Sydney WorldPride roars to life at UNSW

Pride lion

2023 is set to be a significant year for LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia – marking both the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and five years since marriage equality.

This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations are set to be bigger than ever. Not only is the iconic Mardi Gras Parade returning to Oxford Street, but it coincides with Sydney being chosen as host of WorldPride 2023, a two-week global festival celebrating LGBTIQ+ communities. To celebrate, UNSW has once again teamed up with Arc to offer a range of inclusive events and activities for all students and staff between Friday 17 February and Sunday 5 March 2023.

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Attila Brungs, said the University is a proud champion of LGBTIQ+ diversity and inclusion. 

“We are excited to be participating in the famous Mardi Gras Parade for the sixth consecutive year in 2023, as well as the fabulous Sydney WorldPride that coincides with this year’s festival. 

“The celebrations will be the University’s biggest yet. UNSW and Arc are bringing us a multitude of events, and everyone is welcome – our LGBTIQ+ students and staff, and friends throughout the University community.  

“The festival provides the perfect opportunity to explore ways to be active allies to our LGBTIQ+ community, and to start important conversations about diversity and inclusion at UNSW and beyond.” 

Festival highlights include: 

Mardi Gras Parade, Saturday 25 February
As the biggest event of the Sydney WorldPride festival, all eyes will be on the 12,500 marchers as 200+ floats adorn Oxford Street for the first time since 2020! UNSW’s parade theme this year will be GOLD – to reflect UNSW setting the gold standard for diversity and inclusion. 

UNSW places in the parade are now full, but all UNSW community members are welcome to get involved with our social Crafternoon on Paddington Campus, Sunday 12 February (11am - 3pm). Volunteers can drop in anytime to support the team with making parade costumes and props – gold spray paint, eco glitter, great company and lunch all included!

Pride Cup, Friday 24 February
Part of the official Pride Amplified program, this is an inclusive sports event for UNSW, local and international teams to take part in a ‘just for fun’ tournament, with food, music and entertainment that will celebrate diversity and inclusion on and off the field. Register now with a full team, a few friends or as an individual, or just head over to the Village Green and take in the atmosphere.

Trans & gender diverse circles, Tuesday 28 February and LGBTIQ+ circles, Thursday 2 MarchA safe space for people to come together and share their experiences in a peer-led, supportive and non-judgmental environment. Four separate circles will be run specifically for trans and gender diverse students, staff and LGBTIQ+ students and staff.

THE PARTY art exhibition, open now until 23 April This landmark exhibition celebrates LGBTIQ+ party culture in Sydney from 1973 to 2002 and is presented by UNSW Galleries and Sydney WorldPride at the UNSW Paddington Campus.

Love.Respect.Pride art exhibition, open 24 February to 26 May – In celebration of Sydney WorldPride, Level 3 of UNSW Main Library will feature a vibrant display of colourful paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, and prints by queer-identifying (LGBTIQ+) artists from the UNSW Art Collection. Learn more.

Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, 1 - 3 MarchThis three-day conference will explore LGBTIQ+ human rights, journeying from where we are now to our vision for the future. There will be over 60 local and international presenters and facilitators on the agenda, including UNSW’s Teddy Cook, Adjunct Lecturer at the Kirby Institute. UNSW has a number of general admission tickets to give away – register here.

Check out the full program of activities and events.

Ways to get involved beyond the festival:

  • Update your virtual meeting backgrounds, email signatures and profile pictures, available now from the Brand Hub.
  • UNSW is committed to ensuring LGBTIQ+ students and staff are welcomed and can thrive in our community. To help improve our employee experience, UNSW is participating in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Employee Survey again this year. The survey is part of UNSW’s submission to the AWEI, Australia’s national benchmark on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. All current UNSW staff are invited to share their feedback via this anonymous 15-minute survey, no matter how they personally identify. The survey is open until 30 March.
  • Free and inclusive ally@UNSW training is now available for 2023. All current UNSW students and staff are welcome to attend this workshop to become an ally@UNSW for LGBTIQ+ communities and join the ally@UNSW Network. Becoming an active ally@UNSW involves a commitment to creating and fostering an inclusive environment for LGBTIQ+ identifying students and staff at the University. Learn more and register for a workshop.

The University’s Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride activities are coordinated by Arc in collaboration with the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. For more information on other initiatives to support LGBTIQ+ communities at UNSW, visit the EDI website.

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