Aych McArdle

They/Them

Aych McArdle is a community advocate and LGBTI+ human rights defender based in Tāmaki Makaurau working in the intersections between health, education and social services. Some of the hats Aych wears in the rainbow community are Executive Board Member at OUTLine, Human Rights Researcher at the Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand and Project Collaborator at ReFrame. Previous roles include Education Director at RainbowYOUTH (2014-2016), Local Advisory Committee at CCS Disability Action (2016-2018) and Executive Board Member at RainbowYOUTH (2014-2016)

Moira Clunie

They/Them

Moira Clunie (Te Rarawa) has held leadership roles in rainbow, mental health and disability non-government organisations over the last 15 years. 

Moira’s current work focuses on improving the mental health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s rainbow population. They are project lead for Te Ngākau Kahukura, a national initiative working towards an Aotearoa where rainbow young people feel safe, valued, and that they belong in the places where they live, learn, and access healthcare and social support. 

Moira has specialist knowledge of population approaches to LGBTI+ mental health and suicide prevention, and currently serves in rainbow advisory roles to the National Depression Initiative, Auckland and Waitematā DHBs’ suicide prevention strategy and Statistics New Zealand. They are currently undertaking Masters study focusing on rainbow community leadership.

Frances Arns

She/Her

Frances Arns is from Auckland, her mum is pākehā (from Central Otago area) and her dad is German (from Cologne if anyone knows Germany!). Her work experience is in finance, strategy and governance. Frances has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Management, and was at ASB Bank for three years working in Finance and then Corporate Strategy. She’s now the Executive Director of RainbowYOUTH. Frances was lucky to have a privileged upbringing as a queer cis woman in Aotearoa. She’s passionate about using the skills and experiences she’s been afforded to improve the outcomes and experiences for others in our communities. OUTLine provides such a crucial service for Rainbow folks across Aotearoa and she is excited to contribute to the organisation.

Grace Abbott

She/Her

Grace (Ngāti Awa, Tūhoe) hails from beautiful Waiariki, but was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau. She has a law degree from the University of Auckland, where she works as the Pouāwhina Māori at Auckland Law School and is also currently studying a Masters in indigenous law. She is passionate about indigenous rights, upholding tino rangatiratanga and supporting rainbow communities.

Leah Jennens

She/Her

Leah Jennens is a 27 year old lesbian. She has lived most of her life in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland but is currently relocating to Whangārei. Leah has worked as a library assistant for the past two and a bit years and has a Diploma of Information and Library Studies. As of semester two of this year Leah will be a full-time student studying the remainder of the papers to obtain the Bachelor of Information and Library Studies.

Ricky Te Akau

He/Him

Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Hinemihi, Waikato/Tainui, Ngaati Maahanga

He aha te mea nui ō te ao . . .  he tāngata.

Ricky Te Akau is working in the Rainbow sector and has over a decade volunteering as well as being employed in the sector and now given an opportunity to be able to lend a hand and some insight into being Takataapui in Aotearoa today. He is currently working within Community Engagement through the NZ AIDS Foundation and providing educational opportunities for organisations, clinicians, whānau and those involved in the support of our people at risk.  He also had a background in Event Management, with many corporate clients and gigs under his belt.

Fortunate to live on Waiheke Island amongst the native birds and bush which provides a space to reflect and ponder the good things in life.

Rob Sykes

He/Him

Rob has been a Peer Support Volunteer since he completed his OUTLine Training in November (2019) with his husband Vinnie. He’s passionate about helping to create environments with inclusive cultures, and is currently a culture partner working in the corporate world, supporting culture, employee engagement, and recognition initiatives as part of his role. He’s also an early adopter of technology which drives his curiosity to try out new ways of working in his career and his personal life.

Rob is of Māori / Pākeha descent and is married with two adult children who are almost 21 and 19. His experiences of growing up in regional Aotearoa and in a strong religious upbringing, as well as dealing with Mental Health issues due to trauma from medical treatment, has helped Rob to feel strong empathy for others who may feel similar struggles.

In his spare time, Rob LOVES spending time with his whānau and is obsessed with Disneyland and all things Mickey Mouse.