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A Panel Discussion

We've Always Been Here

Saturday Feburary 17, 2024 • 2:30 - 3:30pm
Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place


 A panel discussion chaired by researcher and activist Jack Byrne.

Jack will be joined by Leonie Pihama, Mani Mitchell and Phylesha Brown-Acton to explore historical and elder perspectives on queer visibility and resistance. In 2024, what has changed and what’s still the same?


We've Always Been Here will be supported by a live NZSL interpreter.

Free to attend, no reservation required.

This event is part of the 2024 Auckland Pride Festival. Find out more here.

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Jack Byrne

He / Him

Tangata Tiriti

Jack Byrne is a Pākehā trans man, born in Māwhera in 1962 who works in  Tāmaki Makaurau as a researcher, including as the Co-Principal  Investigator for Counting Ourselves, Aotearoa’s trans health survey. His  Rainbow advocacy and research started in dyke communities in 1982, and  since 2002 has focused on the human rights of transgender people. Jack  also supports Rainbow Path’s advocacy work for Rainbow refugees and  asylum seekers in Aotearoa.

Leonie Pihama


Te Ātiawa, Taranaki, Waikato

Leonie Pihama is a mother of six and a grandmother of six. She is Professor of Māori and Indigenous Research and is working as Research Director at Tū Tamawahine o Taranaki and is Director of Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd, a Kaupapa Māori research company. Leonie is a leading kaupapa Māori educator and researcher. Leonie is co-editor of the publication Honouring Our Ancestors: Takatāpui, Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQI+ Well-being.

Mani Mitchell

Mx They / Them

Mani Bruce Mitchell was born in the emergent shadow of WWII - In 1953, identified “inappropriately’ as a hermaphrodite (intersex) assigned male, this was reversed to female one year later. Mani describes their life as a now gentle journey coming to terms with the trauma of their childhood, confusion, secrets, lies shame, surgeries, and sexual abuse. Living now as a queer, non-binary, intersex elder is enjoying writing, conversations and reflections on a life that is now beautifully entering its seventh decade.

Ellen Melville Centre

2 Freyberg Place, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1000


Ellen Melville Centre is in Freyberg Square, opposite the rainbow staircase in central Auckland. This event will be held on the first floor of the venue, in the Pioneer Women's Hall. The hall is wheelchair friendly, via an elevator, and has an accessible toilet.

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