The Auckland Pride Festival Board and Community Partners would like to welcome two new members to our APFI Board, James Bennett & Zakk d’Larté as well as thanking Vinnie Sykes and Paul Patton who retired from the board after the 2016 Pride Festival.
Kirsten Sibbit, Co-Chair of APF Board, says “we are really excited to have James and Zakk join our team. With them, they bring youth, experience and a fresh passion to the Board as we develop our plans for the best ever Auckland Pride Festival in 2017”
James has recently arrived back to Auckland from living in Sydney for the past 5 years. He comes to the Pride board with recent experience as the Senior Manager of Business Services for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. James’s background is with large business in Financial and Administrative Systems and Processes. He is currently finding his feet again in the Rainbow Community and is volunteering with community organisations like Outline, our nationwide phone helpline for LGBTQI queries, and also working on a community-based information tool that will invest back into our Rainbow Community.
James says “I’m really excited to be working with such a wonderful team at the Auckland Pride Festival and really look forward to getting to know members of the community as we consult them to make our Pride Festival bigger, better and brighter than ever in 2017. I also look forward to gaining more support from sponsors and Government to make the Auckland Pride Festival not only a great nationwide event but also a great attraction for international visitors to see how truly proud we are of our Rainbow Communities achievements throughout our beautiful country, Aotearoa.”
Zakk comes to the Board with a background in design and youth advocacy and enjoys being able to push the boundaries with his creative flair. Born and raised in Auckland, he is a designer at heart and has nearly five years’ experience working with print and digital media and aims to bring fresh and innovative ideas to Pride.
One of his passions is to help raise visibility for transgender and gender non-conforming people, such as himself, by educating the public and bringing attention to the issues that our communities face. Zakk prides himself as being a young person with conviction and vision to empower youth around the world to take a stand in our community and be catalysts for change. He is an artistic, focused and detail-oriented individual with a desire to make a difference.
Zakk is eager to join the team and says that “youth empowerment, engagement and identity in our LGBTQI community is very important to me. I endeavor to provide opportunities that will inspire the younger members of our community to be active and evoke change. Being on the Board gives me a bigger platform to continue the work that I’ve been doing, and take it to new heights.”
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