UNSW Sydney’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations are underway, having kicked off on Friday 17 February and continuing until Sunday 5 March.

This year’s Mardi Gras Parade coincides with a two-week global festival, Sydney WorldPride, and celebrations are set to be the biggest to date. At UNSW we are proud to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community in Sydney and beyond, for the sixth consecutive year in 2023.

For three consecutive years, UNSW has achieved the best practice gold standard in this national benchmark on LGBTQIA+ workplace inclusion and held Gold Employer status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

We have transformed prime spots on campus and online to celebrate our vibrant and diverse community and visibly show our pride. For the duration of the festival, the Progress Pride Flag is flying at Clancy Auditorium and the John Niland Scientia building will be lit in rainbow colours. UNSW’s mascot, Clancy the Lion, has also had a rainbow makeover and will take pride of place on our social media channels and around campus throughout the festival.

There are many ways to show your support and get involved. You can purchase your very own limited edition Pride Clancy t-shirt at The Grad Shop now - with 100 percent of revenue going to Minus18, a charity championing LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia. To show your pride online, new virtual meeting backgrounds and email signatures are available to download now from the Brand Hub.

UNSW have once again teamed up with Arc to offer a range of inclusive events and activities. Check out the full program of activities and events. 

Festival highlights include:

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

Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference1-3 March – This three-day conference will explore LGBTQIA+ 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 limited number of general admission tickets to give away, so secure your spot.

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

Mardi Gras Parade, Saturday 25 February – All UNSW parade spots are now filled, but you can still watch the parade live on ABC TV.

Michelle Steel, Acting Chief HR Officer and Executive Sponsor of the ally@UNSW Network Steer Co said, “UNSW is a proud champion of LGBTQIA+ diversity and inclusion and this year’s WorldPride celebrations will be historic. This year marks two significant anniversaries for LGBTQIA+ communities in Australia, being both 45 years since the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and five years since marriage equality.

“Mardi Gras and the WorldPride festival is the perfect opportunity to explore ways we can all be active allies to LGBTQIA+ students and staff in our community, and celebrate our diverse and inclusive culture.

“We’re delighted to share the many ways for our community to mark the importance of the festival this year. Everyone is welcome at UNSW’s festivities and events – we encourage all students and staff to get involved and embrace the opportunity to show their pride!”

For more information on other initiatives to support LGBTQIA+ communities at UNSW, visit the EDI website.