Phylesha Brown-Acton

Phylesha Brown-Acton
Trans Steering Committee representative - Oceania

Hailing from the village of Fineone Hakupu Atua, Niue Island, Phylesha is a champion for the rights of sexual and gender identity minority groups within Aotearoa and the Pacific region.  

Phylesha is a member to the New Zealand Queen’s Birthday Honours List - 2019, as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Pacific and LGBTQI+ communities.  She is a Harvard Business School graduate completing a business course in Global women's leadership and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Applied Indigenous Knowledge.

Phylesha is the founder and Director of a Pacific LGBTQI organisation called F'INE, pronounced “fee-neh”, which is a Whanau Ora funded and the first support service of its kind in New Zealand that caters to Pacific LGBTQI+ peoples and their families, based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Phylesha has over a decade of governance experience and holds the current positions of:

  • Co-Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) based in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Trustee of the Maori, Indigenous and Pacific Islands HIV/AIDS Foundation (INA)
  • Board member, Auckland Pride Festival Incorporated (APFI)
  • ILGA Oceania, Co-convenor & Trans portfolio

She is a renowned Pacific Cultural entertainer, traditional costume designer, former beauty pageant title holder of 3 Beauty pageants, a World Cup Champion title holder for Mixed Netball representing New Zealand, and an Indigenous activist. 

Organisation: Family, Identity, Navigate, Equality (F’INE Pasifika Aotearoa); New Zealand / Niue Island