78ers election 2019


In 2018 the SGLMG Board established the 78ers Committee, comprising six representatives drawn from our current 78ers Life Membership. The 78ers Committee helps ensure appropriate recognition and involvement of the 78ers and other pioneers of our LGBTIQ community within the SGLMG organisation and the festival.

The initial term of the Committee is complete, so now it's election time again.

Shown below, there are 6 candidates for election, for 6 places on the 78ers Committee. Each 78er Lifetime Member of Mardi Gras will receive an email with a link to cast their vote anonymously.

Your preference votes will indicate which three candidates will serve a 2-year term on the Committee, and which three candidates will serve a 1-year term.

Each candidate is shown on this page in ballot order.

Please contact 78ers@mardigrasarts.org.au if you have any enquiries regarding the election.



I'd appreciate your support in this ballot to continue to use my experience, passion and skills on what matters to you.

For over 40 years, I have been an enthusiastic activist. In the 1970s, I was active in Women's and Gay Liberation and the Gay Solidarity Group – organisers of the first Mardi Gras. I helped form the Pride History Group, served 3 years on the New Mardi Gras Board and helped organise 30th Anniversary celebrations. Before the 40th Anniversary season, I located 78ers to include them and assisted in fundraising to bring low income 78ers to Sydney.

In 18 months as an elected member of the 78ers Committee, I have ensured 78ers input on Fair Day and Parade and have worked hard on:

● distributing 78er t-shirts and lobbying Mardi Gras to print extra t-shirts

● communicating with 78ers to encourage them to apply for Mardi Gras Lifetime Membership and march in the Parade

● encouraging 78ers to attend regional and overseas Pride celebrations – I marched in Hay and New York and attended Newcastle Pride.

It is important that we ensure that Mardi Gras celebrates our history and supports 78ers and community elders into the future. I look forward to your support.




I wish to nominate for the committee as I am a 78er and strongly support my community.

As I have recently retired I wish to provide my time and services back to our community in support to moving our human rights further in the heteronormative world. 

I have worked extensively in Senior and Executive roles and have lived and worked overseas. During this time I have funded and run an animal rescue team in Sydney for over 30 years within our and the broader community. I have strongly supported Queer Stories from inception to now and feel that this opportunity would allow me to consolidate my aim to support our community in a more structured way. 



I have served on the inaugural 78er committee, working with the team to make our 40th and 41st Mardi Gras anniversary huge successes. I helped organise mid-year social events and represented 78'ers at events. I am a networker, a doer, team player and organiser.

With World Pride on the horizon, 78'ers have time to communicate with everyone create great plans.



I would like to nominate myself for consideration to be part of the 78ers committee of Sydney Gay + Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG). To be part of this committee, contributing to the continuing input into the ongoing operations of SGLMG, is something l take very seriously. The 78ers committee is vital to ensure the ongoing acknowledgement of the origins of our current ‘Queer’ community by SGLMG. Those origins go back to, and before the First Sydney Gay + Lesbian Mardi Gras of 1978, to the early days of CAMP, + the various proactive dyke’s + poof’s groups active in the universities in Sydney + around the early origins of the Women’s Movement in Sydney.

I am a proud feminist who still feels and believes that the personal is political, and I have participated regularly in both meetings and demonstrations organised by feminist, gay + lesbian, and environmental groups for the last 44 years. I was part of the Gay Solidarity Collective in 1978, (who primarily organised the First Mardi Gras), as well as part of the group of people who organised the 4th Homosexual Conference in Sydney in August 1978. Prior to that I had been active in governance by being part of the collective at Rape Crisis Centre in 1976/1977. In 1980 l worked at Elsie Women’s Refuge, and have been an active member of the Greens since 1995.

I have also been proactive in the Pride History Group, being President for a year or so in the early part of the new millennium. I was part of the team of 78ers who organised both our twentieth and fortieth anniversaries of the First Mardi Gras that became a riot.

I retired from full-time photography teaching in TAFE NSW in June last year, and since then have lived in Wingham (near Taree) in the beautiful Manning Valley on the mid north coast.

I am willing to commit to regular meetings, and would be prepared to travel to Sydney occasionally for the meetings, whilst regularly participating in teleconferences with fellow 78ers committee members. I have the time and I believe l still have the passion and fire in my belly for ‘queer’ politics, and the 78ers and elder’s interests at heart. I look forward to this opportunity very much.




I was elected to the committee as the regional and rural representative and I have used this position to reach out to 78ers living in isolated places. As well as this work I marched in the Australian contingent for World Pride in New York, and attended the Invictus Games with a 78er from a regional area.

This year I have marched with the 78ers banner in Pride/Mardi Gras events in Hay, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle, Tamworth, Broken Heel. The importance of these events is that some of them have been run for the ‘first time’ which means this visibility allows a town to organise a public event that otherwise would not have been possible. In standing again it is my aim to increase that reach so that our communities can stand proud of who they are and that we can continue to build strong and vibrant relationships sustainable into the future.

As well as this work I have become Convenor of Hume Phoenix which is a group based in Albury Wodonga that runs events across the region so that visibility can offer opportunities in small communities. We ran a function for World Pride in Beechworth and gathered people together a few weeks later to see the wonderful outcome. I ask that you vote for me so I can continue this important work.

- Helen Gollan Butch Now and Forever




Whilst I have enjoyed being part of the original 78er committee it is now time for me to ask for your support in this next election.

It was a pleasure to work with the other 78ers and the MG Board members over the last years and to see the 40th and 41st anniversary go so well.

World Pride is now on the books and I hope to be able to help to the ensure the 78ers have a presence as well as all our other community elders.

I need your support to be able to do this.