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Benjamin Ashe
Mel Whitaker and Benjamin Ashe

Benjamin Ashe is our Festival Director – say hi!

Meet Ben/Benji/Benjamin Ashe, the next volunteer we’re profiling as part of our Frolic Festival profiles. Ben is one of the founders of the Frolic Festival, the Festival Director, and sits on our Committee of Management.

Benjamin is pictured on the right, with Mel on the left

Preferred first name: Ben/Benji/Benjamin Ashe – I really don’t mind!
Pronouns: He, They
Your role: Festival Director
What does that involve? I work with everyone on the Frolic team to make sure that we achieve our festival goals. I contribute towards what Frolic will look like into the future. I help to maintain strong relationships within and without our organization.
Describe yourself in 25 words or less: I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert. I love going to events, but equally love time to myself cooking, gardening or building stuff.
Outside of Frolic, what are you most passionate about? I’m passionate about ethics, social justice, and the environment.
How did you become involved in Frolic? I started Frolic with the help of some friends. When I first moved to Ballarat there wasn’t much happening for the LGBTIQA+ community here in town. We got together and came up with the idea that we should put on some events where everyone from the LGBTIQA+ community could get together, meet each other and make new connections.
Why are you involved in Frolic? I want to see all of the benefits that an LGBTIQA+ festival can bring to Ballarat – like acceptance, positive visibility, and a safer harmonious community.
What do you love about Frolic? I love that Frolic brings people together, people who are very different make connections with each other through Frolic and I think that builds community.
What do you hope for Frolic’s future? I’d like to see Frolic grow and help more people in Ballarat find connection and community.
Favourite past event and why: The Under The Sea Ball was a fantastic event; it brought together so many people and some very talented performers, and the decorations were fabulous.
What are you looking forward to most at this year’s festival? I’m really looking forward to the Bush dance; it’s at a beautiful new venue and it looks like we’ll have a lot of support from the broader community.
Pitch a fantasy event for Frolic in the future: We paint up a rainbow caravan, set it up with a bar and music, and hold outdoor dance parties over summer at all sorts of locations.
Tell us about your relationship with Ballarat: I bought a house here around seven years ago and fell in love with the place. I eventually quite my job in Melbourne and moved here full time about five years ago.
What do you love about Ballarat? I think Ballarat is the perfect combination of country and city, it’s small enough to have a great community spirit, but big enough to have everything that you need.

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Thanks so much Ben for sharing your story! Part of connecting the local LGBTIQA+ community is getting to know and celebrating its individual members. We’ll continue to share the stories of our volunteers in further updates!

Have you ever thought about getting involved in Frolic Festival as a volunteer? More info here: https://frolicfestival.org/volunteer/

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