Mardi Gras

Western Sydney University is proud to take part in Sydney’s high profile Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, championing the lead for inclusion and equality across our campuses and within the communities of Greater Western Sydney.

2021 Mardi Gras

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will take place on Saturday 6th March. This marks Western’s seventh consecutive year participating. The theme this year is, ‘Rise’. Here at Western Sydney University we’d like to say, “Unlimited – We Rise”. We proudly celebrate all of the individuals and groups that form the LGBTIQ community. We belong to a diverse collective of individuals, and it is our richness and respect of these eclectic experiences, perspectives and values that enables us to rise out of any challenges presented to us.

The University invites all students, staff and alumni to join the float to demonstrate our shared vision of diversity and inclusion. This is a tangible way to support and celebrate our LGBTIQ staff, students and alumni and their valuable part in our University Community.

Due to a large volume of interest, registrations to participate in Western Sydney University’s Mardi Gras float for 2021 are now closed.

If you have already completed the online registration, a member of the planning committee will be in touch in the coming days to confirm whether you will be filling an allocated position or will be on the standby list.

1. The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is broadcast live nationally and internationally. Footage and/or photographs of your participation in the parade may be released by the parade organisers or others without your knowledge.

2. The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade requires all participants to register their details and provide matching identification. The University will do this on each participants’ behalf however each participant will be responsible for presenting valid ID as they enter the parade venue.

3. The University will take photos of the float and participants to be used for official University purposes, including media about the event, online social media posts, and other University materials.

4. Participants are required to attend an in-person preparation event prior to the parade. The event will be held on Friday 26th February, further details to be advised.

5. Participants will meet the organisers in Moore Park on Saturday 6th March 2021 5pm, exact time to be confirmed.

6. Participation in the float is considered an official University event and all participants are required to observe University policy and Code of Conduct at all times during the activity.

7. All participants must adhere to COVID-19 safety measures including the wearing of masks to and from the parade and in specified areas during the parade.

We have been allocated 40 places to form our float. Please note that places will be prioritised to our LGBTIQ student’s staff.

This year Mardi Gras will be a ticketed event held at the Sydney Cricket Ground. With strict restrictions in place due to COVID-19 all participants need to be fit and well to attend the parade. If you are unable to secure a place this round, we are also asking people to be available for the standby list.

For any questions please contact Kimberley Ann Pangilinan, Senior Project Officer –

We thank Western's Ally Network for their leadership and assistance with preparing the University's float and their support of our LGBTIQ students and staff. Western's Ally Network is an endorsed group of students and staff committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at the University for LGBTIQ community members. To find out more about the Ally Network and LGBTIQ-related supports and activities, go to the University's Ally page.

Mardi Gras 2020 We All Matter
2020 Mardi Gras

'We All Matter' headlined Western Sydney University’s float at The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. We were fortunate to be involved again in our sixth consecutive year attending the parade.

All floats were asked to answer the theme ‘What Matters’. At Western Sydney Mardi Gras 2020 We All UnlimitedUniversity each of us contribute our own individuality to this intricate fabric of university life. Our float was an example that all of us together make our University what it is. It is an environment where respect, inclusion, knowledge, individuality and belonging matter.
The planning committee put their creative hats on to design the float with a science twist – the float itself signified atoms forming parts of a larger universe, our costumes were lab coats with a shooting star drawing in the University’s Western’s ‘Unlimited’ branding.mardi gras 2020 image

Our float was led by the following Executive team – Professor Michelle Trudgett, Professor Anna Cody, Professor Kate Stevens, Corrinne Sullivan and Susan Hudson.

View the 2020 Western Sydney University Mardi Gras video created by our media students.

2019 Mardi Gras

On Saturday 2 March 2019, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade again celebrated all the colours of diversity and inclusion, highlighting LGBTIQ lives, culture, community and creativity. Across its 41 year history the parade has been an inclusive expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) identity and pride.

Western Sydney University proudly hosted our 5th float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. The theme was ‘Academic Superheroes: Queer inclusion and equality champions’, reflecting Western’s role as a leader in inclusion and equality through its academic mission.Mardi Gras 2019

Another fabulous Mardi Gras event full of colour, glitter and glamour.

Our academic superheros were accompanied by family, friends and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Kevin Bell and his wife Diane Bell, who joined the lead marchers on their celebratory walk up Oxford Street.

View the 2019 Western Sydney University Mardi Gras video (opens in new window).

2018 Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 2018On Saturday 3 March 2018, the 40th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade celebrated the freedom to be whoever you are. The parade was an inclusive expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) identity and pride.

Western Sydney University was proud to again host a float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. In 2018 our theme was ‘Love Unlimited’ and reflected the University’s strong commitment to equality and inclusion of our LGBTIQ students and staff.

This was the first mardi gras parade after the passing of the marriage equality legislation. This reflected in the spirit of the parade with celebrations of this historical milestone.

2017 Mardi Gras

In 2017, Western went to Mardi Gras, again!  Our third and biggest float so far.  Nearly 100 proud LGBTIQ Western students, staff and their straight Allies marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (opens in new window)  on 4 March 2017.

In 2017 we marched together, along with the Vice Chancellor, under the banner 'Equality Unlimited' showing the world Western's commitment to equal rights, diversity and inclusion regardless of sexual orientation or gender status.
Mardi Gras 2017 Hope Flag

2016 Mardi Gras Float

In 2016, Western's Mardi Gras float grew into a large scale affair with 50 of our staff, students, alumni, and partner institutions joining in, and many more helping to prepare the float ready for the parade. We marched under the banner of 'Pride Unlimited' and proudly showed off the University's fabulous diversity and inclusion.Mardi Gras 2016 Float

Link to YouTube video (opens in new window)
Western strives to demonstrate within and beyond the University our support and celebration of our LGBTIQ identifying staff, students and broader community and this year's Mardi Gras float illustrated this in every way.

Western's Executive lent its assistance to the 2016 Mardi Gras float including a call to all students and staff by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, for Mardi Gras marchers.

2015 Inaugural Mardi Gras FloatMardi Gras 2015

In 2015 for the first time, the University's staff and students marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Our Ally Network, Queer Collective, and others from across the University paraded together under the banner 'UWS Unites' to demonstrate the University's support for inclusion and diversity in education.

Ally Network members Dr Tinashe Dune and Dr Ann Cheryl Armstrong published an academic article (opens in new window)  in the Journal of Social Inclusion about the organisational impact of the University's inaugural Mardi Gras float preparations