Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and supporting partner Google today announce the recipients of the second annual SGLMG Community Parade Grants Program!

The Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants program is designed to fund and support a diverse range of community ideas and provide grants to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit groups to help lift their parade entries to a completely new artistic level.

The 2018 parade marks the very special 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. As such, the Google Mardi Gras Parade Grants Program has invested further funds to support a greater number of community and not-for-profit groups and organisations. A total of $80,000 in grants has been divided among 31 applicants from all over Australia to help create extra fabulous floats in celebration of the anniversary. 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Terese Casu said: “The Google Parade Grants Program is designed to provide capacity and access support for community groups, and non-profit organisations, so we can help them spread their message around the world on Parade night.” 

“From Selamat Datang, who want to show their Indonesian LGBTQI brothers and sisters that they stand with them in solidarity as the constitutional courts classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, to Trans Sydney Pride, who have a something special planned for President Trump, the recipients of these grants all have a powerful message to share,” said Casu.

KJ Pittl, who leads Google Australia’s Gayglers group of LGBTQ employees and supporters said: “The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest highlights of the year for many Googlers, and we are proud to continue our partnership. We want to assist as many people as possible to get involved with Mardi Gras – the SGLMG Parade Grants Program was a big success last year, and we’re thrilled to be able to help so many community organisations create fabulous floats for this year’s parade.”

Some of the 31 Community Parade Grant recipients include:

Selamat Datang GLBTQI: Selamat Datang was created to show support for LGBTQI people in Indonesia and their struggle for acceptance in Indonesian society. Recently, the national Constitutional Court narrowly rejected a petition to have homosexual acts banned. The backlash from this has been phenomenal. There is now a debate being conducted by the national House of Representatives to introduce a new criminal code that would seek to ban homosexual acts between two consenting adults. Selamat Datang will use their float to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQI community in Indonesia.

Trans Sydney Pride: TSP is a Sydney-based social and support group founded by binary transpeople for binary, non-binary and gender queer transpeople. Their vision for their will be to create a Trans Army to fight back against the Trump administration’s blatant disregard for trans people serving in the military.

twenty10: twenty10 provide social support, counselling, housing and mental health support for young LGBTQI people in Sydney. Their Parade entry is themed; ‘Flaming Futures: Be yourself but don’t leave anyone behind!’ and will depict what an evolved future free of discrimination and oppression could look like.

People With Disability Australia: PWDA’s float theme is “Evolution to Inclusion”. Disability rights, similar to LGBTIQ rights have evolved substantially over the last four decades and PWDA aim to celebrate and embrace this with their entry.

Departure Lounge: This float proudly proclaims “Rock Out With Your Croc Out” and will showcase the unique and fabulous LGBTQIA+ community in the Northern Territory. With a large contingent of locals from the NT attending, including many Sista Girls and Brotha Boys from the Tiwi Islands, Daly River and other remote parts of the NT, the float will be led by a giant inflatable Territory crocodile.

FOBGAYS: FOBGAYS is a grassroots community network of Friends and Family of Brown (South Asian) LGBTQI identifying people. Their float will be transformed into a giant colourful wedding party, called a baraat, travelling down Oxford Street in celebration of marriage equality.

In Memory of Carmen Rupe: A grand dame of Mardi Gras, Carmen Rupe is a legendary kiwi icon who called Sydney home for most of her life and who passed away five years ago. This float will celebrate the life of a trailblazer who spent her life championing equality. 

● Inner City Legal Centre: The LCLC is a non-profit community based legal centre that has been providing support to the LGBTQI community for over 30 years. Their float will see participants dressed in their 70’s finest in celebration of the original 1978 marchers as well as the significant LGBTI law reform that has occurred over the past 40 years. 

● Itty Bitty Titty Committee: The title of this float is ‘The Handmaid’s (Fairy) Tale’. The float is an homage, with a twist, to the 2017 hit TV series, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and features lesbian handmaids who are happy, gay and free, unlike the imprisoned characters in the show. 

● Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby Group: TGLRG’s float celebrates LGBTQI Tasmanians and the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, Tasmania’s leading LGBTQI rights group.

The Kirby Institute: The Kirby Institute has worked closely with the LGBTI community towards eradicating HIV and other infectious diseases in Australia and globally. The theme of their float is “Agents of Change” and aims to highlight and celebrate developments in HIV prevention and treatment over the years. 

The Mardi Gras Parade is Mardi Gras’ flagship event and takes place along Oxford Street on Saturday 3 March, 2018. The Parade attracts more than 12,000 participants and is the largest LGBTQI parade of its kind in the world.

Full List of Google Parade Grant Recipients:

▪ Aqualicious Masters Swimming Inc

▪ Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives

▪ Bentstix Hockey

▪ Cairns Tropical Pride

▪ Colours of Our Community

▪ Departure Lounge

▪ Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club

▪ ethel yarwood enterprises

▪ Evolution of Dance and Divas

▪ Flying Bats


▪ Free Gay n Happy

▪ Glitterati

▪ In Memory of Carmen Rupe

▪ Inner City Legal Centre

▪ Itty Bitty Titty Committee

▪ Mature Age Gays

▪ NSW Trans Youth Alliance

▪ People With Disability Australia

▪ Selamat Datang GLBTQI

▪ SM&M The Other 29ers

▪ Sydney Rangers

▪ Sydney Silverbacks

▪ TGLRG – Tasmanian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby

▪ The Incredigays

▪ The Kirby Institute

▪ Trans Sydney Pride

▪ Trikone Australasia

▪ twenty10

▪ Wonder Mama & The Warriors of Love