UNSW ready to celebrate when WorldPride comes to Sydney in 2023

UNSW Sydney’s Mardi Gras float is back on Oxford Street in 2023 when Sydney hosts WorldPride.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival is the largest celebration of LGBTIQ+ communities in Sydney and UNSW is proud to be taking part again next year. Not only is the Mardi Gras Parade returning to Oxford Street, but it will unite with Sydney WorldPride to become a bigger-than-ever and  historic global festival taking place Friday 17 February to Sunday 5 March 2023.

UNSW have teamed up with Arc to celebrate with a range of activities, including: representing UNSW with a float in the iconic Mardi Gras Parade; open community events as part of the 2023 Pride Amplified Program; activities celebrating our community on campus; and presenting at The Human Rights Conference

The 2023 Sydney WorldPride theme, Mana Nangamai Djuralli, which translates from the Gadigal language to “Gather, Dream, Amplify”, will be reflected across UNSW’s activities - with plentiful opportunities for our community to participate, learn and celebrate together.

 “2023 is set to be a significant year for LGBTIQ+ communities in Australia - marking both the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the five years since marriage equality”, said Aaron Saint-James Bugge, Mardi Gras Project Officer, Division of Marketing at Arc.

“We are proud to take part in the world-renowned Mardi Gras Parade again, and the wider WorldPride program, for what will be our biggest celebration to date. Our float theme this year will be GOLD – to reflect UNSW setting the gold standard for diversity and inclusion. We want to amplify this message to present and future students and staff, as well as the wider community. Plus, who doesn’t love the colour gold?

As always, our activities will be community-led and we’ll be looking for volunteers who would like to support UNSW’s float and other events. We welcome and encourage everyone to get involved and help make this our best Mardi Gras experience yet!”

If you would like to get involved by volunteering for parade float building, crafternoons, choreography or costume making please contact Aaron Saint-James Bugge (a.bugge@arc.unsw.edu.au) to express your interest and stay tuned for further updates in the new year.

We will also be hosting campus events open to both UNSW and the broader community, with registrations opening in the new year:  

  • Mardi Pardi, our annual pride party – Friday 24 February at the Roundhouse.
  • Pride Cup, an inclusive just-for-fun sports competition with food trucks, music and more – Friday 24 February at UNSW Village Green.

As part of our UNSW values, the University continues to mark the importance of Mardi Gras with the World Pride Program in 2023 - reflecting our commitment to ensuring LGBTIQ+ students and staff are welcomed and can thrive in our community.   

“UNSW holds our Gold Employer status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index with pride. For three consecutive years, we've achieved best practice gold standard in this national benchmark on LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. We acknowledge the staff and students who've nourished a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and socially-just community. If we reach the ultimate level, we may need to change our float theme to PLATINUM for 2024!”, said Rebecca Freed, Project Officer in Workplace Diversity, Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion.

UNSW’s Mardi Gras and Sydney World Pride activities are coordinated by Arc in collaboration with the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion. For more information on other UNSW initiatives to support LGBTIQ+ communities at UNSW, visit the EDI website