Under the same stars, under one banner

1 March 2013

Float organisers Fahad Ali and Eleanor Barz.
Float organisers Fahad Ali and Eleanor Barz.

Our diverse University of Sydney community will join together for the first time this year to field a float in the annual Sydney Mardi Gras.

The 35th annual Sydney Mardis Gras takes place this Saturday 2 March, and marks the first time the University's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) community and their supporters will march together - on their own Quadrangle-themed float.

"Various student groups have taken part in previous years," said one of the float's organisers, Student Representative Council Queer Officer and Queer Action Collective (QAC) co-convener Fahad Ali.

"But this is the first time a collective float supported by the University and the University of Sydney Union has been entered, so staff, alumni and other community members will also be represented."

Fahad said this also spoke to the broader benefit of the University's engagement with the LGBTIQ community.

"The queer community is a significant demographic, and is endowed with no less talent and brilliance than any other demographic," Fahad said.

"If the University wants to attract the best minds in the country, it must engage with all communities and work to build an inclusive and welcoming environment so all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, can feel at home here," he says.

"And by learning to accept each other, we build a better society for ourselves, and a future in which our ideas can shine bright enough to extinguish our prejudices."

To secure the University's support for this new initiative, Fahad contacted Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Registrar Professor Derrick Armstrong, who was happy to oblige.

"We are bringing Sydney University's diverse community together for the first time under one banner at Mardi Gras," Professor Armstrong said.

"This great initiative is a wonderful celebration of our proud tradition of inclusiveness."

Find out more about student organisations on campus. Visit the Sydney Mardi Gras 2013 website for more information on the event.

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