26 September 2023

PS steps into the WorldPride spirit

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State Agencies are getting into the WorldPride spirit with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) decking out a fire truck in rainbow livery and the Department of Education building its first ever Mardi Gras float.

Student Performance and Events Officer at the Department’s Art’s Unit, Damien McCabe said the Department would join more than 200 floats and 12,500 marchers for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday (25 February), coinciding with this year’s WorldPride Festival (running to 5 March).

“Under the slogan ‘Together we Thrive’, the Department’s float will feature a Tree of Connection with decorations that represent all peoples, those participating in the parade and supporting from afar,” Mr McCabe said.

“The float will be followed by 80 staff dressed in costume led by diversity champions, Secretary Georgina Harrisson; Deputy Secretary, School Performance, Murat Dizdar; and Chief Financial Officer, Sally Blackadder.”

Diversity and Inclusion Lead at the Department, Christian O’Connor said marchers were selected through a ballot system that ensured representation across teaching and corporate staff, and staff from diverse backgrounds.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the new-look Pride fire truck would take part in both Mardi Gras and WorldPride, dazzling in the traditional street parade through Oxford Street and featuring elsewhere in the blockbuster event programs.

Commissioner Baxter hopes the pride truck will ignite positive and powerful conversations when people see it at public events.

“The Pride truck is literally a vehicle for change, showing our strong support of LGBTQIA+ communities and hopefully inspiring more people to be allies,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“It’s important that organisations such as Fire and Rescue NSW take the lead in celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture, and stamping out negative attitudes, prejudices and bigotry,” he said.

“Fire and Rescue NSW is proud to be an employer that embraces and elevates people of all backgrounds, sexualities and gender identities.”

Commissioner Baxter said that in addition to the rainbow flag, the special wrap incorporated the triad of blue, pink and white from the trans flag; a palette of purple and yellow from the intersex flag; and stripes of black and brown to represent marginalised people of colour.

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