After making history as Queensland’s first elected Greens councillor, Jonathan Sriranganathan is handing over the reins to Trina Massey, in another first for the state.
While many are saddened by the news of Cr Sriranganathan stepping down, the election of Trina marks an exciting and important new direction for the seat.
The hand over will make Trina Massey the first openly queer woman of colour ever to hold public office at any level of government in Queensland.
“As a queer Black Asian immigrant woman, I grew up not seeing people like me in politics,” Trina told QNews.
“It means a lot to me to be able to elevate the voices of diverse intersectional communities in such a prominent role.
“You can’t be what you can’t see, and honestly, it’s about damn time…. It is 2023.”
An enduring legacy
Trina’s fierce political advocacy for representation also promises to carry on a legacy that Cr Sriranganathan has fought to uphold over his seven years as councillor.
“I struggle to imagine a better person to take over from me as councillor for the Gabba Ward, which makes the decision to step down a lot easier,” the councillor said in a statement.
“I don’t want to speak for her, but I think we share a lot of the same political values and strategic orientations,” he says, assuring that she will “do a great job of elevating marginalised voices”.
In Trina’s own announcement of her election, she echoes the current councillor’s concerns for transportation connectivity, housing affordability, green spaces and The Arts.
But, “most importantly”, she says, “I want to be a councillor that works with our local community to amplify minority voices and local issues and highlight social struggles.”
A member of the community
Trina’s leadership not only seeks to amplify a platform for queer voices, but a voice that is intimately familiar with the community and the seat of Gabba Ward.
As a Woollongabba resident, Trina has an innate connection and understanding of the diverse range of voices that make up the constituents of this ward, and many of the residents are also already familiar with Trina.
And as an artist with a long history within the music industry, holding senior roles with arts and entertainment management organisations, Trina also knows the cultural significance that these spaces hold for queer people.
Additionally, Trina hails from a background of working in local government, providing her the necessary expereince to build upon these connections with the community in a meaninful, impactful way.
So if her leadership skills are at all reflective of her DJ skills, it’s safe to say the seat of Gabba Ward is in safe hands.
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.