PROFILE: Kaye Bricknall

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Kaye Bricknall was no stranger to ChillOut festivals as she had attended a few over the years. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that she decided to volunteer. As a festival volunteer, Kaye was in charge of the information areas, ensuring visitors and festival attendees were well catered for. It was later, at the volunteer thank you BBQ that she was asked if she would consider joining the committee. Kaye agreed and joined the committee and helped produce another successful festival in 2015.

After a year off, she was enticed back onto the committee in time for the 2017 festival.

My personal reasons for getting involved is that I guess I wanted to integrate more with the gay community up here because I was very isolated, and also to give back a bit of something as well.

For the 2017 festival, Kaye was responsible for gathering information and material for the 20 Year Retrospective exhibition as well as being the Association Secretary.

I started getting that together, and going to visit all the ex-committee members, and they’re pulling tubs of documents out of their sheds, minutes and things like that ... We had to go through all the minutes to find out ... who the committees were and when did certain things happen. That’s when I started getting a real passion about ... preserving this ... we owe it to the LGBTI community to record this for future generations. It’s been too much of an important landmark in the whole ... gay festivals and identity side of it for us to forget the history.

As well as championing the rescue of ChillOut’s archives from obscurity and organising to have them properly catalogued and cared for at the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Kaye has been able to lend her expertise as a project manager. ‘Everybody likes to be appreciated, and I know I’ve got a skill set that I bring to it and it’s appreciated.’

Kaye’s motivation for getting more involved in ChillOut has been to connect with more people in her community. Even in the relatively short time that she’s been part of the ChillOut team, she has achieved that, and more.

It’s meant that I have a new group of friends and I also have a new family. Even though at times, like all families, we love and hate each other ... if you’re needing help for something and you call out for it, you’ll get it from the committee ... It’s also allowed me to feel part of something and not so isolated.

All quotes taken from an interview with Kaye Bricknall, 16 January 2018.