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An update on the 78er Committee election:

The new date for delivery of ballots is 5pm Monday 26 February 2018

Current Australia Post delivery estimates are far longer than we expected which has been causing delays in the delivery of the ballot papers, especially in regional areas.

For this reason, in consultation with the Returning Officer, the Board has agreed to an extension to the deadline by which votes need to be received. The new date for delivery of ballots is 5pm Monday 26 February 2018.  Ballots may be returned in the reply paid envelope or delivered by hand to Suite 6, 94 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010.

Please contact our Returning Officer at 78ers@mardigrasarts.org.au if you have any enquiry regarding the election.

On January 15th, 2018, all 78ers who are Life Members of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras were given the opportunity to nominate themselves for a position on the 78ers Committee. Nominations have now closed and listed below are the candidates. Candidate statements and photos are shown below, in alphabetical order of surname.

78er Life Members of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras now have the opportunity to vote for up to six candidates they wish to elect to the 78ers Committee to represent 78ers interests within the Organisation. Voting forms were posted on Monday 5 February 2018.

Shane Brown

Shane Brown

I was arrested and jailed at the first Mardi Gras in 1978. I was threatened by my workplace at the time and like many gay men in the 1970s suffered discrimination and homophobia. I survived and have been a committed contributing member of the LGBTQI community for the past 40 years. Over those years I have been involved in many campaigns to reduce homophobia particularly amongst young people and worked closely with the NSW Police gay and Lesbian unit in the 80s to stop gay bashings that were happening at that time.

In my role as the CEO of Weave youth and Community Services I initiated a number of community projects to help young people feel safe and supported.

I think it is a good idea for Mardi Gras to form a committee to help develop celebrations to mark the first Mardi Gras and to acknowledge the struggle many had to endure in those early years. The politics of the 78ers group seems very complicated and there are diverse attitudes about what should happen. I am keen to see as many of the original 78ers participate in this year’s celebration.

What would I bring to the committee? I have been involved with community work for the past 40 years and am used to working with diverse groups, bringing ideas together and helping create harmonious and meaningful outcomes.

I am currently on long service leave and have time to commit to the committee and I look forward to meeting with you to discuss the best way forward for this wonderful occasion.

Ian Duffin

Photo not provided.

The events in 1978 crystallised my decision to be involved in community and activism as much as possible. I became HIV-positive in the early 1980s became very involved in the Australian response to HIV. Forty years on seemed a good time to revisit Mardi Gras and I am keen to be further involved.

Helen Gollan

Helen Gollan

As a butch dyke all of my life and a proud 78er it is my intention to work with Mardi Gras and the 78er committee to ensure that our history remains strong and vibrant. My political roots began in Newcastle with experiencing injustice and brutality in the workplace as well as in my social life. I determined then that I would work for change so that we could live rather than exist and I have kept that mandate alive.

Having lived in regional and rural areas of Australia most of my life I am aware of the continuing inequity that is faced by those in non-metropolitan areas. It is important for everyone to be able to unlock their identity so that they can become full members of our community and the communities within which they live. 

My politics is grounded in community development and outreach and I see that a position on the committee would offer me the opportunity to continue working for those who are not able to participate due to isolation and the inability to access community and/or services. I am a person of strength and integrity who seeks your support for my nomination.


Betty Hounslow

Diane Minnis

I’m a long-standing community activist who was arrested in the demonstrations following the 1978 Mardi Gras and have participated in many campaigns since then around lesbian, gay and women’s rights and other progressive causes.

I’m currently part of the 78ers group working with the SGLMG Board around the 40th Anniversary events. The interaction between 78ers and the main Mardi Gras organisation is not always easy. I want to help build a more effective relationship – one that recognises our history and legacy, but also understands that our collective hard-won wisdom and knowledge can contribute to contemporary thinking and campaigns.

I have skills and experience to bring to this task, having worked in the community sector for almost 40 years – in local services, national and state peak bodies and international development organisations. In the 70s, I was part of the feminist and anti-apartheid movements and the Gay Solidarity Group. During the 80s, while working in community legal centres, I drove a campaign that won recognition of lesbian and gay relationships in Australia’s immigration system. After being Executive Director of ACOSS (90s) and Deputy CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation (2000s), I left the paid workforce in 2014 but am still involved through board memberships of First Mardi Gras, the Asylum Seekers Centre and Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA.

Diane Minnis

Diane Minnis

I was active in the 1970s Women's and Gay Liberation movements and the Gay Solidarity Group, organisers of the first Mardi Gras.

The Police attack on Mardi Gras revellers was more brutal than anything we had seen before. I was very active in the campaign that led to almost all charges being dropped against arrestees.

A small group of us formed the Pride History Group in the early 2000s. I was the first President and am passionate about our history.

During three years on the New Mardi Gras Board from 2003, I led the Festival and History Exhibition Working Groups and coordinated government relations.

I worked with SGLMG and other 78ers on the 30th Anniversary and I’m on the current Mardi Gras 78ers Committee. With First Mardi Gras Inc., I’m trying to include as many 78ers as possible in 40th Anniversary celebrations.

For over twenty years, I was a public sector trainer and manager and since then have worked on projects in training, change and communications roles.

We have come a long way but Mardi Gras is still a beacon for LGBTIQ people everywhere. I’d like to bring my experience, passion and skills to celebrate our history and support 78ers and community elders into the future.

Lance Mumby

Lance Mumby

Let me be your voice
Lance Mumby 78er

Kate Rowe

Kate Rowe

In 1978 I was 27 and pretty naive.  Interested in politics but not really active.

Coming out was the hardest thing at that time.  So joining the first Parade, was an experience that was supposed to be an affirmation, which is was, but the rest is history and I was one of the 24 women arrested and I was bashed in Kings Cross. I subsequently was arrested twice more, spendiing four days in prison.

But instead of making me run and hide, 1978 awoke my inner activist for social justice and there followed 20 years around the women’s movement, lesbian community and politics. 

In the 90’s until recently, I followed my sporting and fitness passion as a triathlete and was a volunteer with Team Sydney and the Federation of Gay Games especially when they came to Sydney. I was also involved in Women and Film and Television for 7 years and was a member of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir.  I am now a member of First Mardi Inc and sit on the interim Mardi Gras 78er working group.

Being a volunteer in these various LGBT communities has given me the skills and experience I believe are required to represent our 78ers.

Ian Sutherland

Ian Sutherland

Ian is my name and I live in a small country town in Southern NSW. I would like to represent all the 78ers but more for those of us who are not in Sydney or the big cities and live in country Australia and overseas to have a voice as we are often not heard and even know about so I will try to represent us if I can on the Mardi Gras 78ers Committee.