And the only winner of the Plebiscite is…

I came home tonight to find my husband in tears.

He had just deleted a post on social media, on the LGBTIQ community page Pokolbin Pride, slating the LGBTIQ community and he and I personally (as the organisers of Pokolbin Pride) as bullies. At the same time my husband banned the FB user responsible for the post from the page. Minutes later a friend and what looked like family member of the banned user reposted the same rant.

My husband has now removed himself from social media. “I’m logging out of social media until this whole plebiscite is over. I’m physically and emotionally drained. My mental health has suffered immensely and I can’t look at any more comments or shares regarding the no vote. I have tried my hardest to push the yes vote but can’t do it anymore. If you need me, Call or message me or contact Jimmy on Facebook,” Matty Kerr.

The Turnbull Government has made it illegal for broadcast media to refuse to run campaigns. The legislation excluded print and online media.

I will leave to one side the wrongness of the government getting involved in private decisions between legal entities on political advertising for now.

If a media owner wants to back a particular view or refuse advertising from a political group they should be allowed. Their customers will decide if it was a good decision.

Two weeks ago the Cessnock Advertiser owned by Fairfax Media chose to allow the Kurri Kurri Congregational Church through Rev. P Graham to run a full page advert promoting No to Same Sex Marriage.

Our community, the local LGBTIQ community, were and remain hurt by the untruths in the advert and frankly un-Christian tone it took.

We took to social media to share the hurt and chose as a group to review the Cessnock Advertiser’s decision via their Facebook page. Within 12 hours their review score had dropped from more than 4 stars to less than 2. The Cessnock Advertiser then decided to remove the opportunity for public review from their FB page.

An additional response to the running of the No advert was a local crowd funding campaign to run a Yes advert. Funds were raised and the advert ran today. The Cessnock Advertiser happy to take Yes money as much as No money.

Another full page No advert ran today at the same time as the Yes advert.

There were no reviews two weeks ago from the local community supporting the Cessnock Advertiser’s decision to run the No advert.

The review functionality remains turned off on their FB page. Perhaps if this feature was turned on again the readers would be able to share their support or otherwise for the advertising decisions made over the last few weeks.

Through our businesses my husband and I had committed a fairly significant sum to advertising across Fairfax’s titles on and off line. As a result of their decision to run No adverts we will never spend money with Fairfax again. We encourage Yes voters to boycott their titles and cancel any planned advertising.

The editorial and advertising team were well within their legal rights to refuse No money and they decided otherwise.

Today we were contacted by the Newcastle Herald another Fairfax title as they are planning to run an LGBTIQ feature pull-out on the weekend of Pokolbin Pride.

Their salesperson wrote this “The format of this feature is strictly non-political in relation to the current postal survey. Its sole focus is to support the LGBTIQ community in the region, inform interested readers on the history of the Pride movement in the region and cover events, venues, support services and other related articles of general interest to the LGBTIQ community including the float entry for the next Mardi Gras.”

I wrote back explaining that Pokolbin Pride was a not for profit community festival the only one of it’s kind the Newcastle and Hunter Region. Did we need to “pay for advertising to get coverage in the pull out.”

The response “As with all our features we invite editorial submissions from supporting advertisers…. Pokolbin Pride will be covered whether you advertise or not but we cannot guarantee the level of coverage it will get. Along with the general interest editorial our supporting paid advertisers, some of who are non-for-profit organisations, will get priority with their events and services as well.”

Our feeling is that the pull-out is a shameless attempt to extract dollars from LGBTIQ groups on the back of the plebiscite and neither our businesses nor Pokolbin Pride will be supporting it.

The only winners of the Plebiscite are Australia Post and the media running the campaigns.

  • Turnbull regardless of the result is done for at the next election.
  • The public’s lack of faith in the political system has definitely increased.
  • The Yes campaign, whilst it looks like a positive result, have not so far rebutted the No campaign with the vigour that is needed to protect our community properly.
  • The No campaign will likely and hopefully go down in history as one of the last times inhumane, fascist, sexist, racist and homophobic views were given airtime in a seemingly civilised democracy.

Matty and I encourage YES voters of any sexual or political persuasion to join us and hundreds of others at Pokolbin Pride on the 20-22nd October for music, fun, great wine and food and a celebration of love and kindness.

Yes that is plug for our Festival, this is our media channel and we will do what we like with it.

Love will win,

Jimmy & Matty Kerr

You can help create our art history

You can help create a piece of art and history…

According to the 2016 Census published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are just over 46,800 same-sex couples in Australia. We know there are lots more…
As part of this year’s Art Expo hosted by Tamburlaine Organic Wines at Pokolbin Pride we want to create a piece of history depicting as many LGBTIQ relationships as we can with photography.
Send a picture of your relationship to to be a part of the work.

By sending or uploading your image to our FB page you give unlimited permission for its reproduction as part of Pokolbin Pride activity.

Many thanks

Jimmy & Matty Kerr xxx

This initiative is only possible with support from our community partner ACON & corporate partner Aurizon.

Free Transport

Free Transport for Pokolbin Pride 

Some excellent news… 

We are delighted to announce that Aurizon Group, who employee many hundreds of people in the Hunter Valley region, have made a significant donation to help make Pokolbin Pride happen in 2017.

Part of the donation is being used to fund bus shuttle transfers between Hunter Tent Stay and Pokolbin.

The campsite is the ONLY remaining affordable accommodation option this year due to so much happening in the Valley.

Camping starts at $89 per person for two nights including breakfast. There are plenty of BYO and ‘get them to do it’ glamping options available.

There will be free transport available from the campsite to Peterson House for the Bubbles & Beats Party on Friday 20th October. The last bus will leave Peterson House at 11.45pm on Friday night.

There will be free transport from Hunter Tent Stay to all participating venues throughout the day and for the evening Party at Tamburlaine Organic Wines on Saturday 21st October. The last bus will leave Tamburlaine at 12.30am on Saturday.

There will be free transport available all day from Hunter Tent Stay including the Ivanhoe Easy Sunday Recovery Party on 22nd October. The last bus returning guests to the campsite will leave Ivanhoe Wines at 4.30pm and Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen at 4.45pm.

You will need to show the driver a valid ticket for a Pokolbin Pride 2017 event to use the bus service.

Buses will be provided based on the number of guests booked at the campsite for Pokolbin Pride.

Buses will only stop at Tamburlaine, Drayton’s, Ivanhoe, Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen and Peterson House. Anyone deemed unfit for travel will be refused by the driver. Please behave and let us make this a part of of every Pokolbin Pride in the future.

Please book your camping now, book your tickets now and let us make your Pokolbin Pride experience a fabulous one.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Aurizon and their generous donation.

See you next month at Pokolbin Pride.

Matty & Jimmy Kerr xxx

Yes, Yes, Yes

Here’s my 5c worth after some very deep thought and Google research along with illegally marrying my darling husband last December. These are the views of Jimmy Kerr personally a Founder of Pokolbin Pride and no one else.

  • 1 in 5 straight people get married more than once.
  • 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce.

Less straight people got married in 2015 than in 2014 (the last accurate numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics).

11% and growing; the proportion of marriages that are second marriages for both parties.

More than 70% of marriages are overseen by a Civil Celebrant rather than a Priest or religious celebrant. Marriage is no longer a Christian or religious property by any stretch of the imagination.

Dissecting the statistics one time, life long marriage between a Christian man and a woman accounts for less than 10% of all new marriages.

Marriage as an solid social, let alone Christian, institution is pretty much non-existent in our society.

The LGBTIQ community includes 46,800 same-sex couples according to the 2016 census results. Many of whom who have been in hidden stable relationships for a lot longer than their straight counterparts.

Allowing these relationships to be included in Marriage statistics by extending the right to marry would go a long to immediately ‘save’ the institution of Marriage from a statistical perspective.

11% of the Australian population identify as LGBTIQ allowing us the right to get married opens up the institution to about two million potential new customers.

Let’s give everyone the chance to screw it up even further.

Or perhaps, just perhaps let’s give 11% of adults the opportunity to give marriage another chance at success and reinvigorate for generations to come.

Vote Yes. 

Because a no vote is a not just inhumane judgement on 11% of the population similar to racism or sexism in the last century: a No vote is a vote of no confidence in the institution of marriage as viable vehicle for our social structures in the future.

Facts for this opinion from;

Rainbow Family Lunches

Spit or SwallowSunday 22nd October 2017

On Friday, Saturday & Sunday we will be welcoming rainbow families of all shapes and sizes to Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen for a family lunch served picnic style on the grass (under cover or inside in the case of rain). There will be entertainment for kids of all ages and heaps of fun and games; fur babies welcome too.

Our friends at Macquariedale Organic Wines are supporting us with the event and will be releasing Say YES celebration bottles to support the LGBTIQ community. We will have limited edition Stunning Shiraz 2016 and Cheeky Chardonnay 2016 vintages for sale at just $7 glass or $35 a bottle to be consumed on-site.

You’ll also be able to purchase the specially commissioned bottles from Pokolbin Pride for delivery to anywhere in Australia very soon.

Pre-purchase your tickets for the Rainbow Family Lunches now.

Pokolbin Pride 20th – 22nd October 2017

It’s official the line-up for Pokolbin Pride 2017 is here

We’ve just got information that there is a concert at Hope Estate on the same weekend as Pokolbin Pride… our advice is to book accommodation now to avoid high prices or disappointment.

Here’s the line-up for the festival so far…

Friday 20th October

  • Rainbow Families Lunch 12pm to 3pm – Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen
  • Bubbles & Beats Welcome Party – Peterson House

Saturday 21st October

  • Rainbow Families Lunch 12pm to 3pm -Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen


Pokolbin Pride Party – Tamburlaine Organic Wines featuring DJ Mason Andrews, Mel & Jade, Daniel Turner and the fabulous Prada’s Priscillas.

Doors Open at 6.30pm with food & DJ – first act at 7.30pm

Sunday 22nd October

  • Rainbow Families Lunch 12pm to 3pm – Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen
  • Recovery Party 12pm to 4pm – Ivanhoe Vineyard


  • Community Markets – Draytons Family Wines
  • LGBTI Art Expo – Tamburlaine Organic Wines
  • Exclusive Tastings for Pokolbin Pride at Participating Wineries and Food venues – watch this space
  • Rainbow High Teas at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen from 9am to 4pm

Tickets for the Party and VIP Packages are now available.

#2 October 20-22 2017


It’s time for a teaser about Pokolbin Pride #2…

Singer / Songwriter Daniel Turner & Superstar DJ Mason Andrews
We’ve already locked in Newcastle’s cutest export DJ Mason Andrews and Central Coast local Daniel Turner as talent for the Saturday night party with more Australian acts to follow shortly.

Get in early and book your Hunter Valley accommodation early.. year one saw more than 600 people visit the festival and numbers are set to rise!

We’ve listened to the feedback and will be keeping the official events for year two consolidated over three days – here’s the beginnings of the festival calendar;

  • Friday 20th October – Welcome Dinner at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen 7pm
  • Saturday 21st October – Pokolbin Pride Party from 6pm
  • Sunday 22nd October – Recovery Party 12-4pm
  • Sunday 22nd October – Closing Reception 5pm – 7.30pm

You can expect more event announcements and early bird ticket sales to start in the new year.

For now have a dazzling Christmas and a glitzy New Year

Much love

Matty & Jimmy Kerr

A big proud Thank You…

Jimmy & Matty (aka Barbara Bush – sadly now retired) celebrating Pokolbin Pride #1

Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for helping to make the inaugural Pokolbin Pride a reality.

With 5200 followers on Facebook we saw almost 600 people come out to the Hunter Valley over the festival and 243 people along to the party on Saturday night featuring Sisco Electro, Luke Antony and DJ Dom De Sousa.

We are delighted to announce the dates for Pokolbin Pride #2 – Friday 20th October to Sunday 22nd October 2017. Make sure you are on the mailing list to receive up to date information about the schedule and early bird tickets.

As the Founders of the festival we have decided to launch two initiatives to keep the momentum going…

Pokolbin Pride Sundays at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen

  • every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm we are offering a share platter and two drinks for $45; we want to create a regular space for the LGBTI community in the Hunter Valley to hang out – friends and families welcome.


Rainbow High Teas at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen

  • Nan’s High Teas are one of our most popular items in the restaurant – from Thursday 10th November all our High Teas will be rainbow high teas and $2 from every sale will go directly into the Pokolbin Pride fund to help make the festival happen each year.



Of course the festival couldn’t have happened without the help of the local businesses that lent us their space, staff, creativity, enthusiasm, insights and financial support…

Our founding¬†partners are…

  • Cypress Lakes – Oaks Hotel Resort
  • Tamburlaine Organic Wines
  • Draytons Family Wines
  • Peterson House
  • Tinklers Wines
  • Eagles Rest Wines
  • Ivanhoe Wines
  • Log Press Cafe
  • Moorebank Private Vineyard
  • Hunters Quarter
  • Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
  • Lucy Laqua
  • Sports Power – Cessnock
  • Oliver Campbell Heslop
  • The Cellar Restaurant
  • Hart & Hunter
  • Macquariedale Organic Wines
  • McGuigan Wines
  • and of course ACON Hunter

See you very soon xxx

Much love

Matty & Jimmy

Two More Sleeps…


There’s just two more sleeps to go before Pokolbin Pride 2016 kicks off in the Hunter Valley…

Thursday to Monday

  • Art Expo at Tamburlaine – FREE
  • Markets at Draytons Family Wines – FREE
  • Rainbow High Tea at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen $35 – bookings on 0427 679 887 or online

Thursday to Sunday

  • Picnic Spaces at Eagles Rest & Tinklers – FREE
  • Oh My God, I’ve Been Kidnapped and I Hate What I’m Wearing – Hunter Valley Summer Theatre


  • Canape Reception at Hunters Quarter $65 – tickets



Our supporting vineyards and wineries that you should check out during the weekend…

Eagles Rest, Tinklers, Draytons Family Wines, Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Macquariedale, Hart & Hunter, Ivanhoe, Tempus Two, Moorebank Vineyard, Peterson House, Lambloch Estate

Where to eat…

Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen, Hunters Quarter, The Log Press Cafe, The Cellar Restaurant, Blaxlands Inn and Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop

How to get around…

Hunter Valley Hire Cars for travel in style and safety around the valley call 0498 492 539

Rover Coaches with services to and from Newcastle on Saturday & Sunday – book online

Have a wonderful Pokolbin Pride!

Pokolbin Pride logo with tag line

A note about the calendar

We have updated the festival calendar and removed some of the scheduled events that weren’t getting enough love.

Please appreciate that this is year one, with no council, regional government or tourist association funding so we cannot afford to run events that looked like they would be making a loss – this is a social enterprise and we want to make sure it’s a success so that we can get bigger in year 2, 3, 4 and beyond…

Much love Matty & Jimmy Kerr xxx