Councillor Tony Briffa JP has joined OII Australia. Tony has been working as an intersex activist for 15 years; along with Michael Noble and Chris Somers XXY, our vice president, this means that all of Australia’s first intersex activists are members of OII Australia.
A deep commitment to Tony’s local community saw Tony re-elected as a genuine independent Councillor in the City of Hobsons Bay, Victoria, in 2012, after first being elected in 2008. In 2011-2012, Tony served as Mayor, becoming the first known intersex mayor anywhere in the world. Tony has also served two terms as Deputy Mayor, between 2009 and 2011. Tony’s biography states:
I am also a Bail Justice and Justice of the Peace, and was the Co-convenor of the Hobsons Bay Residents Association for five years prior to being elected to the Hobsons Bay City Council. Previous community roles includes foster carer (1996 to 2010), member of the Western Health Ethics Committee, President of the Seabrook Community Centre, President of the Genetic Support Network of Victoria, and community representative on various Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committees. I am a former Senior Public Servant and am currently completing a Law Degree. I am also an Honorary Fellow of Victoria University (awarded in 1991).
My qualifications, training and experience – along with my passion for our community – have helped develop my skills to be a effective community representative and advocate. People I work with know I can lead and influence with honour and integrity and make tough decisions when necessary.
Tony said, about joining OII Australia:
OII Australia has a deep commitment to human rights for intersex people in Australia and a great team of advocates. We’re all on the same page, seeking full human rights for intersex people in Australia. There’s so much to do, but I’m proud to be a member and excited by the possibilities.
Tony is spending Monday and Tuesday this week discussing human rights issues in Canberra, a commitment reinforced by the consideration that OII Australia, like all intersex organisations here, is supported entirely through the voluntary work of its members.
Tony is also a founder and committee member of the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group (AISSGA), Australia’s other national intersex organisation. Morgan Carpenter, secretary of OII Australia said that,
Shared membership of both organisations is welcomed as a demonstration of our closer working relationships and mutual respect.
Gina Wilson, president of OII Australia, welcomed Tony saying that,
I warmly welcome Tony Briffa to OII Australia and in becoming a member of OII Australia to the broader international activities of OII. Tony is a well-known and long-time activist for intersex rights. Tony has also had much wider engagement on broader community issues in the role of Mayor of Hobson’s bay.
Tony’s roles as both a respected activist and an administrator bring significant expertise to OII Australia that will be of enormous benefit in our quest for greater rights for intersex people, our engagement with the wider community, and our ability to offer support to intersex people. Tony retains a leading role within the Androgen Insensitivity Support Group Australia which I am certain will facilitate our diverse but united stand for intersex people, intersex rights and intersex support.
OII Australia is a not-for-profit company with charitable status, focusing on the human rights of intersex people in Australia and education around intersex issues. Membership in OII Australia is open to intersex people in Australia, and also to ally individuals and organisations.