The 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras focused on '40 years of evolution', honouring four decades of LGBTIQ achievements since the first event in 1978.
As an official supporter of the event, 2018 marked the third year we joined the festivities on Oxford Street, led by Ally Network Champion, Professor Stephen Garton.
'I think it’s important for the University to be involved in the Mardi Gras festival because it expresses some of our core values as an institution,” he said before the march got under way.
'We’re an institution characterised by diversity and inclusion and being involved in the 40th Anniversary celebration of Mardi Gras is an honour and an expression of our support for LGBTIQ inclusion. It is a time for students and staff to celebrate the LGBTIQ community'
The University's float featured students and staff from across the organisation, including members of its Ally Network, as they danced to a kaleidoscopic backdrop of colour, with their multi-coloured wings and painted faces.
The University's theme Rally. Change. Evolve. was a celebration of diversity and self-expression, honouring 40 years of Mardi Gras, and representing how the University is transforming to become even more open and diverse.
What is the difference between being queer, gay or lesbian? Aren’t they all same-sex relationships? Staff and students from the LGBTIQ community came together to answer questions people might be too afraid to ask and revealed their personal experiences of coming out, relationships and which bathroom to use.
It’s not about generating empathy, I think it’s about knowledge. It’s actually about educating people and that’s what universities are all about.