New South Wales, News

Tributes flow for Gay Sydney Australia founder Daniel Matatahi

Family and friends have honoured the memory of Daniel Matatahi after the LGBTIQ community advocate passed away on the weekend.

Matatahi, 52, was the founder of community group Gay Sydney Australia.

He died on Saturday after having a seizure while walking in Surry Hills.

Friends, family, and members of the LGBTIQ community have posted tributes to Matatahi on social media.

“You always did your best to make our community stronger and never let it bring you down. You will be greatly missed,” wrote friend Aaron Little on Facebook.

“Always smiling and sharing love around with his wonderful spirit, Dan did so much for the community,” posted singer Greg Gould.

“On a personal note, Daniel has supported me and my career since day one.

“I remember he asked me to perform ‘Over the Rainbow’ as a tribute for the Pulse nightclub victims vigil.

“Now you my friend have travelled over the rainbow where you may rest in peace – you will be missed lovely man.”

Other friends added that Matatahi was a “wonderful beautiful man” and “one of the kindest, sweetest and [most] selfless men in our community”.

Matatahi’s family in New Zealand are grieving their loss while separated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will all grieve for you from home and when we can we will bring you home,” wrote Donna Matatahi on Facebook.

“Gone way too soon our bro.”

A community memorial is expected to be held in Sydney after the virus lockdown ends, likely at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst.

Created in 2011, Gay Sydney Australia provides a space for people from all parts of the LGBTIQ community to come together.

Matatahi is remembered for his compassion and commitment to supporting his peers without judgement.

Friend and Gay Sydney Australia brand manager Andrew Ewing has established a crowdfund for donations to assist with funeral expenses.

“Any little you can help will be most appreciated [by] his family at this hard time,” wrote Ewing on the fund page.

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