Rugby legend to guest speak

Ian Roberts (supplied).

Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health’s Birds of a Feather LGBTIQA+ luncheon is coming to Woodend on September 21, with a sporting legend set to be the guest speaker.

Former rugby league player, actor and one of Australia’s most prominent LGBTIQA+ advocates, Ian Roberts, will present at the luncheon, which will take place from 12pm at the Victoria Hotel, Woodend.

In 1995, Mr Roberts became the first high-profile Australian sports person, and the first rugby footballer in the world, to come out to the public as gay.

Pursuing a second career in acting, he has many film and television credits spanning the last twenty years.

Mr Roberts is also a sports wellbeing educator specialising in elite wellbeing, supporting queer athletes and facilitating an inclusion program for the NRL.

Birds of a Feather organiser Belinda Brain said Mr Roberts was a personal inspiration.

“As a young lesbian coming to terms with my own sexuality, Ian was an inspiration,” she said. “His book Finding Out, published in 1995, was compulsory reading for me.

“[He] is a true pioneer, a legend who has left an indelible mark on the game by braving abuse and homophobia to be true to himself.”

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