On Monday the 3rd of June, the fabulous Phylesha Brown-Acton became one of the many recipients of the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Phylesha, fondly known to us as Phy (pronounced “Fee”) has dedicated over 20 years of her life advocating for the rights of the Pacific LGBTQI+ community. She is the founder and director of F’INE, Phylesha has been making waves both nationally and internationally towards this goal.

F’INE Pasifika Aoteroa which is funded under Whanau Ora was founded by Phylesha in 2015. Its purpose: To provide navigational support services to Pacific LGBTQI+ peoples and their families in the Auckland region

Her work to secure rights and support for minority groups has raised the profile of transgender communities in New Zealand and abroad across many platforms and forums. In 2006, she became the Project Coordinator for the Pacific Peoples Project at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. She coordinated the Love Life Fono gatherings in 2007 and 2009, the largest gatherings of Pacific sexual and gender minority groups in the world to date. In 2009, she managed the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s International Development Programme. She has been a Trustee of the Māori, Indigenous, and Pacific HIV/AIDS Foundation, and Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network since 2015. She is also a board member of the Auckland Pride Festival.

This is a significant acknowledgment of your passion, commitment, and tenacity as you fight and advocate for a fairer society for your people. I am so proud of your work and achievements.

Louisa Ryan – Chairman of the Board

Ms Brown-Acton has been a delegate to several equal rights and human rights conferences internationally, including as the Trans and Indigenous Representative on a panel at the United Nations High-Level Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS in 2016 and an Expert Representative to the 9th session of the Social Forum organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

We are really proud of Phylesha’s work and the pathway she is creating for this community. No doubt there is still more to come from Phy, but from all of us here. Well done Phy, we love and appreciate you.

well done and so well deserved for yourself personally as you have done the yards of service and secondly to our LGBTQI and Pasifika communities. Your leadership is so much needed during these changing times

Hamish Crooks – CEO

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