’s LGBTI Roundtable and was 2019-2020 Chair of the Queensland Government’s Anti–Cyberbullying Advisory Committee.

For many years, Peter has advocated for LGBTI equality, including marriage equality. As a director of AME during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, he served as Queensland Coordinator of the Equality Campaign. He previously served on the management committee of the LGBTI Legal Service. He was also LGBTI representative on the Inclusive Brisbane Board (an advisory board to the Lord Mayor of Brisbane). As a board member of the Brisbane Pride Festival, he served two years as President.

Compassion and integrity

It speaks to a committed member of our communities who provided services above and beyond the mere mortal. But that doesn’t fully capture everything that Pete means to us at QC, to our organisation and our communities. Pete sat through countless hard conversations. He listened and leaned into the sadness and joy felt by many members of our team and of our communities. He recognised the inextricable and multifaceted links of peer-led and community-owned organisations and navigated through them with compassion and integrity. Pete acknowledges the power he has in his life. He has consistently used that to bring light and life to the lived experiences of those sharing our communities. To say Pete will be missed at QC is an understatement. However, the legacy of his work and his sincere, collaborative approach will be a beacon for our work for years to come.

A message from Peter Black

I am incredibly excited about the future of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, as it continues to expand its services, supports and partnerships to local communities all across the State, so that all LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy Queenslanders live longer and happier lives, and have access to the services and supports they need, no matter where they live. QC’s strength has always come from the support, the love and the honesty of the diverse LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities it works in, for and with.

I hope that folk all over the State will continue to get involved as supporters, volunteers, and members of QC. Together we will be able to drive the change we need for our communities.

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.

Rebecca Reynolds
Rebecca Reynolds

Rebecca Reynolds is the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC) E: rreynolds@qc.org.au

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