Members of Dubbo-based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning and Asexual (LGBTIQA+) advocacy group have voted to dissolve the organisation after they were unable to elect a new committee.
Since 2014, the Central West Rainbow Alliance (CWRA) worked to increase community awareness of issues affecting local LGBTIQA+ people, eliminate discrimination and advocate for equality initiatives such as same-sex marriage.
The CWRA members are now healing, and I do not doubt that they will rebuild and further progress inclusion in the Central West.Nic Steepe.
The volunteer-based group also played a pivotal part in organising four pride march events, which saw hundreds of people from across the Central West visit Dubbo to celebrate the region's diversity and express support for LGBTIQA+ people.
Former CWRA president Nic Steepe said he believed part of the reason the CWRA was dissolved was because members "could not continue juggling everything alongside personal and professional roles separate to CWRA".
"I will also admit that sometimes it can be quite taxing mentally, and this takes a toll on individuals and their ability to cope," Mr Steepe said.
"What is important is the fact that CWRA was started by the community, for the community," he said.
"It is not about one organisation, it is about the community. And although CWRA has dissolved, the community remains."
While Dubbo was now without a dedicated LGBTIQA+ celebration or advocacy group, Mr Steepe said other country towns - like Broken Hill and Wagga Wagga - would still continue to host major events which showcased diversity.
"Up and coming events such as the Rainbow City Festival to be held in Orange and the Dolly Parton Festival in Narromine will continue to highlight how inclusive the Central West is," he said.
"In addition, organisations and support groups continue to exist and thrive in Dubbo and the Central West."
Organisations like Headspace, Charles Sturt University, NSW Health and the Central West Transgender and Gender Diverse Network continued to offer support to LGBTIQ+ community members who needed it, Mr Steepe said.
"The CWRA members are now healing, and I do not doubt that they will rebuild and further progress inclusion in the Central West. Our community is strong and resilient and remains so. The recent Heywire winner, Kirra Hampson, is just one example."
The Daily Liberal approached the CWRA for comment via its email address and Facebook page. The request for comment was declined.