Margherita Coppolino

Ella Pronombres

As a lesbian with disability from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background I have an intersectional lived experience and bring these personal intersectional lenses as well as activism, advocacy and professional experience representing and working on issues for women, people with disability, CALD and disability communities since 1980.

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I have extensive knowledge and experience in working with LGBTIQ+ communities and allies. I am well known and well regarded across LGBTIQ+ communities in Victoria, Australia, Oceania and beyond, particularly for my advocacy around LGBTIQ+ intersectionality. I am considered as a lesbian elder within the Victorian LGBTIQ+ communities. Through my lived experience I know firsthand how L(G)BTIQ+ women, people with disability and people from non-English speaking backgrounds can be marginalised and experience intersectional discrimination, disadvantage, and violence within mainstream and LGBTIQ+ communities. I always advocate for engagement, planning, access, inclusion, equity, and representation of all marginalised communities. I am passionate about LGBTIQ+ communities being inclusive of all LGBTIQ+ people, it is essential that no one is left behind in our struggle for recognition, non-discrimination and equality.

I have extensive governance and community sector leadership experience. I am a current member of the ILGA Oceania board and the first ILGA Oceania Disability Sub-Chair and am about to complete my first term of office. This is a role that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and I proudly represent my community. I am a member of the Victorian Government LGBTIQ+ Taskforce, I am the President of the National Ethinic Disability Alliance as well holding positions on other community sector boards, committees, working groups, and online communities. This active participation and engagement enable me to learn from the experiences of other LGBTIQ+ people and I feel I am well placed to represent the rights and interests of LGBTIQ+ communities and make a positive contribution to further our rights.

In the last two years, further to my participation and representation of ILGA Oceania, I have also participated in the work of ILGA World, supporting their intersectional disability/ LGBTIQ+ work. In November 2020 I moderated a panel titled “Queering the COSP: An Intersectional Inclusive Perspective: LGBTI persons with disabilities and their rights” for ILGA World at the United Nations Conference of States Parties on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) . In March 2021 I participated as a panel member in the Human Rights Council 46th Session: “Uncovering Intersectionality: The human rights of LGBTI persons with disabilities”. Also in March 2021, on behalf of ILGA World I made intervention at the Human Rights Council/ CRPD General Discussion on the challenges in the implementation of Article 27: access to work and employment faced by LGBTI persons with disabilities. In July 2021 I made an intervention at the Human Rights Council interactive dialogue on violence against L(G)BTIQ+ women and girls with disabilities. In March 2022, I made an intervention at the Human Rights Council 48th session on Artificial Intelligence and LGBTIQ+ people with disability. I very much look forward to having the opportunity to participate in the governance and leadership of ILGA Oceania for the benefit of our members and LGBTIQ+ people across the Oceania region.