The Auckland Pride Festival Board has confirmed the appointment of two new board members, James Bennett and Zakk d’Larte. These two additions will be assisting in filling a gap left behind by outgoing Pride Board member Vinnie Sykes who announced his resignation ahead of this year’s Pride celebrations.
Kirsten Sibbit, Co-Chair of APF Board, says” we are really excited to have James and Zakk join our team. With them, they bring youth, experience and fresh passion to the Board as we develop our plans for the best ever Auckland Pride Festival in 2017”
James has recently arrived back to Auckland from living in Sydney for the past 5 years. He comes to the Pride board with recent experience as the Senior Manager of Business Services for Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. James is actively volunteering with community organisations like Outline and also working on a community-based information tool that will invest back into our Rainbow Community.
“I’m really excited to be working with such a wonderful team at the Auckland Pride Festival and really look forward to getting to know members of the community as we consult them to make our Pride Festival bigger, better and brighter than ever in 2017. I also look forward to gaining more support from sponsors and Government to make the Auckland Pride Festival not only a great nationwide event but also a great attraction for international visitors to see how truly proud we are of our Rainbow Communities achievements throughout our beautiful country, Aotearoa.”
Zakk comes to the Board with a background in design and youth advocacy and enjoys being able to push the boundaries with his creative flair. Born and raised in Auckland, he is a designer at heart and has nearly five years’ experience working with print and digital media and aims to bring fresh and innovative ideas to Pride. One of his passions is to help raise visibility for transgender and gender non-conforming people, such as himself, by educating the public and bringing attention to the issues that our communities face.
Zakk is eager to join the team and says that “youth empowerment, engagement and identity in our LGBTQI community is very important to me. I endeavor to provide opportunities that will inspire the younger members of our community to be active and evoke change. Being on the Board gives me a bigger platform to continue the work that I’ve been doing, and take it to new heights.”
Image | 2016 Pride Parade by Georgios Filippakos
Credit | Auckland Pride Festival Board