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Tabby Besley

National Coordinator

Tabby Besley is the founder of InsideOUT and identifies as a Pākeha queer femme. She has been volunteering and working in rainbow communities since she was 15 when she led her high-school queer straight alliance and has been involved with a range of organisations including Q-Youth, Out Takes Queer Film Festival, LegaliseLove, PrideNZ, Femme Club, Houhou Te Rongo Kahakura – Outing Violence and more. 

In 2015 Tabby’s work was recognised internationally, as she became the first and only New Zealander to receive a Queen’s Young Leader Award. Tabby was one of five to receive the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Award in 2017, as well as being the Education Finalist for NEXT Woman of the Year and receiving the Wellingtonian of the Year Youth Award.

When she’s not working on queer stuff, Tabby tends to be obsessing over astrology or adding to her collection of all things polka dot!


Hilary Penwarden

Wellington Schools Coordinator

Hilary is a queer actor, musician, administrator and social justice worker. She is originally from Taranaki and has lived in Wellington for 9 years. Hilary studied Theatre and English Literature at Victoria University focusing her Honours thesis on Queer Theatre in Aoteaora. Hilary works as the Wellington Schools Coordinator for InsideOUT and is passionate about building the leadership skills of young LGBTQIA+ people  and creating safer environments for all people in the Rainbow community.


Jean Sergent-Shadbolt

Shift Hui Coordinator

Jean is a queer femme witch cat lady, with a Master’s degree in sociology. 
As a performer and teacher, Jean is passionate about making connections, telling stories, sharing experiences, and advocating for marginalised and vulnerable people. 
When Jean is not working she is probably singing to her house plants or taking selfies with her cats.

Emmett Roberts

Schools Network Intern

Emmett is a non-binary, pākehā queer from Palmerston North with a passion for space, glitter and knitting. They work with young people, delivering healthy relationship education, as well as workshops for school staff on diverse genders and sexualities. Having seen, on a daily basis, the importance of InsideOUT’s work to make our school communities safer for rainbow students, Emmett is thrilled to have the chance to put their nerdy talents to good use as Schools Coordinator Intern.

When not at work, Emmett can usually be found working on their library science degree, knitting, or hanging out with their pets.