Headshot of Todd Fernando

Todd Fernando

Commissioner, Academic and Advocate
Todd Fernando is the Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities. A descendant of the Kalarie peoples of the Wiradjuri nation, Todd is the second person to fill this role.

Meet Todd

Todd is a strong advocate for the rights and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer Victorians. He is an accomplished diversity and inclusion consultant with extensive experience working with First Nations and LGBTIQ+ communities. He has helped reform social policy and cultural safety frameworks in the public and private sectors.

Todd's background in academic research has particularly focused on the social and cultural experiences of LGBTIQ+ Indigenous Australians. In 2018, along with other members of the Aboriginal rainbow community, he co-founded Koorie Pride Victoria, an advocacy organisation that campaigns for the social inclusion and advancement of Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Aboriginal community.

Victoria became the first state in Australia to have a Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities, previously known as the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, when Ro Allen was appointed to the role in 2015.

Commissioner’s role

The Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities works closely with Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities to provide advice to the Victorian Government on the development of policies, services and programs that are inclusive and meet the needs of our diverse communities.

The Commissioner also works with community organisations, businesses and others to ensure the needs of LGBTIQ+ Victorians are better met and improves understanding about issues affecting LGBTIQ+ Victorians across the broader community.



What does ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ mean to Todd?

Racism is not something that Todd has a choice on whether to engage with or not. It’s something he has to deal with every day – in his work and personal life. Todd acknowledges that racism is a system that was imported to Australia through colonisation and still thrives today. These systems of discrimination were built to be invasive, robust and dangerous. It’s 2022 and Todd’s question is:

                     Racism. What are you doing to make sure that is stops with you?

Todd hopes that this campaign will equip audiences to better see the effects of racial discrimination on people’s lives and the role that those without lived experience of racism need to play, as allies, in combatting it. Todd notes that the Racial Discrimination Act has been in place for 45 years, yet conversations around racism remain basic, focussed on trying to convince people that racism exists. For Todd, if you don’t think that racism exists in our world, or that it’s a problem for other people to deal with, then you are probably part of the problem. Untangling the causes and effects of racism is everybody’s business. Todd hopes that in the next 45 years we are no longer having these discussions.