Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras today announce it will partner with ANZ to launch a new community grants program to provide funds for LGBTQI community organisations to support a wide range of initiatives.

The program, to be launched in 2018, will provide grants to LGBTQI community organisations and charities for a wide range of purposes including, education and training, arts and culture and sporting and community groups. 

In addition to the new grants program SGLMG and ANZ also announced they have renewed their longstanding partnership with the bank continuing on as Principal Partner until 2020. 2018 will mark 40 years of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and 12 years of ANZ’s partnership with the Festival.

Through the partnership ANZ will co-present with SGLMG a number of events including Fair Day and the Diamond Club parade viewing areas. ANZ also supports the Mardi Gras Workshop where Parade floats are made, and the SGLMG Volunteers Program.

SGLMG CEO, Terese Casu said “We are absolutely thrilled to continue our important relationship with ANZ, who have been supporting the Mardi Gras festival and the LGBTQI community for over a decade – we’re so proud of the work ANZ does in promoting the needs of our communities. We’re looking forward to the next 3 years of their continued Principal Partnership, and marching with them on the road to equality for LGBTQI peoples.” 

ANZ Managing Director Corporate and Commercial Banking, Mark Hand who chairs the bank’s Diversity Council said: “We are very happy to once again join the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras to support the LGBTQI community through this new grants program.

“This will help grassroots organisations to continue supporting the community across a broad range of initiatives and ANZ is proud to help foster this activity.

“We are also very proud to be extending our long-term support of the Mardi Gras and the work it does in promoting the LGBTQI community not just in Sydney, but across the nation as the annual parade has become a highlight on the events calendar that many Australians participate in.”

ANZ are leaders in the area of diversity and inclusion in the workplace for the LGBTQI community, and were awarded Australia’s 2017 Employer of the Year and an award for transgender inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards by Pride in Diversity. The company is also a world leader in HR policies relating to supporting and promoting education within companies in relation to the LGBTQI community. 

ANZ were awarded 6 Cannes Lion awards for the marketing campaigns supporting diversity and inclusion in 2016 and awarded a Bronze award in 2017 for their incredible #Holdtight Mardi Gras campaign that addressed the issues of displaying public affection within the LGBTQI for fear of persecution. 

ANZ LGBTQI staff and allies (the ANZ Pride Network) have walked in 11 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and will proudly take to Oxford Street with 12,000 other marchers in 2018 to show their support of the LGBTQI community.