Out for Australia announce Blake Connell as their new CEO

Out for Australia has announced Blake Connell is their new CEO. The board chose Blake following a competitive process culminating in the appointment late in 2019.

The organisation aims to help young LGBTI professionals through the early years of their career via supportive mentorships.

Connell will take on the CEO role effective immediately, while continuing in his role as lawyer and legal process designer at commercial law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. He is also a director of youth focused LGBTI organisation Minus 18.

Connell replaces Emily Scott, who steps down after completing her 18 months term. The organisation says in that time Emily has propelled the Out for Australia to new heights.

Scott welcomed her successor saying he was passionate about the organisation’s goals.

“Blake has done an outstanding job over the past three years with Out for Australia and I could not be more excited to hand the reins over to someone as passionate, committed, strategic and kind as Blake.

“It has been the greatest privilege to serve this fabulous rainbow community and to meet and work with so many inspiring young queer people.”

Connell first became involved with the organisation via their mentoring program, he has been a volunteer for a number of years, first as National Mentoring Co-ordinator and more recently as Chief Operating Officer. He shared his excitement about his new role.

“I am excited and humbled to have been given the opportunity to lead Out for Australia for the next year. I applied for the role because I have experienced firsthand – and witnessed for others – the power and impact of our mentoring program. I am beyond motivated to continue to grow this program so that we can get closer to achieving our bold vision as an organisation: an Australia where all LGBTIQ+ people feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work, every day, in whatever workplace they are in.”
Connell said the focuses for the organisation in the immediate future include: refining OFA’s mentoring program, broadening the organisations reach both in scale and diversity as well as taking OFA’s volunteer program to the next level.

“I want to continue our focus on representing all the letters within ‘LGBTIQ+’, while at the same time trying to reach more people from rural and regional areas, more people from different cultural backgrounds, and more people in less visible professions, industries and educational pathways. This includes within our pool of mentors and mentees, our volunteer cohort, our leadership team and at our events.”

“I’m excited to work with our 80 volunteers from around the country and to meet even more of Out for Australia’s sponsors, supporters and community members who allow us to do what we do.”

Source: Media Release

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