Hi, I'm Trina, Councillor for The Gabba. I'm running for re-election in the 2024 Council elections.
I became Councillor for The Gabba on 2 May 2023. This ward comprises the suburbs of Kangaroo Point, Dutton Park, West End, Highgate Hill, South Brisbane and the western side of Woolloongabba.
I moved into this role after a competitive pre-selection process by the South Brisbane Greens branch, following the resignation of former Councillor Jonathan Sriranganathan. I'm excited and proud to have this opportunity. The Gabba Ward is where I live, it's where I've worked, and it's where I've built relationships.
I'm an Arts and Creative Industries administrator, DJ, and renter living in Woolloongabba. I'm a proud queer woman and immigrant of Filipino and African American ethnicity. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Political Science and History.
I grew up in Stafford and have lived most of my life in Brisbane, apart from a few years in my 20s, where I lived and worked in Skopje, Macedonia and Amsterdam, Holland.
I started working at a live music venue when I returned to Brisbane to finish my studies. Here, my love for music flourished by being a part of the local Brisbane music scene. Through organically building relationships and communities, I started putting on club nights, which led me to book live music in venues across Fortitude Valley, Paddington and West End. I also began a music management business, a record label and started Djing during this time.
In 2015, I was invited to produce the Queensland Music Awards (QMAs). This led to me becoming Program Manager at QMusic, Queensland's peak body for Contemporary Music. In this role, I delivered multiple QMAs and BIGSOUNDs. I also developed and implemented a state-wide professional development program with artists and industry workers. This program worked with over 2000 people across the state each year. Over these years, listening deeply to community needs and co-designing solutions was cemented as the foundation of my work practice.
After QMusic, I accepted a role as the Program Manager at the national peak body Australian Association for Artist Managers. Building on my experience as a community-based programmer, I delivered and developed professional development nationally. With the advent of COVID-19, I was proud to pilot and then nationally provide the first-of-its-kind mental health program for artists and artist managers called Gimme Shelter.
It was during this time my unconventional journey in politics began. I hadn't joined a party in university, hoping to progress into a political career. Instead, I had spent many years feeling apathetic towards a political system that I felt didn't understand me, or people like me. I felt disappointed at the constant defunding of the arts and culture as I watched social inequity grow and coal and gas companies receive more and more subsidies and tax cuts as they kept cooking the planet.
While I had been a Greens voter for a long time, it was during the 2019 federal election that I realised a social media post every few years wasn't enough. If I wanted anything to change, I had to get active and use the skills and networks I had built throughout my career.
I joined the Greens as it was a political party aligned with my value set. I had imagined my work at the party to be back of house, delivering events and boots on the ground. But with the 2020 Council elections, an opportunity presented itself for me to amplify the voices of the diverse intersections of communities I belong to. Minority communities, LGBTIQ+ and Arts. So I ran as a candidate. I didn't win, but that was okay because we got closer to winning that seat.
After that election, I worked at a regional Council as the Coordinator of Creative Industry Development where I wrote policy, implemented development programs, managed grant funding and delivered key arts events such as the Ipswich Art Awards and Creators of Ipswich Summit. In this role, I gained a deep understanding of how a Council works and its incredible ability to affect people's lives daily for better or for worse.
I'm proud to represent the Gabba Ward as its Councillor. I prioritise transportation connectivity, housing affordability, green spaces and the arts, and I'm keen to continue this important work with our local community.