GLTBQI is a not for profit community that seeks to enhance the lives of its members through interactive social activities and events. The group is reaching out, seeking to promote greater awareness and acceptance.
Tell us a little about Out N Hastings?
Out N Hastings Inc (ONH) is the local gay, lesbian, transgender, bi, queer and intersex (GLTBQI) social group. We gather regularly for drinks, coffee catch ups, dances, BBQs, pool competitions, and you’ll find us creating interesting, relevant and generally awesome events for our great community. ONH is a not for profit organisation that raises money through its dances, allowing community based social events to continue, as well as donating to other charities like ACON. A great job was done by the previous Executive Committee in creating Out N Hastings, which will be continued by the new executive committee. We’re very excited about taking the group in new directions. “This community group has a lot to offer Port Macquarie and the Hastings region. I am thrilled to see the enthusiasm the new committee has for generating events, social meetings and activities for the GLBTQI community. We’ll endeavour to provide events for all ages and interests of the community members.”– Co-president Michelle Carter. The previous GLBTQI group in the Hastings Area was called Coastal Lynx and included the current Coastal Castaways in the Taree/Manning areas. Public Officer, Alex Newman, quotes: “We have a number of events happening very soon which will give our community a wider range of activities to be involved with. The creation of a website is a new direction, which will act as a platform for connecting a wider range of people within the community. We are looking forward to building some larger scale events that showcase the beautiful Hastings region.”
How many members?
Out N Hastings currently has around 300 members – although increasing this and becoming more inclusive to the entire community is one of our key goals. Research shows that on average, GLBTQI makes up more than 10% of the population, and we’d love to better promote inclusiveness and provide a range of fun, interesting, attractive events that are suited to this community. Our group shows huge diversity for such a comparatively small regional area – with a wide range of ages, backgrounds and interests. The Out N Hastings area incorporates Port Macquarie, Laurieton, Kendall, Herons Creek, Wauchope, Comboyne and Telegraph Point. Some members are from the surrounding Taree/Forster areas, others in Armidale/ Tamworth, some in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Our state and interstate members travel for our major events or pop in for regular events. What
events are being planned?
Co-president Jacob Merchant says, “We had some fantastic feedback from the community about what they wanted to do in Port and the surrounding areas. We’ve planned a varied series of events on a monthly basis, with a huge and exciting event in January 2012 which will see the area in great focus for what it provides to its community.” Winter on the Wharf is our next event … a glamorous Black Tie soiree held at Whalebone Wharf on Friday 29 July 2011. With pick up from the Town Green marina, Port Macquarie at 6pm, we take a stunning moonlit cruise with a glass of champagne, with delivery to the Whalebone Wharf. Guests will be entertained by the talented Jazz singer Lisa Michel, served tantalising canapés, enjoying the stunning location, mood and conversations. Tickets $40 per person, to be pre-sold. Contact Jacob on 0428 352 297 for more information. Our current Pool Comp started at Tacking Point Tavern in June, but we’ll start another soon. We’re seeking interest in a Youth GLBTQI Talent Quest, as well as a Fishing Tournament later in the year; so if this sounds like your thing, let us know! It takes the region to plan an exciting future for Out N Hastings! With a calendar chock full of interesting and varied upcoming events and so much more in the pipeline, check out the new website and keep in touch by signing up for the new e-newsletter or joining the Facebook group.
You have launched a new website …
ONH launched its new website www.outnhastings.org.au in May, devoted to information, events and connections for the GLBTQI community in the Hastings region. The website offers a calendar of events, an e-newsletter, fun photos, constant updates, loads of links to other groups and a resource bank. This website allows connection with so many on the Mid North Coast, giving everyone the option to extend their social network. Public officer, Alex Newman, says, “This website dedicated to the GLBTQI community in the Hastings allows people to be involved however they choose – joining in at an event, bringing old friends together, by joining the committee, dreaming up new events or building on existing ideas such as Hastings Pride.”
What are the goals of the group?
Apart from our website and exciting events, Hastings Pride is on our horizon. Several years ago, a business directory of gay and lesbian owned and managed businesses was created, a joint collaboration between Port Macquarie- Hastings Council, the Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre, ACON Port Macquarie and Coastal Lynx. ONH is now updating this business directory, again with the support of Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Hastings Business Enterprise Network. The updated publication will be available at libraries and on the Council’s website. There’s no cost to businesses to be listed in the directory; however, business sponsorship, advertising or donations would certainly be welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be involved in this. What can readers do? The easiest way to get involved is to check out our new website – it’s chock full of info and ideas. Attend a function – a coffee catch up, or get your ‘80s on for our disco dance on 4 June. Keep up with developments and events on Facebook and join the Out N Hastings Page. We also encourage businesses, organisations or people to discuss new ideas, offer feedback or give suggestions at www.outnhastings.org.au or email email@example.com Challenges? The GLBTQI community has faced constant battles against discrimination and lack of acceptance. There are many fantastic organisations promoting equal rights and providing fantastic support systems. While Out N Hastings recognises how vital these are, we are a non political social group and work hard to remain open, friendly and supportive of all. Support from the community/Council? The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has supported our group by linking our website to their site, as well as offering to collate the updated Hastings Pride. Out N Hastings is working closely with Council to promote open communication, support and awareness of GLBTQI acceptance in the region. Out N Hastings is lucky to have support from ACON with the use of their office in Gordon Street, Port Macquarie for meeting and collaboration space, with full use of the open day on Tuesdays for coffee and chat with like-minded people! There are many supportive people and businesses in the region – a reflection of growing acceptance and self-pride in the Hastings community.