Thank you, and hello, everyone. Happy Mardi Gras!
I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
I’m always pleased to join you here at Fair Day. It’s a great opportunity for our gay and lesbian communities to join with families and friends to celebrate Sydney’s diversity, sense of fun, and tolerance.
This Fair Day, we also celebrate a significant anniversary. Forty years ago this month, around 50 lesbians and gay men gathered together in a church hall in Balmain. It was the first such meeting ever held in Australia. That night those 50 men and women agreed to establish the Campaign Against Moral Persecution or CAMP. This marked the birth of Australia’s gay and lesbian movement.
Seven years later, gay men and lesbians, and their supporters, took to the streets for the first Mardi Gras.
We’ve come a long way since that first meeting in Balmain, and that first Mardi Gras. Last year we achieved another important milestone when my Same Sex Adoption Bill was passed by the NSW Parliament.
While there is much to celebrate, full acceptance and full equality are still to be achieved. So along with the celebration, the campaign for equality continues.
Its about persistence and determination, I put same sex couples adoptions to the Parliament in 2000.
Meanwhile, we have the glamour, wit and sense of outrageous fun of Mardi Gras to enjoy.
I hope to see you all in the Parade. Once again, we’ll have a spectacular City float to underline our commitment as a City to equality, social justice and diversity.
Happy Mardi Gras, everyone.