Leaders, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Religious Leaders say…

Anthony Venn-Brown has provided LGBTQ training in a variety of settings, including the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, as well as religious groups and organisations

“Being a member of this Safe Space group myself, I could observe how this very diversified group of people felt at ease with Anthony’s facilitation, how the process went from phase to phase often with smiles and laughter, and often with deep emotional engagement, all due to the personal skill sets and values Anthony Venn-Brown represented. After the first session of three full working days, the group was established, had found its methodology and trust and confidence was built, enough to bring the group forward to a phenomenal result a few years after. The long-term result of this process for the global YMCA movement, is an unprecedented level of inclusivity of minorities and a clear and conscious stand against discrimination and racism of all kinds. Anthony played a significant role in this process, and on behalf of the Global YMCA Movement”

Rev Johan Vilhelm Eltvik

Past CEO and Secretary General World Alliance of YMCAs

Read full statement here https://www.abbi.org.au/2022/09/ymca-and-lgbt/

‘Anthony is one of the most effective, compassionate and strategic facilitators in the world around conversations related to faith, diversity, equity and inclusion – especially related to LGBTQ identifies individuals and communities. He was able to lay a foundation of safety, non-judgement and empathy at a table filled with YMCA leaders from around the world on one of the most challenging topics our global movement faces. This made possible an historic step forward towards inclusion for all across the World YMCA movement.’

Chad Nico Hiu  (He/Him/His) Director, Diversity & Inclusion,  YMCA OF THE USA

“We invited Anthony to present to our combined Masters and Bachelors of Social Work students at the Australian College of Applied Psychology about the issues facing LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) people. As a lecturer, I am very aware of the challenges of engaging 70 students for 3 hours. Anthony’s presentation captured the student’s minds and hearts from the moment he began, and I think there was not a dry eye in the room as he read an excerpt from his book “A Life of Unlearning”. Through Anthony’s humour and shared humanity, he enabled students to relate to the presentation content and understand the issues facing LGBTI peoples. Anthony is a gifted orator, and his presentation was both moving, informative, profound, deeply personal, very humorous and reached a student audience from a variety of cultural backgrounds, ages and beliefs. As staff of ACAP we felt deep gratitude to have someone of Anthony’s calibre present to our School of budding social workers and look forward to hosting him again in the near future!”

EMMA SINCLAIR , Lecturer, Australian College of Applied Psychology

‘Anthony Venn-Brown is a pioneer, leader and educator on the number one issue facing Christians today; faith and sexuality. Anthony has an ability to work wisely with the tensions at this critical cross-road in the life of the Australian Church and his approach has been welcomed not only in the Church but also the LGBT community. His unique insights are showing us a new way forward. Anthony’s professionalism, compassion, and courage have always impressed me.’

Rev Michael Hercock, Imagine Baptist Church – Darlinghurst

‘It has been over ten years since I first made contact with Anthony Venn Brown. Back then I was a Pentecostal Minister in a thriving mega church. A minister with a growing suspicion and gnawing doubt about the treatment and marginalisation of LGBTIQ people by the wider church. Anthony was an angel. I look back at my ignorance and blundering questions – he helped clarify so many things with grace and without judgement. Today I would count him as my dear friend.

His book, “A Life of Unlearning” is a must read for anyone serious about research and education in the area of sexuality and conversations about LGBTIQ. Matters such as this are often discussed in a clinical and uninformed manner. Stories like Anthony’s make an important personal contribution
to gaining understanding of who we are as human beings created in the image of God.’

Nicole Conner, Writer & Blogger

‘I can highly recommend Anthony Venn-Brown from Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Speaking on the emotionally charged topic of homosexuality in a Bible College setting is not an easy task! However, Anthony handled himself with humility and authenticity — and without the slightest hint of defensiveness or judgment. Anthony has the unique ability to open up avenues of dialogue and honest conversations in even the most hostile situations, all the while responding to students with respect and a self-depreciating humour. He truly is a ‘bridge builder’ within the kingdom of God.’

Lynn Moresi, Adjunct Lecturer – Tabor Victoria

‘I have known and respected Anthony Venn-Brown for several years, and would highly commend him as a man of integrity, who has done the relevant research, is an excellent communicator, and, especially in this area, has ‘been there’… Anthony’s book is well-written, a ‘must-read’ for all Christians, especially Christian leaders. It’s confronting, occasionally (appropriately) explicit, irenic, sad, honest, and well-researched. There’s a commendable integrity about his approach.’

Rev Dr Rowland Croucher, a well-known theologian, international speaker, best-selling author and director of John Mark Ministries. Rowland pastored the largest Baptist church in Australia and has spoken to Christians from most denominations in 37 countries.

‘The issue of LGBTI people is one of the most serious issues facing the modern-day church. Right now it appears that much of the church and the gay community have dug down into opposite trenches and are taking shots at each other. I propose a ceasefire – and I believe the church needs to take the initiative on this. It’s time for peace talks, getting to know people rather than dealing with issues from a place of distant ignorance. Anthony Venn-Brown has a great deal of experience and insight that can help you at least begin a journey of understanding, compassion and grace.’

Rob Buckingham, Senior Minister, Bayside Church – Melbourne

Mental health professional endorsement

‘Anthony shares his life with us with all the colour that a story-telling evangelist can capture. The honesty of his story is compelling… Anthony doesn’t claim to be ‘right’, he simply tells his story. You can’t argue with it. It is neither right nor wrong, it simply is. His story faces the hard issues, HIV/AIDS, Suicide, Sexual Assault, Relationships, Marriage, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Loneliness, Guilt, Shame, Rejection, Love and Sex. He has nothing to hide and it is refreshing. I recommend his book as a non-threatening way to understand and process the issues of sexuality and spirituality; however, I can’t say you may not experience discomfort as the honesty in these pages invites you to be honest in your own life. Read it if you dare.’

Dr Wendell Rosevear, O.A.M., M.B., B.S., Dip. RACOG, FRACGP

Academic endorsements

”A Life of Unlearning’ is a story of courage and resiliency, providing powerful insights essential for any professional considering working with people; teachers, health and social workers, psychologists, counsellors and those who minister.’

Liz Hammond, Manager Health Promotion, Family Planning NSW, founding member of the NSW Anti Homophobia Interagency

‘By providing powerful, personal and accessible insights into how an individual experiences the tensions, meshings and meeting points between religion, spirituality, sexuality and family, ‘A Life of Unlearning’ is essential reading for students and teachers of social sciences, religious studies, family studies, psychology and health studies at both upper secondary and tertiary levels.’

Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Author and Senior Lecturer in Social Diversity, Health and Education School of Health and Social Development Deakin University, Melbourne Australia

Autobiography endorsements

‘Anthony Venn-Brown presents a work that rings an authentic tone as he unearths the pain of living a closeted life. He does so without self-indulgence or bitterness. His words brim with hope, humor and integrity. As he unfolds the complexity of being a Christian who also happens to be gay, he reveals the many horrors we can inflict upon ourselves in attempts to submerge parts of our personalities. He also models the courageous process of starting a new while remaining faithful to the people and beliefs at our core. I highly recommend this book.’

Peterson Toscano, USA Author of Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House–How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement

‘‘A Life of Unlearning’ will blow apart our illusions and offers instead a more substantial picture of what it really means to live a Christian life. In this book, hope is found through being honest and truthful – and learning what it means to live a life of integrity – rather than pretending to keep up an illusion of holy living, according to the demands and expectations of many church-going folk. I highly recommend this book and if you allow the honesty of the author to challenge you, it will change your life – for the better.’

Jeremy Marks, COURAGE, U.K.

‘Human stories, like the one in these pages, play a part in advancing understanding and acceptance. It is the story of a quest to find not only self-acceptance but one of the most powerful forces in nature—human love.’

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia and received numerous United Nations appointments.