Special thank to our IFED Former Board Member Bess Hepworth
Actively IFED Board Member: 2018 – 2020
Bess is the Founder and Executive Director of Planet Ally. She is an Australian born social media scientist, international speaker, wife and rainbow Mum of 2 young boys, Bess is based in Hong Kong and has a background in community development and high performance sport. Bess has represented Australia as a youth footballer and coach as well as recently represented Hong Kong in cricket. Bess currently serves as Technical Advisor to the UNDP’s Being LGBTI in Asia, Asia-Pacific Transgender Network, International Family Equality Day and the Australian LGBTI Media Centre and is an active member of Rainbow Families of Hong Kong. Bess is also co-founder of the Asia-Pacific Rainbow Families Network as well as the Human Dignity Festival and also founded an LGBTIQ travel Forum called Miles of Love.
Bess has been named in the Top 10 people to follow on Twitter for Business and Inclusion, Top 10 in the RAHM Global LGBTI Leadership Contest and regularly features in the Top 400 in the Global LGBTI Power Twitter List
She is former TEDx curator, advisory Board member for Social Media Week Hong Kong and formerly Directed Pink Season, Asia’s largest LGBT Cultural Festival, has been Coordinator for IDAHOT Hong Kong and also Events Coordinator for Kids Ocean Day in Hong Kong. Bess was a Co-founder and coach of Australia’s first women’s refugee football team, a guest women’s football coach at the 2008 Homeless World Cup as well as FIFA media liaison at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Most recently, prior to founding Planet Ally, Bess worked as APAC Partnerships and Community Manager for global LGBT business organisation Out Leadership. Bess passionately told the story of Out Leadership both online via social media and offline through building partnership and curating events. Prior to her 4-year role at Out Leadership, Bess ran a successful corporate team building company focused on creativity, productivity and performance.
Bess now spends much of her time between raising her sons and being the proud founder of Planet Ally. An active LGBTI community member in the Asia-Pacific region and champion of positive change, Bess specialises in using social media as a tool for enabling impact for vulnerable LGBTQI communities.