Out For Australia


Our mission is to provide visible role models, mentors, and other support to aspiring LGBTIQ professionals and to strengthen the sense of community among professionals and students. 

Our vision is to be Australia’s leading organisation for LGBTIQ professionals and aspiring professionals. 


Charles Sunstrum (Chair)

Charles Sunstrom is a co-founder of Out for Australia and one of the first executives of the organsiation’s precursor, Out for Sydney. Charles is a senior executive with eight years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and more than five years’ experience leading operations. Charles has led teams on two biologic products from early development to clinical testing. Charles holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Sydney.

Prudence Jacobson

Prudence is the Director of Strategic Alliance Services (Group Technology) at Westpac. Prudence has also previously held senior positions at Westpac and at Qantas. She began as a board member in 2016.

Frank Costigan

Frank is currently Chief Customer Officer at QBE Insurance, based in Sydney.  He was previously CEO at Youi Insurance and prior to this held senior positions with Berkshire Hathaway and IAG Limited. Frank’s care started with Deloitte before moving into investment banking with UBS.  Frank and his partner live in Paddington and have twin 4-year old boys. 

Luke Furness

Luke is a former CEO of Out for Australia and a Senior Associate in the litigation team at Clayton Utz.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Laws from the University of Sydney.  He is a former finalist for the Queen's Ball Young Achievement Award and the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards.  He is a regular speaker and contributor to diversity and inclusion initiatives.

David Brine

David is an independent consultant working on large business change programs, providing people-centred thinking to initiatives.  David’s experience has spanned professional services and recently within financial services at CBA and ASX.  David has been a Board member since 2019.

Emily Scott

Emily is a Senior Consultant at Nous Group and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Science from USYD. She was the previous CEO for Out for Australia and was awarded an AFR 100 Women of Influence in 2019 for her contribution to the LGBTIQ community. 


Prof. the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO

Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO served as Governor of New South Wales from 1 March 2001 to 1 October 2014 and was the first woman to be appointed to the role. We are very proud to have Prof. the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir as our patron.


Senior Leadership

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Blake Connell


Blake is a lawyer in the technology, media and telecommunications practice at global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. Previously he has held the roles of Chief Operating Officer, National Mentoring Coordinator, Victorian Mentoring Coordinator and Victorian Outreach Manager.

Deputy CEO

Frances Gamble

Frances is a graduate with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, utilising human centred design to make Census data more accessible. She's also a former wine professional, and prior to joining Out for Australia, she volunteered with youth-run NGO Oaktree for 8 years. Frances was OFA Victoria's State Director in 2019.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Alvi Ahmed

Alvi currently works at Minus18, who are champions for LGBTQIA+ youth. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Technology Sydney and is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with experience in banking and finance. He has previously held roles in the organisation as the Mentoring Program Coordinator and Data Analyst. 

Chief People Officer (CPO)

Annabelle Chee

Annabelle works in Human Resources in the Tech Industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and is currently undertaking a Masters in Human Resource Management. She is passionate about empowering others by capturing and celebrating the diverse stories of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Lacey-Jade Christie

Based in Melbourne, Lacey is passionate about creating engaging content, both visual and written. As a writer and social media manager Lacey creates content that sparks conversation, unites communities and will allow people to engage with different brands. 

State Director (ACT)

Leigh Moran

Leigh is the government relations manager at the industry association for credit unions, mutual banks and building societies. He is an experienced public affairs practitioner and advocate. He is a passionate supporter of the LGBITQ+ community in Canberra.

State Director (SA)

Brad Martin

Brad is a soon-to-be graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at Flinders University where he has held numerous roles in student engagement and support. He has been the SA State Director since June 2018.

State Director (NSW)

Aina Musaeva

Aina is a data scientist at KPMG in Sydney with a background in black hole hunting from The University of Sydney. She has done a lot of volunteering encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM. She wants to be a visible role model she didn’t have growing up. Aina is also on a steering committee for Prode@KPMG, the queer employee network at KPMG.

State Director (QLD)

Maddy Harrington

Maddison is a Solicitor for Griffith University in Brisbane and is a woman of transgender experience. She has been the Queensland State Director since February 2020. Outside of her OFA work, Maddison is Chair of Griffith University's Pride Committee and is a Member of the Queensland Law Society's Early Career Lawyers Committee. She was recognised as being one of Australia’s 30 most influential young LGBTI role models at OFA's 30 Under 30 Awards in 2019.

State Director (VIC)

Ezra Dickson

Ezra (they/them) works for the Victorian Public Service. In addition to their work at Out For Australia, they are Chairperson of their Department’s Pride Network. As a transgender, neurodiverse, non-binary, queer and Jewish person, they are passionate about the overlap between queer and other identities, including in the workplace. 

State Director (TAS)

Dean McKirdy

Growing up in regional Ireland, Dean has lived around Australia for the last 8 years, calling Tasmania his home. Working various jobs in hospitality, Dean is currently studying via distance at UTas with the aim of doing his Masters of Teaching next year. He is incredibly passionate about growing the opportunities available to members of the LGBTIQ+ community , and is very motivated to help grow Out For Australia’s impact in more regional settings like Tasmania.