Queensland LGBTIQ+ Roundtable

The Queensland Government is committed to respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights as the cornerstone of a fair and inclusive society.

As part of this commitment, the Queensland Government established a Queensland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer + (LGBTIQ+) Roundtable (the Roundtable) to ensure that the voices of LGBTIQ+ communities are heard.

The Roundtable is administered by the Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts.


The Roundtable provides an effective engagement mechanism for Queensland’s LGBTIQ+ communities to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities with the Queensland Government and to strengthen outcomes for communities.

The Roundtable assists the Queensland Government to ensure development and delivery of services, policies, programs and strategies is inclusive of, and responsive to, the needs of people of diverse sex, gender and sexuality.


Membership includes:

  • individuals and network/organisational representatives from within LGBTIQ+ communities including First Nations peoples, people who are culturally and linguistically diverse, people with disability, younger people and older people across Queensland
  • representatives of Queensland Government agencies including:
    • Department of Justice and Attorney-General
    • Department of Education
    • Queensland Health
    • Public Service Commission representative of the LGBTIQ+ Steering Committee
    • Queensland Human Rights Commission
    • Queensland Police Service.

Membership term

Membership is for a two-year term with meetings held quarterly.

Role of members

Members have the opportunity to discuss and highlight emerging issues, challenges and opportunities relating to the LGBTIQ+ community with the Queensland Government; share their knowledge and expertise relating to the topics discussed at meetings; consider matters out of session as required which may include providing feedback to related strategies, policies and procedures; and to engage further with LGBTIQ+ communities and networks as part of their role when required.

Current members

The Secretariat of the Queensland LGBTIQ+ Roundtable on behalf of the Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts express our deep sadness at the passing of LGBTIQ+ Roundtable member Mr Phillip Carswell OAM on 17 March 2024, and send our sincere condolences to Phil’s husband, family and friends.

We thank Phil for the enormous contribution he made to advancing Queensland’s LGBTIQ+ communities over four decades, and we honour the legacy of inclusion and progress that he leaves behind for all Queenslanders.

Brenton Creed

Mr Creed is a Traditional Owner and Native Title Applicant of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun, lands and seas of the Wulgurukaba People, is a part-time carer for his mother and emerging community leader.

Mr Creed is well connected in Townsville and is a member of several committees including the Townsville City Council Inclusive Communities Advisory Committee that provides information and advice to Council on current and emerging social planning and community development matters to create a city that is accessible and inclusive for all people.

He has good knowledge of the issues that affect LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy people including the need for appropriate and inclusive services.

Charmaine Tolhurst

Representing Rainbow on the Reef

Charmaine is a dedicated advocate, aiming to nurture a culture of pride in identity and diversity as a director and a founding member of Rainbow on the Reef, a not-for-profit in Central Queensland which focuses on creating conditions for empowerment and celebrating LGBTQIA+ youth and community.

With the creation and planning of the annual Gladstone Pride Festival, Charmaine has been able to include her passion for co-design and person-centred practices, along with the Rainbow on the Reef volunteers to create fun, informative and inclusive events that recognise community strengths and connect people with valuable services and each other.

Charmaine demonstrates the positive impact of collaboration by forging partnerships with local businesses and heavy industry; engaging with these sectors to bring visibility to LGBTQIA+ concerns in diverse community spaces, foster understanding and cultivate positive change.

Grace Sholl

Ms Sholl has sat on several high-level university committees and advocates for students of diverse backgrounds. She has reviewed university policies to implement university and student-led initiatives. She also sits on several mental health research committees.

Ms Sholl has lived experience of suicide, mental illness and disability that have impacted her life. She is concerned about the mental health issues experienced by the community as well as homelessness and unsafe housing.

Ms Sholl has worked with Headspace to represent LGBTIQ+ young people and educate the community through media campaigns and community engagement. She has also led the Gold Coast Health Australian Workplace Equality Index project, compiling a report on how LGBTIQ+ staff are supported in the workplace, socially and through formal policy.

James Fowler

James grew up in Hervey Bay, a town where at the time there was little LGBTQIA+ representation and community. Now living in Brisbane, James is committed to using his lived experience and those of others in the community to develop mental health resources and interventions.

James is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland exploring a queer-focused, self-guided, digital mental health program. Within the LGBTQIA+ space, James also conducts research exploring gender affirming hormone therapy, the aromantic community, and PrEP uptake in young people.

Outside of research, James is involved in teaching as a lecturer in psychology, and supervising students in a variety of community focused research projects. He previously co-developed the community project Queerious Minds, as well as volunteered with Open Doors Youth Services. Most recently James served as a member of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Youth Advisory Board.

Jennifer (Jennie) Toonen

Ms Toonen is a proud Gooreng Gooreng, Kabi Kabi woman from the Sunshine Coast and Agnes Waters areas, with 20 years’ experience working in the public service on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. During this time, also studying a Bachelor of Government and International Relations.

She is currently the Treasurer and First Nations Director of Brisbane Pride, on the Interim Committee for 2Spirits and is the Secretary of the LGBTI Legal Service.

She is a mum to two beautiful sons, both born with a disability, and partner to an amazing wife who shares her passions for social justice and change.

Ms Toonen works as the Director of Path to Treaty for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to make that difference as she always says, “for that generation just beyond her reach but never beyond her sight”.

Dr Kirstine Hand (PhD)

Representing True Relationships and Reproductive Health

Dr Hand is an LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Education Coordinator for True Relationships and Reproductive Health. Dr Hand has worked in a variety of roles across non-government organisations, government and tertiary settings focusing on work that improves outcomes for marginalised or disadvantaged individuals and communities.

She is also the convenor of the management committee for Diverse Voices, the Queensland partner for QLIFE, a national service which provides peer phone/webchat support for the LGBTIQ+ community, and a member of the Queensland Queering Education Consultative Committee and the Brisbane Police LGBTI Community Consultative Group.

Kris Sargeant

Mx Kris Sargeant brings with them over 30 years of invaluable experience in the field of mental health and community services. As a passionate advocate for authentic and diverse leadership, Kris has dedicated their career to helping organisations cultivate cultures that are compassionate, safe, diverse, and inclusive. Drawing on their extensive personal and professional experiences, Kris provides unwavering support to neurodivergent individuals, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those who have experienced trauma, mental health challenges, or brain injuries. Through individual coaching and mentoring, as well as collaborative efforts with organisations, Kris has developed a profound understanding of how to create workplaces that are both secure and inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ communities.

During their tenure in large organisations, Kris successfully implemented positive LGBTQI+ service models, created progressive policies, and raised awareness to ensure comprehensive inclusivity across all facets of the business. This encompassed youth, disability, aged care as well as palliative care services, with a strong emphasis on responsiveness to LGBTQI+ individuals and families. With a truly unique perspective derived from their professional expertise and personal lived experience as a neurodivergent non-binary lesbian and a dedicated parent to neurodivergent and non-binary children, Kris possesses a deep understanding of the multifaceted challenges facing LGBTQI+ individuals, intersectionality, families, and the community as a whole.

Li-Min (Li) Lee

Li-Min has extensive experience working with peak Australian LGBTIQ+ organisations since 2009. They provide health education and peer support to LGBTIQ+ communities with their knowledge of the intersection of multiple disadvantages and systematic oppression.

Li-Min works with Forcibly Displaced People Network that supports LGBTIQ+ refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, and they also volunteer with LGBTIQ+ organisations focusing on mental health. They also work with World Wellness Group to promote human rights and health social justice through their academic expertise and lived experiences.

Li-Min’s research interests are LGBTIQ+ health, queer theory, and intersectionality. Li-Min has conducted research on ageing and lesbian women in South East Queensland and is currently doing their PhD research on mental health and help-seeking among lesbian seniors. They join other professional networks at a national and international level and share their knowledge and experiences with other fellows and connects with other researchers in related fields.

Matthew Gillett

Mr Gillett has a long history of LGBTIQ+ advocacy in Queensland and nationally, as well as more than a decade in leadership roles in LGBTIQ+ and HIV/AIDS focused organisations.

He is an accomplished leader and manager in the community, health and education sectors with a track record of innovation, creative problem-solving and change management. Mr Gillett was also involved in advocacy in Queensland to change anti-discrimination laws and has participated in Ministerial and Departmental Advisory Committees at Queensland and federal levels.

He also brings his deep knowledge and experience working in the Community Services sector, leading partnerships at regional and industry level.

Matilda Alexander

Representing Rainbow Families Queensland and LGBTI Legal Service

Matilda Alexander is a human rights lawyer who is a founding member of the LGBTI Legal Service, it’s current Patron and a member of the Queensland Law Society Human Rights sub-committee and LGBTIQIA+ Working group. She is also a steering committee member of Rainbow Families Queensland. Matilda has delivered targeted outreach to LGBTIQ+ communities such as Open Doors and been an active ally to the First Nations LGBTIQ+ community.

She has engaged in numerous media campaigns and interviews to champion the rights of LGBTIQ+ people over many years and has also won an awards for Pride in Law, LGBTIQ Activist of the Year and Trans ally of the year.

Matthew Higgins

Mr Higgins is a strategist and advocate passionate about creativity and community building.

A cultural and creative industries leader, he has championed LGBTIQ+ artists and partnered extensively with diverse stakeholders to drive positive outcomes for LGBTIQ+ communities through festivals and major events. Notably, Higgins produced Cher’s iconic performance at the largest LGBTIQ+ party in the southern hemisphere for Mardi Gras' 40th anniversary. A City of Sydney Creative Fellowship recipient, he has launched several new LGBTIQ+ programs and events across New South Wales and Queensland.

Mr Higgins is State Manager Development and Partnerships (Queensland) at Creative Australia. He brings extensive experience across diverse art forms and business models, and expertise cultivating private sector support through philanthropy and partnerships.

Having served on Townsville City Council’s Inclusive Communities Advisory Committee, he is committed to amplifying intersectional voices and addressing the challenges facing LGBTIQ+ folks in regional Queensland to shape a more inclusive and equitable future.

Dr Michelle Jeffries

As a queer parent, Dr Jeffries has seen how assumptions about family and lack of infrastructure/ policy/ language around family diversity can leave many families feeling invisible and not understood. Having taught in Queensland schools and as an education researcher, she is also passionate about schools as inclusive and welcoming spaces for LGBTIQ+ students, teachers and families. Dr Jeffries wants to contribute positively toward the future of LGBTIQ+ parents/caregivers, families, youth and other community members by bringing her research, knowledge of policy/legislation, personal experiences, and others' experiences together to work with stakeholders to consider areas for change and opportunity.

She has volunteered with several LGBTIQ+ organisations. Dr Jeffries’ thesis focused on the experiences of gender and sexuality diverse parents in primary schools. She is currently researching the experiences of gender and sexuality diverse teachers in rural, regional and remote Australia. Dr Jeffries has worked in partnership with Queensland Government agencies and other organisations.

Phillip Carswell OAM (Phil)

Mr Carswell draws on 40 years’ advocacy on behalf of the LGBTIQ+ community spanning his active involvement in building the community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Australia to professional roles in the public service including for the Victorian and Queensland Departments of Health in 1984 as Manager of their AIDS/STI Units. He was the Founding President of the Victorian AIDS Council and an inaugural member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, as well as a founding trustee of the AIDS Trust of Australia.

Mr Carswell was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2015 for services to public health, particularly for people with HIV/AIDS.

Since his retirement, he remains highly active in the pursuit of advancing LGBTIQ+ rights as a community Elder with a focus on legislative amendments, history and education.

Rebecca Reynolds

Representing Queensland Council for LGBTI Health

Rebecca Reynolds is the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC). She sits on a number of Government and non-Government committees and her experience over the past 20 years has been within LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities with networks that include, and champion peer led approaches to sexual and mental health, education and community engagement. Her work is driven by the desire to ensure that LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy people and their families including in regional and remote areas of Queensland are heard, understood, and included in the creation of stories, services, policies and practices that impact their lives.

The work of QC includes advancing LGBTIQ+ Queenslanders to have autonomy in their decision making through an increased knowledge of the systems and services that exist and are funded to support them and their lives; and the support to access those systems in a way that is not causing further harm to their health and wellbeing.

Reverend Selina McMahon

Reverend Selina has lived experience of transitioning and understands the support services that are required. She has good knowledge of the issues affecting LGBTIQ+ people that include mental illness, equal opportunities and negative media portrayals.

As the only transgender priest licensed to lead a parish in the Anglican Church of Australia, she is often consulted to provide pastoral guidance and insight to people who are grappling with their faith and sexuality/gender identity.

She has extensive experience in dealings with external parties and partnership in the community. Prior to transitioning, she was an IT Project Manager in the United Kingdom and worked alongside a range of stakeholders to ensure common goals could be reached.

Stephanie Saal

Miss Saal is a passionate advocate for the rights and safety of intersex and gender diverse Queenslanders. As a member of the RSL (Queensland Branch) Diversity and Culture Change panel she has pioneered queer and disability rights internally and externally through the organisation for greater outcomes of equal employment and recognition.

She is also a Co-Convenor of Rainbow Labor, a peak stakeholder that pushes for law reform, protections, and the recognition of identity for the LGBTIQ+ community.

Miss Saal is looking to advance the rights of intersex-born people and people of diverse sex, gender and sexuality and prides herself on being connected to community. Further, she has been an active member in the LGBTIQ+ community by speaking on her lived experience as an intersex person at events, conferences and fundraisers.

Previous 2023–2025 member

Dr Elija Cassidy

Dr Cassidy has extensive knowledge of the key issues that affect LGBTIQ+ people and their families. He was a Chief Investigator in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre’s Inclusion and Participation program, an Affiliate Researcher in the QUT Centre for Justice and a founding member of the QUT Diverse Genders, Sexualities and Sex Characteristics Research Group.

He has published and presented in Australia and internationally for over 15 years on inclusion and equality issues as they play out for LGBTIQ+ communities in networked digital systems on topics such identity, privacy, and mental health. Throughout his career he has also consulted and cooperated widely with LGBTIQ+ individuals from community, industry, and government.

We thank Dr Cassidy for his expertise and contribution to the 2023–2025 Roundtable term.

Need more information?

For more information about the Roundtable, email LGBTI@chde.qld.gov.au.


View meeting communiques from the former 2018–2020 term.

Useful websites