Katherine comes to IRV with over a decade of experience working on disability and LGBTIQA+ advocacy, policy, engagement, and community development.
Katherine has worked across Local Government, State Government, not-for-profit and creative industry settings, delivering projects and programs that promote accessibility, inclusion and justice for LGBTIQA+ people with disability.
Katherine is a queer, non-binary and disabled and is a passionate supporter of disability arts and culture.
Inclusive Rainbow Voices launched in April 2023 at the Victoria Pride Centre in Melbourne.
You can view the launch in full via the video embedded below.
Our Management Committee
Our management committee is made up of a group of LGBTIQA+ people with disability across Victoria.
Jax Brown (ON LEAVE) (they/them), OAM
Jax Brown (they/them) is an esteemed disability and LGBTIQA+ rights activist, writer, educator and consultant. Jax is the co-chair of Inclusive Rainbow Voices. Jax’s tireless commitment to LGBTIQA+ disability human rights and advocacy has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Jax utilises their experience as a queer trans wheelchair user to explore intersectional identities. They view disability as a socio-political question and wants to see solutions with an intersectional lens and equality, access, and human rights at the heart of it.
Jax has served on the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, Victorian Government’s LGBTI Taskforce Health and Human Services Working Group, and the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Disability Reference Group.
Jax is interested in how we can build a just and equitable society which fosters resilience, pride and community for LGBTIQA+ people with disabilities.
Margherita Coppolino (she/her)
Margherita is lesbian with disability from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background. She brings expertise from her intersectional lived experience as well as her activism, advocacy, and professional experience. Margherita has been representing and working on issues for women, people with disability, CALD and disability communities since 1980.
Margherita has extensive knowledge and experience working with LGBTIQ+ communities and allies. She is well known and well regarded across LGBTIQ+ communities in Victoria, Australia, Oceania and beyond, particularly for her advocacy around LGBTIQ+ disability intersectionality. She is considered as a lesbian elder within Victorian LGBTIQ+ communities.
Margherita currently holds positions as Co-Chairperson of ILGA Oceania and board member of ILGA World. She is appointed to the Victorian Government LGBTIQ+ Taskforce. She is Deputy President of Drummond Street Services’ board and a founding member and Secretary on the management committee of Inclusive Rainbow Voices (LGBTIQA+ People with Disability)
Frances Brennan (she/her)
Frances Brennan (she/her) is a speech pathologist, allied health practice owner and
operator, mentor, trainer and disability advocate.
Frances has been working with children and young adults with additional learning needs for
over a decade in a variety of settings, from hospitals, to rehab centres, youth detention
facilities, schools and now at her own holistic neurodiverse-affirming speech pathology clinic
in outer Melbourne.
At the age of 30 Frances was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Frances proudly identifies as
neurodiverse and is passionate about changing the way we talk and think about Autism,
particularly countering the experience of shame many young Autistic people experience.
Frances is a regular speaker for Autistic advocacy organisations such as Yellow Ladybugs and
Reframing Autism and regularly conducts training in schools and at not-for-profit organisations so they can better support their young people.
Frances completed her Honours and Master degrees at La Trobe University. In her limited spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her Dachshunds Alfie and Hugo, spoiling her nieces and newphews, DIY projects and trying to avoid mowing the lawn.
Kochava Lilit (zey/zir, they/them)
Kochava Lilit (zey/zir, they/them) is a queer disabled activist, educator, and writer. In their work as an access consultant, workshop facilitator, and speaker zey draws on zir lived experience as a non-binary neurodivergent physically disabled Jew, their connections to their queer Disabled communities, and an idea of the future that is shaped by disability justice and transformative justice. Their work can be found at kochavalilit.com .
Sam Martin (he/him)
Sam Martin (He/Him/His) is a Deaf Gay/Queer cis man living in Melbourne. Sam is a highly motivated and passionate professional with strong experience working in engagement, marketing and project management within the not-for-profit sector, specifically at Deaf organisations in NSW, Victoria and Nationally.
He is also a freelance filmmaker, theatre maker and creative producer exploring ideas of the many facets of identities, inclusivity, navigating English and Auslan, and empowering and encouraging the Deaf and queer community. In his spare time, Sam largely volunteers for the Deaf Queer community in NSW and Victoria through his position as a board member of Deaf Rainbow NSW as well as in a personal capacity.
Sam is also a board member of Arts Access Victoria.
Jake Lewis (he/him)
Jake Lewis is a community development worker & LGBTIQ disability advocate. He has worked extensively in LGBTIQ community health, disability support services and disability advocacy.
Jakes more recent work has involved coordinating LGBTIQ disability projects which aim to:
- Build the capacity of organisations to be more accessible and inclusive
- Empower individuals through self-advocacy, participation and co-design of resources
- Increase understanding and acceptance within the LGBTIQ and broader community
- Working with government and organisations towards increasing the participation of people with a disability in volunteering.
- Working with Aboriginal Legal Services to support people, families and communities to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission.
Jake is also known for his work as DJ and promoter in Melbournes vibrant queer dance community.
Cameron Bloomfield (he/him)
Cameron Bloomfield, is a gay man with an intellectual disability who lives with his partner Jack.
Cameron is the peer worker for Rainbow Rights and Advocacy, a self-advocacy group for LGBTIQ+ people with intellectual disability.
Cameron is a trainer at Voice At The Table, providing professional development to organisations on including people with cognitive disability on management committees and advisory groups.
Cameron has been lead researcher with Deakin University and a project collaborator with Inclusion Melbourne working on projects relating to LGBTIQ+ people with intellectual disability.
Cameron is a founding member of Inclusive Rainbow Voices (LGBTIQA+ People with Disability).
Kyriakos Gold (he/them)
Kyriakos is a polymath whose work and research focuses on communicating social impact and the value of shared resources in doing so. Their career has been driven by creating positive social impact through real-world research and enabling people and organisations to participate in shared value ecosystems.
Kyriakos is the founder and CEO of the leading Australian social enterprise, Just Gold. They previously led the multicultural portfolio communications and events team for the Victorian Department of Premier, produced major multicultural events, and have a long-standing international broadcasting career. In Australia, they are best known for their award-winning work with the multicultural public broadcaster SBS.
During their PhD research at the Centre for Social Impact, Kyriakos focused on creating a branding blueprint for the social sector, examining the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as a case study.
Kyriakos is an Australian lawyer (non-practising) and holds a Juris Doctor and an Executive MBA from RMIT, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University, a BA in International Studies from the University of Adelaide, and multiple awards and scholarships, including a commendation from NSW parliament
Dr Alexandra Johnston PhD, MAPP, GCER, GCUT, BEd, BArts (she/her)
Dr Alexandra Johnston (she/her) is an Autistic, disabled, queer cis female. Alexandra holds a PhD from RMIT University, a Masters in Applied Positive from the University of Melbourne and brings to the IRV Board over 25 years’ experience as an academic, researcher, social anthropologist, educator, consultant, facilitator, and advocate. Alexandra’s career highlights include providing trauma-informed strategic leadership in co-designing with community representatives from under-represented and multiply marginalised groups to help us understand better what work needs to be done to support the full breadth of our LGBTIQA+ community.
Alexandra’s current post-doctoral research is focused on Autistic academics, who are underrepresented in Australasian universities. Autistic academics experience a range of workplace wellbeing challenges including executive functioning, mental-health, stigma, and self-advocacy difficulties. This group of differences varies as a function of individual and contextual factors, making it difficult for Autistic academics to access effective support and impacting their ability to thrive in their careers. Alexandra’s research aim is to elevate interdisciplinary Autistic academics’ voices through a social capacity-building neuro-affirming digital environment co-designed with Autistic academics. Her research contribution re-frames a) the dominant problematisation of autism as a deficit and b) neuro-normative wellbeing discourse to conceptualise how strengths-use for Autistic academics promotes thriving in academia. The results will identify wellbeing priorities for researchers to guide future practice and research with and for Autistic academics.
Alexandra is a LGBTIQA+ keynote speaker, presenting her research at conferences nationally and internationally. She is an Autistic advocate with Reframing Autism and the Neurodiverse Teacher Advisory Group, an international association of neurodivergent academics from across the globe. Alexandra is a member of several committees, including the Student Wellbeing through Pedagogy and Curriculum working group and previously held an advisory position as a member on the Megalo Print Studio Board, ACT. She has successfully secured multiple grants to fund her research as an LGBTIQA+ disabled academic.As a LGBTIQA+ neuroaffirming wellbeing consultant, Alexandra collaborates with Autistic people in organisations including Reframing Autism, University of Melbourne, TechDiversity Foundation, Clicks IT Recruitment and Specialisterne on building a shared understanding of the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce and the positive impact neurodivergence has on organisational culture. Her focus is on leading and creating cultures that celebrate LGBTIQA+ individuals with disabilities. Alexandra’s mission is to strategically elevate voices and spearhead evidence based co-design solutions focused on access, equity, equality, intersectionality, and the emancipation of human rights with and for LGBTIQA+ people with disabilities.
Ash Hem (he/they)
Ash Hem is a lived experience worker, peer worker, artist and facilitator. In all these things they pull from their lived experiences to create things and support others. This includes their queerness, gender, culture, disability and other bits of their life. They work across mental health, disability, LGBTQIA+, migrant and refugee, youth, arts and advocacy areas.