Record number of government bodies in Sydney’s 41st Mardi Gras

By Harley Dennett

Monday March 4, 2019

Police officers are seen during the 41st annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore) NO ARCHIVING

New South Wales government bodies turned out in record numbers for the 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, including several departments and agencies participating for the first time.

NSW Police are a regular presence, both in providing safety for participants but also marching in the parade. This year they did something a little different by choreographing a full dance routine, not just marching in formation.

In full disclosure, this writer joined in the ADF & DEFGLIS contingent for the parade along with the Department of Defence’s new executive champion for LGBTI diversity, Lisa Phelps, First Assistant Secretary for HR services.

As more photos are uploaded by the government agencies participating, we’ll be adding them here.

Here were all the government floats The Mandarin spotted on Saturday night:

  • City of Sydney – Uniting The World At Our Party — Our theme coincides with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2019 Festival theme, Fearless, which calls on the LGBTQI community across the globe to be strong, live brave, be proud and unite at Mardi Gras 2019 to celebrate fearlessly.
  • SBS – Shine Your Light — SBS is proud to be the broadcast partner, bringing the Mardi Gras parade to Australian TV screens, for the fourth year running, not only on television, but also online and on SBS On Demand. Mardi Gras is a celebration for all LGBTIQ+ people and allies, bringing people from across the world together to celebrate our differences.
  • Australian Defence Force & DEFGLIS  –  Serving with Pride — The Defence contingent of the Navy, Army and the Air Force. Defence is proud of its evolving culture and recognises the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Defence is an increasingly diverse and inclusive organisation that actively supports its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) members. The Australian Defence Force and Department of Defence defend Australia and Australia’s national interests.

  • NSW Police Force GLLOs (LGBTIQ Liaison Officers) & Allies — We’re moving forward with an expanded network of GLLOs and Allies. We also support Wear it Purple by providing music for them to dance to and request that their contingent is located just behind ours, allowing the Police band, located on our truck, to provide the music for them. Some of our non-police participants will be also wearing a purple top to support Wear it Purple.

  • Fire & Rescue NSW — Fire & Rescue NSW is committed to developing a culture which embraces equity, diversity and inclusion across all areas and throughout all levels of the organisation and that is reflective of the wider NSW community which it serves and protects. Look out for our Fire Truck and our rainbow coloured participants sharing colour, dance and festive vibes.

  • Australian Federal Police – Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer Network — The Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers Network is now in its 22nd year of providing advice and support on LGBTI issues to identifying and non-identifying AFP members, and to the broader LGBTI community through its national and community policing roles. “Through our participation, we seek to be visible to the LGBTIQ community and demonstrate that we walk with them in this important event.”

  • Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands – Love Your Nature — Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands is a NSW government agency that maintains some of Sydney’s most beloved green spaces. “Our float provides a clear message about looking after and celebrating the natural world around you, and also on how we must love each other for who we are, accepting our true selves and celebrating diversity, just as we celebrate diversity in nature. We are very excited to be joining forces with LGBTQI community group ‘500 Queer Scientists’ – whose mission is to make science open, inclusive, and accessible.”
  • NSW Rural Fire Service – Volunteers from all walks of life — NSW RFS Volunteers come from all walks of life and can be found right across NSW, be that coastal, regional or rural. The NSW RFS celebrates the diversity of its membership and enthusiastically participates in activities that reflect its membership and community focus.

  • CSIRO – Diversity Is In Our DNA — Diversity is in our DNA, we are all unique and stronger for it. Our science is diverse, from protecting the Great Barrier Reef and water purification technology, to crease-free cotton and 3D printed bones – and our people are diverse – from all around the world, all ages, and all life stages.

  • Corrective Services NSW – Fearlessly making a difference – Keeping NSW Safe — Corrective Services is the division of Justice managing the goals and community corrections centres throughout NSW. The primary goal of the division is the safe management of offenders and community safety. CSNSW is a proud sponsor of the LGBTQI staff network and is proud to declare that they are ‘fearlessly promoting LGBTQI equality’.
  • NSW Department of Planning and Environment – Creating Spaces — For the LGBTQI+ community, finding the space to be yourself, where you are free from confined definitions and expectations of society, is an important journey that we all go on. The intent of creating spaces is to ask people to think about those spaces where they are truly free and limitless in who they are and what they can achieve, removed of fear or repercussion.
  • NSW Ambulance  – Looking after LGBTQI communities — NSW Ambulance is the statutory provider of pre-hospital emergency care and ambulance services to all communities in NSW, including the LGBTQI communities.
  • Transport for NSW – People at the Heart or Ride with Pride — Transport for NSW is an inclusive workplace where we continuously work toward reflecting the customers that we serve. Transport for NSW provides Rail, Bus, Light Rail and Ferry services to customers both in metropolitan and regional New South Wales.
  • NSW State Emergency Service – Celebrating Equality — The NSW State Emergency Service is the most versatile and widely-used rescue and public safety organisation in NSW. We are responsible for preparation and response to floods, storms and tsunami. With close to 10,000 volunteers and 350 staff, we have been supporting Australian communities for over 60 years. We aim to demonstrate our commitment to the LGBTQI communities, their friends, families and communities as a whole.

Top image: AAP Image/Steven Saphore

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