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.

2022 Mardi Gras

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade took place on Saturday 5th March at the SCG. This was Western’s eighth consecutive year participating. The overarching theme this year was, ‘United We Shine’. For the University, the theme celebrated us coming together making the statement, “Boldness. Fairness. Integrity. Excellence. We Shine.”

Mardi Gras 2022 WSU Banner photo     

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

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.

2021 Mardi Gras

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade took place, for the first time, at Sydney Cricket Ground. The theme for 2021 was ‘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.

Watch our 2021 Mardi Gras video here


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