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: 
Diane Minnis
Sue Fletcher
Helen Gollan 
Karl Zlotkowski 
Penny Gulliver 
Rebbell Barnes

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. 

We need to create more opportunities for LGBTQIA+ SB people, to lift up their voices and support them in telling their stories.

In 2019, we joined with Sydney WorldPride to form the 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. 

First Nations Advisory Committee: Members

The First Nations Advisory committee informs the development of programs and platforms that will strengthen the representation for LGBTQIA+SB First Nations voices. 

The First Nations Advisory Committee is comprised of 16 diverse people from across Australia, representing each state and territory. Committee members include: 

  • Tony Lee (He/Him): Yawuru (WA) 
  • Dwesmond Wiggan: Bardi/Jawi Nation of the Dampier Peninsular (WA)  
  • Keith Quayle (He/Him): Barkindji/ Malyangapa
  • Jony Berry: Palawa Tasmania 
  • Elsie Stuart (She/Her): Biripi (Northern NSW) living on Awabikal Country 
  • Jaleel Jarrett: Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung 
  • Colin Ross: Jinibara Dala and Bidjara (Sunshine Coast) 
  • Taz Clay: Kalkadoon (Mt Isa) and Bwgcolman (Palm Island)
  • Crystal Johnson: Tiwi & Lajamanu (NT) 
  • Desmond Campbell (He/Him): Nglakan (south east Arnhem Land region) and Gurindji (south west of NT) 
  • Ross Fowler: Bidigal, Dharawal (NSW), resides in the NT 
  • Sani Townson: Samu, Koedal and Dhoeybaw Clans of Saibal Island Torres Strait lives in Sydney 
  • Joanna Agius OAM (She/Her): Narungga South Australia (SA) 
  • Ty Madden: Gadigal/Aura Gumbaynggir

Specialist Committees 

Committees also help us gather people with specialists skills that can provide guidance on a range of areas to ensure we remain a well governed, legally compliant and sustainable organisation. Our People and Nominations Committee and Audit and Risk Committee (charter under review) are two committees that exist to help us in these endeavours.

People and Nominations Committee:


  • Alastair Lawrie  
  • Diana McManus  
  • Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco 
  • Ian Wood  
  • Jan Hutton 
  • Mel Schwerdt 
  • Patrick Ramsden  
  • Stacy Warren 

Audit and Risk Committee:


  • Brandon Bear 
  • Catherine Olivier 
  • Darwyn Jolly 
  • Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco 
  • Peter Fu