Mixing business & pleasure with GLBN during Pride
Drinking wine while making influential friends is made possible this Pride Festival courtesy of the Gay & Lesbian Business Network, reports Tim Passmore.
As part of the 2013 Brisbane Pride Festival, the Brisbane Gay & Lesbian Business Network will host a Wine Appreciation Night in C Gallery, at The Emporium in Ann Street. Discerning palates can expect a treat.
"This is our second one," says GLBN president, Tyrone Shandiman. "Last year's was spoken about pretty highly by our members, so we decided to keep the event going.
"This is a celebration event, and I'll be honest with you, at these we tend to get people that like to dress up and kind of, you know, do the swanky thing. Something a little bit different than just a normal night out in Fortitude Valley or their local area."
The evening will feature a tasting station, where guests will get to sample the hand-selected wines and then buy them by the glass. One glass of wine is included in the ticket price.
Like all GLBN events, it's open to all, members and non-members – even non-wine lovers. "We'll have a couple of the standard beer ranges available as well," Shandiman says. "It is about wine, but there'll be beer there for people who don't drink wine.'
The GLBN has enjoyed a resurgence recently, especially its Breakfast with a Twist events. These have clocked 75 tracked referrals since February, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars worth of business income.
"We were technically insolvent when I came on board in October 2011," Shandiman confirms. "So we've gone from being an organisation that no one really wanted to be involved in, to the position now, where we're actually looking to set up a second network."
In this election year, the GLBN has offered each of the major parties an opportunity to throw a function to be promoted to members. "For Labor, we promoted Penny Wong, for the Greens, Christine Milne, and the Liberals – we're yet to hear from them," Shandiman says. "We're trying to get Malcolm Turnbull."
Of Wong's appearance, Shandiman recalls: "The beauty of the event was that we got to hear an insight into Penny Wong that you don't usually get to hear. Penny even said that she doesn't like to play the lesbian politician too much. She doesn't want to be known for being 'the lesbian', she wants to be known for being herself. But that night there was no major media there so she got to kind of let her guard down and tell us a little more about her personally.
"Afterwards, anyone who wanted to meet her could go up and say hello. She was very much at home. Usually it's like, someone gets up and speaks and then runs away."
Looking to the future, Shandiman is keen to expand the GLBN's philanthropic activity. "Last year was about surviving, this year was about getting into a financial state," he says.
"Next year will be about looking into more philanthropy from the GLBN but also our members as well. Still, already we've given around $2,000 in raffle proceeds to not-for-profits like the Gay & Lesbian Welfare Association, Gold Coast Pride and the Sunshine Coast Rainbow Network."
IMAGE: Tyrone Shandiman, left, with Senator Penny Wong.