11 | 11 | 2020
Updates to MQFF Board
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival Incorporated announces its updated Board of Management to continue the great work of the festival as it looks to its next 30 years. The updated board will be led by co-presidents Molly Whelan and David Micallef, following the retirement of long-term co-president Scott Herron.
Molly Whelan has worked across the arts and community sector as a creative producer, director, and manager on major events all across the country and the world. This has included White Night Melbourne, Midsumma Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Molly is currently the Executive Director of Strategic Projects at the Foundation for Young Australians.
David Micallef brings years of marketing and communications expertise both in government and the arts as well as years of experience leading LGBTIQ organisations. David was the former president of GLOBE, the founder of the GLOBE Community Awards and has served on the board of Midsumma.
Both co-presidents share their love of MQFF and the power that film has to share stories, inspire communities and bring change.
“I snuck into an MQFF screening when I was 17 and it truly changed my life,” said Molly Whelan, Co-President MQFF. “This is the real power of MQFF. When we see ourselves reflected on screen we can imagine possibilities we never thought possible. The immersive nature of film allows us to build empathy, trust and power across our community; inspiring us to support and advocate for ourselves and queer lives everywhere.”
David says that film has the opportunity and power to connect us both within and outside our communities. “At a time when we have been disconnected from each other physically, it has been film that has helped us connect with others and to escape. MQFF plays an important role in making sure that our audiences get to see all types of stories from all parts of the world and from every part of our wonderfully diverse communities.”
David Morgan will continue on the board as Secretary, with Mark Kukanesan as Treasurer and Jasmine Fiegehan, Alan White and Brian Robertson will continue as general members on the board. The board also welcomes two new members, Nayuka Gorrie and Gail Veal. Nayuka, an Australian actor, writer and indigenous rights activist, and Gail, who has significant experience in OHS, HR, audit and training, will further strengthen the board as it supports CEO Maxwell Gratton, MQFF staff and volunteers to bring to our audiences stories that represent the diversity of the LGBTIQ communities.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, Co-President Molly Whelan gave thanks to outgoing Co-President Scott Herron, who has spent 12 years on the board of the festival and eight years as Co-President.
“For the past 8 years, Scott has turned his enormous passion for film, and particularly queer film into action. Endlessly advocating to increase the festival’s prize money for new queer film, being a major driver in the launch of our Pitch Pleeze competition in 2019 and lobbying government and other investors to back queer film,” said Molly.
“Scott is leaving an enormous legacy on this organisation, and on behalf of all the members I would like to say a sincere thanks – for all the time, thought and energy that Scott has generously given over the years.”