A number of changes to directorships took place in today’s board meeting of Organisation Intersex International Australia Limited.
We are proud and delighted to welcome three new board members bringing diverse experience and expertise to the organisation, Alex David, Bonnie Hart and Andie Hider. The appointments strengthen our capacity in Victoria, and give representation to voices in Queensland for the first time. The new directors are introduced below.
At the same time, we note the departures of Gina Wilson and Chris Somers. Both Gina and Chris have played a long and welcome role in the organisation over many years from its founding.
Accompanying these changes, Tony Briffa returns to the role of vice-president.
“I am honoured to return to the role of OII Australia Vice-President and very much look forward to working with the new board members. I have known Alex, Andie and Bonnie for a number of years and each of them will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to OII Australia.”
Morgan, president of OII Australia, commented:
“We are immensely grateful for the contributions of Gina and Chris over the years and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. Our work at OII Australia continues. Thank you to all new, existing and previous board members for their volunteerism, hard work and commitment.”
Further board changes are possible in coming months; we may be fortunate to be in a position to appoint new directors from Northern Territory and Tasmania.
New board members
Alex was born with an ambiguous sex and raised as female until age 18 at which time Alex was told of their intersex status and then realigned to male. Alex now identifies as gender neutral. In recent years, Alex has gradually been getting more involved in activism for intersex people and LGBTIQA communities in general. Alex is also currently completing studies in Computer Science at Queensland University of Technology.
Bonnie Hart is an XY woman and is also the president of the AIS Support Group Australia. She has many years experience talking with other intersex people about their experiences and issues. Bonnie is an interdisciplinary artists and performer. Her intersex story was first told publicly in the documentary she made with her sister, Orchids; My Intersex Adventure (2010).
Andie has partial AIS and has been involved in intersex advocacy and support since 1999. Andie has been a past president and vice president of the AISSGA, for many years holding the position of VP medical liaison, consulting with clinicians. She was also a committee member of the Genetic Support Network of Victoria between 2000 and 2005. Andie has served on the Victorian Government Attorney General’s GLBTI Ministerial Advisory Committee. She has published a number of articles about intersex and ethics, and is also published internationally on the subject of rule of law and human development.
Continuing board members
Tony Briffa returns to the role of vice-president. Tony is one of Australia’s first intersex advocates, appearing on 60 Minutes in 2000, and published in Nature in 2004. Tony more recently presented a statement to the UN Human Rights Council, in 2014. Tony has also been a councillor of Hobsons Bay in Melbourne, where she was the first openly intersex person elected to public office and the world’s first openly intersex Mayor. A former president of AISSGA and a member of previous Victorian Ministerial Advisory Groups, Tony Briffa was elected to the roles of vice-president and secretary of OII Australia in September 2013, retired on 9 November 2014 but returned to the board on 27 April 2015. Tony speaks nationally and internationally on intersex issues.
Morgan Carpenter was elected to the role of president in 2013. Morgan migrated permanently to Australia in 2005. A founding director of OII Australia, Morgan was diagnosed late, with a complex surgical history. Morgan wrote our submissions to Senate Inquiries on anti-discrimination legislation, and involuntary or coerced sterilisation, and also participated in hearings on those Inquiries. Morgan participated in the first intersex side event at the UN Human Rights Council, is an advisor to the first Intersex Human Rights Fund, managed by Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and speaks nationally and internationally. Morgan has been widely published, including by ABC The Drum, SBS The Feed, and The Guardian.
CeeCee Cody holds the role of treasurer. Appointed during 2014, CeeCee was a founding member of the not-for-profit XXY Brain Trust, registered in the USA as Beyond XXY Inc. She has also been the manager of an online community for XXY people.
Karin Gottschalk is an educator, filmmaker, journalist, photographer and writer, and was a founding director and secretary of OII Australia. Karin conceived, co-founded and was European Contributing Editor for a magazine on art, creativity and photography developed with the aim of changing Australian creative culture through storytelling in words and pictures. She volunteers for The Greens as the intersex member of their NSW LGBTI policy working group.
Retiring board members
Chris Somers xxy
Chris Somers xxy is one of the world’s first intersex advocates and our vice-president from May 2010 until September 2013. Chris appeared on the 60 Minutes television program in November 1995, and has had planted an intersex flag on the south pole. Chris holds a Masters in Education by Research from UWA and a diploma in photography. Chris is a Former Honorary Guest Researcher and Fellow at the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health (CUCRH) in Geraldton, Western Australia, where Chris has conducted innovative work with primary healthcare practitioners.
Gina Wilson was our founding president, from May 2010 until she stepped down from that position on 1 September 2013. She later held a position as vice-president. A retired engineer, Gina has had a significant impact on the intersex movement in Australia. Gina established the organisation and has worked to achieve legal change, develop constructive relationships with partners around Australia, and increasing awareness of intersex issues. Her testimony has been published by the Equal Rights Trust. Gina resigned from the board today.