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Category: Mardi Gras at Carriageworks

Koori Gras

Koori Gras

Moogahlin Performing Arts in association with Carriageworks and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras present a series of creative cultural arts events featuring local, interstate and international First Nations qweer artists, thinkers and communities.

Black Nulla - Qweer Blak
18-23 February
Moogahlin Performing Arts in association with Carriageworks and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras present Creative development workshops, pushing the boundaries of Black Qweer Drag Five qweer black emerging drag artists will undertake a one-week intensive creative development workshop program with local First Nations performance artists to push the boundaries of what is Qweer Black Drag. Participants will perform their developed works at Black Nulla Club Night alongside your favourite local and interstate drag artists.

Black Point
22 February

A communal “feed” and open mike night for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guests to share stories and discuss relevant issues for qweer black artists. Black Point will be presented in partnership with First Nations Rainbow a local community social support group that aims to celebrate, and reduce stigma and discrimination against the qweer black community.

Blak Speakers Platform - Sequin and Giggles
23 February

Renowned First Nations Drag artists come together to discuss their practice and issues of performing in a multitude of spaces, places and communities. Is it all just sequins and giggles?

Black Nulla Club Night
23 February
$25 / $20 Concession +bf

Carriageworks will come alive with celebrated and renowned black drag performers and DJ sets, also featuring participants who have developed works during the Black Nulla development workshop. Party! Community tickets will be available at the door. Get tickets here.


Sissy Ball

Sissy Ball
Following last year’s dazzling sold out debut, Australia’s biggest vogue ball returns with more attitude than ever.

My Trans Story - The Next Generation

My Trans Story - The Next Generation

In 2018, Trans Stories sold out and audiences gave it a triple standing ovation. In 2019 we present My Trans Story featuring fearless next generation story-tellers.

Meet 14 year old Evie Macdonald, the girl who faced off with the PM on The Project and star of ABC’s First Day, Liz Duck-Chong, writer, sexual health nerd, pun a cionado and self-described post-fertile funny girl and Nevo Zisin, Jewish, queer, non-binary, activist and author of award-winning Finding Nevo. Plus young trans and gender diverse people who will be stepping into the spotlight for the first time.

Here's the full speakers' lineup:

Evie Macdonald
Kalypso Finbar
Nathan Shephard
Threse Vargas
Nyx Calder
Nevo Zisin
Liz Duck-Chong
Dibs Barisic Šprem

My Trans Story – The Next Generation launches where Trans Stories – 40 Years left off. In 2018 we looked back at our activists who fought for the early hard-won rights and toward a brighter and more inclusive future. In 2019 we will be looking at the future. Traversing the next generation’s struggles, loves, triumphs and pursuit of a society that celebrates multiple intersecting gender identities. These are the kids we whispered to, grab your ticket and hear them roar.

My Trans Story – The Next Generation is presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and FEM in association with Trans Pride Australia.

Queer Thinking Day 1: Young and Fearless

Queer Thinking Day 1: Young and Fearless

Curated by Charlie Murphy

Saturday All-Day Pass: $45 or $30 concession - BOOK HERE


After Safe Schools: Queer Youth Still in Crisis12pm – 1pm
Moderated by Liz Duck-Chong

In the wake of the national conversation on Safe Schools, our queer youth in schools continue to be a vulnerable target for conservative politics, often with youth shut out from the discussion themselves. By including the voices of the queer school students themselves, this panel opens a proper dialogue and lets the youth tell their own stories, their way.

Liz Duck-Chong is a writer, sexual health nerd and filmmaker who has had articles, poetry and essays in a range of publications. A transgender and non binary woman, she co-hosts wholesome sex ed show @letsdoitpodcast, and is on Twitter at @lizduckchong.

Bobuq Sayed is a writer, multidisciplinary artist and queer youth worker for Drummond Street / Queerspace. They partnered with Minus 18 and Safe Schools on an educational resource that unpacks QTPOC intersectionality for school aged young people due for release in early 2019. They coordinate an LGBT youth mentoring program to help facilitate intergenerational connections and tweet @bobuqsayed.

Janet Anderson is a 18 year old transgender actress and comedian who graduated from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in 2018. She is an aspiring writer, feminist and octuple-threat if you count getting things from highs shelves. She recently performed in 'Political Children', written and directed by Felicity Nicol, which focused on the life and death of the Safe Schools program, from the perspective of the young people it impacted.

Ebony Rose is an activist and public speaker who came into the public eye as a subject of the 2015 documentary ‘Gayby Baby’. The film, following the lives of children with same-sex parents, hit the headlines when it was temporarily banned from being shown in schools. Since then, Ebony has continued to advocate for LBGTQI+ inclusive education and the de-stigmatisation of what she refers to as “poster child syndrome”, speaking at events in Australia and New Zealand. She also partnered with Guardian Australia and fellow ‘Gayby’ Gus as a co-producer of “Vote For Love” during the 2017 Marriage Equality Plebiscite.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


What It Means to Be Non-Binary2pm – 3pm
Moderated by Kaya Wilson, with panelists Riley J Dennis, Mara Maya Devi, and Nevo Zisin

In the new millennium, non-binary identities broke into the mainstream consciousness, emerging largely in online communities, including Tumblr and other social media networks. A conversation exclusively with millennial non-binary identities, including artists and media commentators, they will share their own experiences and views of the future for non-binary people.

Kaya Wilson is a writer and scientist based in Sydney, Australia. He writes lyrical non-fiction essays with a focus on queer identity and researches the tsunami hazard to Australia. His work has been published widely, including by The Guardian, Overland, Archer, Sydney Morning Herald and The Conversation.

Riley J. Dennis is a queer girl who makes videos about politics, social justice, and whatever else is on her mind, while drawing from a leftist and intersectional feminist perspective. She uses both she/her or they/them pronouns.

Māra Māyā Devi is a local performance artist who has performed at the MCA, Oyster Club: Glamdrogynous Freakshow, Heaps Gay Parties, and much more.

Nevo Zisin is a Jewish, queer, non-binary writer, activist and public speaker with a particular focus on issues surrounding gender, sex, religion and sexuality. They run workshops in schools and workplaces around trans issues. They are also the author of award-winning Finding Nevo, a memoir on gender transition.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


Queers vs Capitalism: Reform or Revolution? | 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Millennials and Gen Z have been strongly represented in popular support for the resurgent leftist Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders campaigns. As the coming generations drift further left, in this panel young, queer voices respond to our current economic system through a series of unique viewpoints on how capitalism intersects with queer lives.

Will the young queer visionaries of the future seek reform of capitalism, or desire revolution?

With panelists Hannah-Joy Gillard, Nayuka Gorrie, and Oscar Monaghan.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE



Iraq and Queer Rights: In Conversation with Amir Ashour 5pm – 6pm
Interviewed by Mon Schafter

An intimate conversation with Amir Ashour, One Young World Ambassador and the founder of IraQueer, the first and only support network for queer Iraqis. Fleeing from his native Iraq to Sweden, and now based in the United States, Ashour joins us to tell his story and share his vision for progressive change for Iraq.

Mon Schafter is a Walkley Award winning journalist, documentary maker and podcast host who reports for the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, 7.30. She has interviewed icons such as Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot, and has sought out the voices of young asylum seekers, LGBTQI warriors, domestic violence survivors and indigenous trailblazers. Previously, Mon co-hosted the ABC’s ground-breaking current affairs comedy program Hungry Beast, produced by Andrew Denton.

Amir Ashour is a human rights defender with almost 10 years of experience working with Iraqi and International organisations. He is the founder and executive director of IraQueer, Iraq’s first and only LGBT+ organisation. He holds a masters degree in human rights from Columbia University, and he has been nominated for several human rights awards including the Raoul Wallenberg Academy Prize and the David Kato Voice and Vision Award.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE

Queer Thinking Day 2

Queer Thinking Day 2

Curated by Maeve Marsden

The brightest minds and biggest mouths of the broad queer church descend on Carriageworks in Darlington to discuss and dissect, to dissent and disagree about the fights and focus of our community. After more than 40 years of pride and protest, what can we do better and who are we leaving behind? What is the future of LGBTQI+ culture and activism? And who will be leading the way?

Sunday All-Day Pass: $45 or $30 concession - BOOK HERE


The Medical Pink Dollar12.00pm - 1.00pm
FEATURING Dr. Vanessa Lee, Jax Jacki Brown, Paul Kidd, Eloise Brook and Stephanie Lum

An ageing HIV+ population and an unreliable aged care sector, the prohibitive cost of medical transition and a lack of informed care, profiteering by the IVF industry, and forced surgeries on intersex people: our community has serious bones to pick with the medical industrial complex. With disparate needs, how do we join forces to tackle public health policy and increasing privatised profiteering of LGBTQI+ Australians in medical care? Is equity in our public health system possible?

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


POVO: On Class and Community | 2pm - 3pm
FEATURING Dr. Elizabeth Humphrys, Peter Polites, Jinny-Jane Smith, Annaliese Constable and Chantell Martin.

LGBTQI+ people are more likely to live in poverty than the wider population, but with a community that thrives on participation, and tends to gather in the ever expensive inner city - is our class divide dividing us? Not everyone has the time or education to be up on the latest language, enough cash to hop a train to queer events or data to reply to a Grindr message; is our community truly flourishing if we’re leaving people behind? Can the LGBTQI+ community transcend class?

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


Death of the Gay Bar3.30pm - 4.30pm
FEATURING Bhenji Ra, William Yang, Joy Ng, jonny seymour and Penny Clifford.

In the midst of Australia’s biggest pride festival, cultural leaders gather to explore the history and future of LGBTQI+ space(s): with ‘community’ increasingly being sought online and queer venues are being shut down around the world, and in Sydney, gentrification, the lock out laws and shifting cultures have seen major changes to traditionally LGBTQI+ dominated areas. Add to this increasing intolerance of sex-on-premises venues and ‘respectability politics’ – can queer nightlife survive or is the party fading?

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE


Decolonise NOW 5pm - 6.30pm

Three keynotes exploring the impact of colonialism, diaspora and race on the LGBTQI+ experience, delivered by Indonesian human rights lawyer Yasmin Purba, Canadian artist and academic Vivek Shraya and Kuku-Yalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi writer, comedian and poet Steven Oliver.

$15 or $10 concession - BOOK HERE



Dr. Vanessa Lee, from the Yupungathi and Meriam people, is an aunty, sister, mum, poet and writer.  Dr Lee holds a PhD in social epidemiology (Med. Public Health) and is a senior academic within the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Sydney; Chair Public Health Indigenous Leadership Education Network; a Director on the Board of Suicide Prevention Australia; founding member Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network; Chair RUOK? Indigenous Advisory Group; and is an advisor on the LGBTIQ DFV Interagency.  As the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia (2012 – 2015) Dr Lee’s research and advocacy has contributed to changing health and social policies for Indigenous people and the sexuality and gender diverse population. Vanessa’s overarching focus addresses the social issues of the burden of disease to break the cycle of inequality that potentially lead to suicide, and to strengthen health and wellness.

Jax Jacki Brown holds a BA in Cultural Studies and Communication where she examined the intersections between disability and LGBTIQ identities and their respective rights movements. She is a producer of Quippings: Disability Unleashed a disability performance troupe in Melbourne and has written for Junkee, Daily Life, The Feminist Observer and Archer Magazine among others. Jax is published in: Queer Disability Anthology (2015), Doing It (2016), Queerstories (2018) and Kindred, a queer YA anthology which will be released in 2019.

Paul Kidd is an activist and writer with a particular interest in legal issues affecting people living with HIV. He has been living with HIV for almost 30 years, during which time he was editor Positive Living for five years, President of Living Positive Victoria from 2009 to 2011 and served on the Boards of Living Positive Victoria, the Victorian AIDS Council, and Hepatitis Victoria. He founded the online HIV group OzPoz in 1996, and was Australia’s first openly HIV-positive blogger. He is currently chair of the Victorian HIV Legal Working Group and a member of the Victorian government LGBTI Taskforce Justice Working Group, while completing a law degree law.

Stephanie Lum is a young intersex advocate living in Canberra and is a board member of Intersex Human Rights Australia. She recently worked at the Australian Human Rights Commission on a project looking at medical interventions on people born with variations in sex characteristics and is currently helping to create a national intersex youth group.

Dr. Elizabeth Humphrys is a political economist with a focus on work, trade unions and social movements. Elizabeth is an Associate of the Centre for Future Work at The Australia Institute, she is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Working Class Studies, and was a founding co-editor of Interface: A Journal For and About Social Movements (2009-2017). She has worked as an investigator for the NSW Ombudsman, in research and policy for a number of universities and non-government organisations, and as an advisor to a member of the NSW Parliament. Her book, How Labour Built Neoliberalism, was published in 2018.

Peter Polites started writing with SWEATSHOP: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. His first novel is Down the Hume, a queer working class noir. He has also written performance for Urban Theatre Projects. Previously he has worked for a senator, in community services and at a porno book shop. In 2019 his second novel The Pillars will come out, it is a suburban gay satire and is published by Hachette.

A proud Wirdajrui and Yuin woman, Jinny-Jane Smith is an Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Inner Sydney Voice, ensuring Aboriginal people’s history, culture and existence are incorporated into the Waterloo Redevelopment plans. A previous employee of City of Sydney Council, National Maritime Museum, NSW Transport and Telstra, among others, Jinny-Jane sits on the Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation Management Committee and and is the Secretary of Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women’s Corporation.

Annaliese Constable is a writer, activist, performer and advocate who has significant experience working with marginalised communities such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, sex worker communities, young people and the LGBTIQ communities. Annaliese has conducted research into family and domestic violence in the LGBTIQ community, created resources around sexual health for the LGBTIQ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and has facilitated over 200 peer education workshops.

Originally from New Zealand, Chantell Martin is a Community Service Worker at Sex Workers Outreach Project Inc. (SWOP) and has worked in the community sector for years. She worked for ACON as their housing officer then went onto work for the Gender Centre as a case worker and housing officer within their residential project. Chantell is one of the founding members of the only Transgender Housing Co-operative in NSW, which was established in 2011 and has been operating as a legal entity since 2016. Chantell is an active trans sex worker advocate who is passionate about breaking down stigma and discrimination.

Bhenji Ra is an interdisciplinary artist currently based on the stolen land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. Her practice combines dance, choreography, video, installation and club events and her work is often concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity, centralising her own personal histories as a tool to reframe performance. She belongs to the collective Club Ate, alongside artist Justin Shoulder. She is the overall mother of the house of Slé, a western Sydney based community performance group belonging of queer-identifying Asia Pacific artists.

DJ and composer jonny seymour (AKA Seymour Butz) is half of of Stereogamous, a Sydney-based duo he formed with Paul Mac. They have remixed or collaborated with Kylie, Ngaiire, George Michael, Sia, Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem, The Presets, JD Samson’s MEN and more. jonny is the cofounder of legendary Club Kooky. He has composed scores for theatre shows including Sydney Theatre Company /ATYP collaboration M.Rock and Force Majeure’s Nothing To Lose.

Miss Penny Clifford started her career in the 80s performing at venues such as Flo’s Palace, Balmain Town Hall Hotel and Patch’s Nightclub on Oxford St, Sydney. She worked for the Village Voice and co-founded The Diva Awards (Drag Industry Variety Awards). She was a manager DCM Hotel for over 10 years and, during this time, helped to raise much needed funds for Ward 17 South, the AIDS Ward at St Vincent’s Hospital. Penny has worked for other hotels and clubs such as Stockholm Syndrome Cabaret Room in Queensland, the iconic Imperial Hotel in Sydney and The Midnight Shift, where she worked until the venue got sold in 2017. Penny then moved to Byron Bay where she sits on the Tropical Fruits Committee and is the Licensee of the 2018/19 Tropical Fruits Festival.

Coming from a queer creative background, Joy Ng opened The Bearded Tit four years ago with two friends as a place for the Redfern artistic and queer community to congregate, experiment and dance together. This neighbourhood bar has over the years become a fun and safe haven for those that resist categories and become a watering hole for locals and internationals alike. Her investment in diversifying and creating space for Sydney’s alternative nightlife see her also on the City of Sydney’s new Nightlife and Culture Advisory Panel.

William Yang is principally known as a photographer exploring issues of cultural and sexual identity, integrating this practice with writing, performance and film. He recorded the emergent gay community and Sydney party scene of the 1970s and 80s, later exploring his Chinese heritage, with his photographic themes expanding to include landscapes and the Chinese in Australia. Yang’s work is held in the collections of many institutions both in Australia and abroad.

Yasmin Purba is a human rights lawyer and an expert member of the Arus Pelangi, a prominent civil society organisation focussing on the advocacy of the human rights of the LGBTIQ communities in Indonesia. Yasmin is also a founder and a board member of the Community Legal Aid (LBH Masyarakat), a human rights-based legal aid organisation focussing on the abolition of the death penalty, prohibition of torture, and the elimination of stigma and discrimination against LGBTIQ people in Indonesia. She is currently working for UNAIDS Indonesia as a Senior Human Rights Consultant.

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, and film. Her album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part‑Time Woman, was included in CBC’s list of Best Canadian Albums of 2017, and her first book of poetry, even this page is white, won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award. Her best-selling new book, I’m Afraid of Men, was her­ald­ed by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel.” A Polaris Music Prize nominee and four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, and has received honours from The Writers’ Trust of Canada and CBC’s Canada Reads. She is currently a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.

Steven Oliver is a descendant of the Kuku-Yalanji, Waanyi, Gangalidda, Woppaburra, Bundjalung and Biripi (in other words, biggest mob) peoples. He was born in Cloncurry in North West Queensland and grew up in Townsville before moving to Perth to study performing arts. He has worked with numerous theatre companies and arts organisations across Australia but became notorious with ABC’s hit sketch show Black Comedy as a writer/actor/associate producer. He is also a published playwright and poet and flies about the country working as either an actor, writer, mc, keynote speaker, poet, wannabe cabaret performer or as he simply likes to refer to himself, a black of all trades.
Steven Oliver Official


Maeve Marsden is a writer, producer and theatre maker who works across comedy, cabaret, live music and storytelling. Her work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Junkee, ABC Online, SBS Online, Daily Review and Archer Magazine, among others. In 2018, she edited at the ABC’s Sydney Mardi Gras 40th Anniversary Magazine, and since 2016 she has curated and hosted Queerstories around the country, a storytelling event, book and podcast. As a child of same-sex parents, she is passionate about the rights of diverse families, and she writes and speaks on the issue often. Maeve likes gin, dancing, cheese, and TV melodramas with good ethics and bad dialogue.

Nikki Stevens is a film editor who works in documentary and drama. Jirga (2018) was screened at Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, it also took home top honors at Cinefest Oz. Black Divaz (2017) won Audience Choice at Queerscreen 2017, Heart of the Queen (2016) won Best Short at the Antenna Documentary Film Festival in 2016, and Hanson: Please Explain?! (2016) won a best director AACTA award. She lives and works in Sydney, and she is often accompanied to edit suites by her dog-friend Frank; he has an excellent eye and is prone to incisive critical feedback.