MEET THE TEAM

Jason Tuazon-McCheyne | AEP LEADER

Jason has been a leading voice in the LGBTIQ community for over a decade. He has a deeply felt and abiding commitment to human rights and social justice. After many years of fighting from the sidelines, he decided it was time to create a political party to give the LGBTIQ community an independent voice in federal parliament.

Jason wants to focus on what unites us as a community, not on the differences that separate us. He wants the AEP to be a place that welcomes and affirms anyone who supports our core values irrespective of their political, religious or cultural affiliations, and irrespective of how they identify on the spectrum of sexuality and gender; there is a place for everyone in the AEP.

As one of the founding members of the Australian Marriage Equality movement, Jason and his husband, Adrian, first challenged Australian marriage laws in 2004 after celebrating their own marriage in Canada. Since then he has maintained a high public profile, appearing on television and featuring in various gay and mainstream print media where he has advocated strongly for the rights of the LGBTIQ community.

Jason grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and for the past 15 years has lived in Brunswick with Adrian and their son, Ruben. Jason is a passionate Essendon supporter and recently established the Purple Bombers, an LGBTIQ support group. He runs his own business as a marriage celebrant and is one of Australia’s biggest ABBA fans.

Jacqui Tomlins | AEP Deputy Leader

Jacqui Tomlins is a writer, trainer and long-time campaigner for LGBTIQ rights. She recently completed a highly regarded Fellowship for Leaders in Civil Society with Centre for Australian Progress. She has been actively involved with the Rainbow Families Council since its inception over a decade ago, and recently researched and wrote an on line resource kit for rainbow families and service providers.

She has been an outspoken supporter of the LGBTIQ community for many years, appearing in various media and writing for gay and mainstream publications on a range of topics including: marriage equality, same-sex families and Assisted Reproductive Treatment. She has also published two books.

Jacqui has worked as a teacher, trainer, professional writer, and an advocate for women and people with disabilities. She currently writes a highly regarded blog about issues of importance to the LGBTIQ and broader community. She lives in Kew, Victoria with her partner, Sarah, of 22 years and their three children.

Adrian Tuazon-McCheyne | Secretary & Digital Campaigns

Adrian comes from a family that has been deeply involved in political struggles for many years. He migrated to Australia from the Philippines at the age of 15. He has worked as a union organiser – advocating on behalf of low-paid Filipino women workers – and in community theatre with Filipino youth.

His passion for LGBTIQ issues has evolved from his personal experiences as a gay dad and his advocacy work on marriage equality with his husband, Jason. He has a background in science and IT, but has also worked in the performing arts. He currently works as a commissioned photographer, and runs a successful photography studio.

Remy Coll | Treasurer

Remy is an Actor, Producer, Network Engineer, Soldier, and advocate for social justice and equality. Remy was raised in Canberra by his parents who are long serving senior public servants. He has worked in many sectors including: disability childcare, aged care, education, and the arts. Now he works for the Australian Public Service as a Network Engineer and the Australian Defence Force as an Army Reserve Officer Cadet.

Remy is very impassioned about equality and human rights, more specifically gender equality, LGBTIQ issues, and foreign affairs. As a member of the AEP policy team and the committee it is his goal to influence change in these areas, something that is sorely needed in Australian government.

Currently Remy lives in Melbourne where he runs a theatre company with his friend and housemate Sam. When not campaigning for the AEP you will find Remy on stage, or rehearsing for a new show.

Nathan Despott | Policy & Communications

Nathan is passionate about social transformation through embracing diversity, effective communication, and applied research. He was involved in bringing international human rights advocate Bishop Gene Robinson to Australia in 2013 and also developed the Inside Ex-gay project aimed at giving voice to people affected by the ex-gay movement.

Nathan works in the disability sector and sees many parallels between inclusion of people with disability and inclusion for LGBTIQ Australians. He has seen how an inclusive culture can be shaped through examining the regulations that govern the way workplaces function, creating policy that is visionary and telling stories that inspire radically inclusive new practices.

He has studied communications, social science, theology, and linguistics – and is slightly obsessed with science fiction and Eurovision.

Nicki Kolb | Policy & Communications

Nicki is an experienced policy writer having worked across the education, welfare and health sectors. She is passionate about improving the health outcomes of those most vulnerable in our community. She completed a bachelor of health science majoring in health promotion and family health. She currently works as a community development worker in the Aged Care and Disability sector.

David Peake | IT Support

David is responsible for developing and maintaining the Australian Equality Party website, and for managing its membership database. David is an online marketing consultant and certified Google Partner who helps Australian organisations and small businesses establish and grow their digital presence.

Edward Hyde-Page | Policy & Communications

Edward is a philosopher, actor and fencer, who is now turning his keen interest in public and social policy into a career. He has previously been involved with the Humanist Society of Victoria’s Ethics in Schools trial program and consulted on our first policy document concerning religious education. Edward is proud to be a member of the AEP policy team.

Sam Blake | Policy & Volunteers

Sam is passionate about working toward a more equitable, sustainable and democratic society, with a particular interest in access to health and social services. Sam believes there needs to be a change from the current political language that speaks only of rationality, efficiency and economics to one that focuses on human rights, fairness and equality, including full equality for all members of the LGBTI community. Sam has completed tertiary studies in psychology and anthropology.