Mardi Gras Advisory Committees

Listening to different cross-sections of our vibrant communities.

Ensuring diversity and representation

Our LGBTQIA+ communities are wonderfully diverse, and Mardi Gras provides a platform for everyone within our communities.  

We recognise the importance of listening to different cross-sections of our vibrant communities – so that our work, and the decisions we make, meet the goals and needs of the entire LGBTQIA+ community. 

This is why we have committees. Committees play an important role in our organisation. They help guide our choices by giving greater insight and representation to those that need it in our community. 

78ers Committee: Honoring the past as we march fearlessly into the future

Mardi Gras was built off the back of the many brave trailblazers who came before us. We wouldn’t be where we are today had it not been for the LGBTQIA+ advocates, activists and individuals who have stood up for who they are and who they want to be. 

Our 78ers, those who marched in the first Mardi Gras parade and faced terrible violence and oppression, are the reason Mardi Gras is here today. 

Our 78ers committee was formed in 2017 so that we never forget their sacrifice and that we continue to honor what they have given to us. 

78ers Committee: Members

The committee is comprised of six representatives drawn from our current Mardi Gras 78ers Lifetime Membership who were active at Mardi Gras and other LGBTQIA+ rights events in 1978. 

Committee members include: 

Helen Gollan 
Karl Zlotkowski 
Penny Gulliver 
Rebbell Barnes
David Abello

First Nations Advisory Committee: To elevate and celebrate 

Australian First Nations people are the oldest continuous culture in the world, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities have their own distinct voices to share. 

Mardi Gras is committed to supporting more opportunities for LGBTQIA+ SB people, to lift up their voices and telling their stories.

In 2019, we joined with Sydney WorldPride to form a First Nations Advisory Committee, the first formal committee to provide guidance on how to elevate and celebrate First Nations LGBTQIA+ people, as well as Sistergirl and Brotherboy culture. 

People and Nominations Committee:


  • Alastair Lawrie  
  • Diana McManus  
  • Mel Schwerdt 
  • Stacy Warren 
  • Michael Rolik
  • Luc Velez

Audit and Risk Committee:


  • Brandon Bear 
  • Catherine Olivier 
  • Darwyn Jolly 
  • Peter Fu
  • Felix Feist
  • Kyriakos Gold
  • Kathy Pavlich