The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Awards recognise excellence across 2019’s season of events, honouring those individuals and groups among us who go above and beyond to make the festival extra special.

Of course, everyone involved in making Mardi Gras happen is a winner in our eyes. Mardi Gras is a community organisation made possible by and for the community.

Thank you to all the people behind the scenes of our festival. Volunteers, staff, contractors, suppliers – each doing their essential part to help make Mardi Gras magic.


Fair Day Stall Of The Year: Newcastle Pride

Best Sports Stall: Tennis Sydney

Best Community Stall: Reach out

Best Standard Stall: Bear Bar

Fair Day special commendation: Wear It Purple, UTS, Sydney Women’s Baseball League


NOMINEES FOR BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Trikone Australasia, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Stingers Water Polo Club, Melbourne Surge Water Polo


NOMINEES FOR RON MUNCASTER BEST COSTUME: Party Passport, Thai’d Together, Colours of Our Community

WINNER: Thai’d Together

NOMINEES FOR BEST FLOAT DESIGN: TAFENSW, Design Centre Enmore, CSIRO, Broken Heel Festival

WINNER: TAFENSW, Design Centre Enmore

NOMINEES FOR BEST INDIVIDUAL AND SMALL GROUP: Marcia Switch, Kimberly Lux, Mark Watson, Marcilla Queen of the Gutter

WINNER: Mark Watson

NOMINEES FOR THE RON AUSTIN AWARD FOR MOST FABULOUS PARADE ENTRY:​ NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Heaps Gay , Life Without Barriers

WINNER: Heaps Gay

Parade Special Commendations:
Haka For Life, ethel yarwood enterprises, Lou’s Place, Chinese LGBTQI Community, P.I.N.K. F.L.A.M.I.N.G.O.S., Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club, Diversity Launceston, The Students of the National Institute of Dramatic Art

Award For Excellence in Innovation – Winner: Craig Giles
This volunteer has been an outstanding Area Coordinator for many years, always organised and ready to lead the great team on parade. His strong leadership and strong communication skills have lead to some amazing parades. “He always gives his all and works great in a team and he made media signs on his own accord to help the media teams on parade. He just cares.”

Award For Excellence in Leadership – Winner: Helen Price
This volunteer every year they have gone above and beyond to ensure their area ran smoothly. They have been a great help ensuring the start of parade runs as smooth as possible and is always there to help anyone in her teams.

ICARE Award – Winner: Richard West
This guy never stops! He will do anything for his team mates and Mardi Gras. He is super dedicated, can be relied on whenever help is needed, he keeps a cool head in a crisis and is an amazing human.

Award For Excellence in Teamwork – Winner: Emma Harlock
This volunteer is focused, friendly and so hard working. She made everyone feel welcome and appreciated whilst ensuring her requests were carried out. She was enthusiastic throughout, even when things were going a bit pear shaped and she encouraged her team to step outside their comfort zone. She went above and beyond for every team member

Award for Excellence in Service – Winner: William Klassen
This volunteer has a great sense of pride and enthusiasm throughout the whole Mardi Gras season always ensuring that volunteers were aware of details and on the night he displayed great integrity. He was an outstanding leader whose integrity and accountability certainly shone through on the night

Volunteer Of The Year – Winner: Lisa Martin
This volunteer went completely above and beyond in 2019 with many hours and dedication to the organisation. They were always proactive in supporting the Fair Day team and finding solutions to problems. They managed the Arena Program at Fair Day and did an incredible job coordinating Doggywood. Lisa has volunteered for years in a number of capacities for Mardi Gras. She embodies the spirit of our diverse and welcoming communities and helps to bring us all closer together.

Special commendation: There are so many wonderful volunteers out there, 1600! We really want to thank all of you but we also would like to make a special commendation to these volunteers: Michaela Vincent, Andy Endycott, Maria Lynch, Joel McKinnon, Steve Muckersie, David Cao, Josh Howard, Oliver Knuth Kohl, Micheal Gonzalez, Kim Williams

Special Acknowledgement Award – Winners:The 2019 Medical Team
This kind, generous, skills and knowledgable team are at every event, on call and visible to make sure we are all safe.



DJ Sveta Gilerman has been a major pillar of the Mardi Gras sound fabric for over 20 years. Her first Mardi Gras gig was Fair Day in 1996 where she DJ’d on the main stage. She DJ’d her first of 28 Mardi Gras and Sleaze parties in 1997. She could possibly hold the record for the most appearances of a DJ at Mardi Gras events. Her Mardi Gras CV highlights includes DJing at 10 Sleaze Balls and 18 Mardi Gras parties. Additionally, Sveta regularly remixes tracks for the party shows and other community organisation’s parade entries and festival events. She continues to maintain a loud, important and relevant voice in both the soundscape and the activism of our community through her music and her social media presence.

Lifelong gay activists Peter De Waal and his late partner Peter Bonsall-Boone have been regular attendees and strong supporters of Mardi Gras over many decades. Now in his ‘80s, Peter still attends Mardi Gras and plays an active role in the organisation. His voice was as strong as ever during our 40th anniversary last year and continues fearlessly here with us now. We are delighted to recognise him tonight as a Lifetime Achiever.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our award recipients!