We sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device, which enable this website to work properly and remember your preferences. You can delete all cookies already on your device and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed, however some functionalities may not work.

Defence and DEFGLIS proud of inclusion and respect at 40th Mardi Gras Parade

2018 03 09 MardiGras

Defence and DEFGLIS joined with 200 distinct groups to march in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, that featured a stunning array of creative concepts from all walks of the LGBTI community.

The contingent of over 150 personnel was led by Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart, AM - the Commander of Joint Health and Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force.

The people in this parade are immensely proud to serve and have gathered from all over the nation to show how proud they are to be part of Australia's defence and warfighting capability
- Vince Chong, President of DEFGLIS

Warrant Officer of the Navy Gary Wight also proudly led the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen who volunteer their spare time to march with pride for their service and to celebrate the diversity that brings strength to the many of the warfighting roles that they undertake.

Leading the Defence Pride and DEFGLIS family contingent was Mr Richard Oliver, acting Deputy Secretary of Defence People, a champion for LGBTI personnel in the services and the Australian Public Service workforce.

The Australian Defence Force Academy band, pipes and drums kept marchers in step, while the 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancer Band joined the contingent for the first time, playing rock and contemporary music for the DEFGLIS and Defence Pride civilian contingent.

DEFGLIS President Vince Chong said that for so many in the community, the Mardi Gras Parade serves as a liberating rite-of-passage, providing many people with the confidence to accept who they are and be the very best they can be.

"The people in this parade are immensely proud to serve and have gathered from all over the nation to show how proud they are to be part of Australia's defence," said Chong.

"Everyone marches to show that the Defence community strives to respect diverse people and create the culture of inclusion necessary for cohesive teams to function effectively, operating and supporting technologically advanced and very capable weapon systems."

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said that every single person in this year’s special 40th-anniversary parade helped to produce a dazzling display of self-expression, reflection and celebration. 

“Beyond the glitter, flamboyance and satire, there were so many floats reminding us of the serious issues — acceptance, inclusivity, diversity, respect," said Casu.

“Among this year’s many floats were many paying tribute to the original Mardi Gras marchers, our 78ers, and our 40 year anniversary."

About the Author
Author: Staff Writers
Contributors from the DEFGLIS membership, community and the Australian Defence Force.
Also written by this author:

2016 05 10 ReflectionsThumb

StoreGraphic2

Latest News

Research Launch: Where are all the LGBTI women at work

The low visibility and engagement of same‑sex attracted women in the workplace has been the subject of extensive research and analysis by PwC and Pride in Diversity, with key findings and...

Read more

'Because of her we can' – NAIDOC Week 2018

This NAIDOC Week, 8-15 July, Defence and DEFGLIS celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians. The theme – Because of Her We Can – celebrates the invaluable contributions that...

Read more

AVM Tracy Smart recognised as a top LGBTI Australian

Air Vice-Marshal (Dr.) Tracy Smart AM, ADF Surgeon General and Commander of Joint Health Command was named as one of Australia's most outstanding LGBTI Australians. AVM Smart is responsible for the...

Read more

Still Point Turning is a vital affirmation of trans people through the story of Catherine McGregor

“The unifying trans experience is rejection and repudiation.” So says Cate McGregor’s character in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production Still Point Turning: The Catherine McGregor Story. This one line summarises a...

Read more

Experience in management, communication or support?

Become a volunteer