We’ll keep celebrating the history, culture and achievements of First Nations communities and supporting their immense contribution to the country.

Dylan Mooney is a proud and talented Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man from Mackay in North Queensland whose unique work combines ancient storytelling, queer culture and contemporary illustration. Sharing his thoughts on this year’s theme, ‘Heal Country’, Dylan encourages everyone to keep supporting each other and stand proud together.

This theme is important to me because Healing Country means being proud of my people’s cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of this nation’s heritage. That the culture, values and beliefs of my mob are respected equally to the culture and values of all Australians.

We can work together by finally resolving many of the outstanding injustices, which impact on the lives of our people. We can work together by addressing our past and acknowledging what has happened to us. Let us stand together and connect with each other and share our stories.

We still continue to advocate for our basic human rights and the wider community must be aware of who we are and understand what our struggles are. We have had to fight against hatred and fear that society relegates us to the position and treatment like we are less than others.

The message that I’m trying to express to my community is to keep supporting each other, stand proud together and never forget your identity. We are worthy and we are still here surviving and thriving in so called Australia.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride are committed to celebrating and elevating First Nations LGBTQI+, Sistergirl and Brotherboy culture. We understand the importance of actively promoting equity and equality while working together to build cultural competence and strong relationships between First Nations and our organisations. That is why we have established the First Nations Advisory Committee, a committee that advises and makes recommendations on matters relating to First Nations programming at our festivals.