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20 years on - not done yet

Proud soldiers, sailors, airmen and Defence personnel braved flood-like weather to celebrate 20 years of open service in the Australia Defence Force at the 2012 Sydney Mardi Gras. 

Many of the young participants will not remember that 20 years ago they would not have been permitted to serve in the Australian Defence Force because of their sexual orientation.


The float in the parade was once again organised by DEFGLIS, the peer and family support network for Defence LGBTI personnel in Defence, who brought together members and supporters of diversity from all across Australia. 


The float was titled "20 years on -- not done yet" to remind DEFGLIS members of the need to support the many new soldiers, sailors and airmen who join the ranks of Defence each year and to keep working on diversity and inclusion in their local units.

"Its important the new members joining the ranks know that sexual preference and gender discovery is a normal part of growing up and if they want to connect with the LGBTI community, they can do so through DEFGLIS," said Vince Chong, newly elected chairman of the DEFGLIS provisional board. 

"Diversity and inclusion needs to be something everyone thinks about so that people can just get on with doing the best job they can, instead of worrying about keeping their sexuality or gender identity."

The 2012 DEFGLIS entry was proudly supported by the Navy Central Canteen Fund and the Defence Department's Fairness and Resolution Branch in recognition of the service that DEFGLIS provides for the Defence personnel and their families.

Photo in header by Harley Dennett

Two photos in body of this article are © Commonwealth of Australia

About the Author
Author: Vince Chong
Vince is the President of DEFGLIS. He is a project manager and an electronics engineer.
Also written by this author:

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