The planet and our community are facing unprecedented challenges to both our health and safety. In these difficult times, our immediate priorities and responsibilities is to the health of our families, friends and our local communities, LGBTIQ+ venues, health workers and artists who are especially affected.
We also want to take this time to provide you with an update on Sydney WorldPride.
Last year Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was thrilled to be named host for WorldPride 2023, which will coincide with the Mardi Gras festival in February/March.
Now more than ever, we all need something to look forward to.
What is WorldPride 2023?
WorldPride is a major international pride event that promotes LGBTIQ+ pride on a global stage through parades, festivals, conferences and other cultural activities first held in 2000. Most recently held in New York City to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, WorldPride has taken place in six other cities including Rome, Toronto and Madrid.
WorldPride 2023 will be the first held in the Southern Hemisphere and the first held in Asia-Pacific.
The LGBTIQ+ communities in the Asia-Pacific region continue to face some of the worst human rights abuses, oppression and hardship in the world. Sydney WorldPride 2023 represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to advance human rights discussions and actions across the Asia-Pacific and elevate Pride participation and visibility for LGBTIQ+ groups in our region and across the world.
While 2023 may seem like a long way away, the size and scale of WorldPride, the significantly higher delivery risks, and the current changing global landscape, mean that planning needs to begin immediately.
A pre-requirement for a successful WordlPride is our negotiation of commitments from the Local State and Federal government in respect to financial support and transport.
The interim Sydney WorldPride Board and CEO are committed to working hard to set up WorldPride 2023 with the best foundation possible.
The Board is determined that WorldPride 2023 becomes the most diverse, inclusive and successful WorldPride event and delivers significant cultural, political and economic benefits for the region’s LGBTIQ+ community.
Who is organising World Pride 2023? A separate organisation
A new organisation, Sydney WorldPride Limited has been established to organise WorldPride 2023, with its own independent board and management team. This is a similar structure to that for WorldPride 2021, Copenhagen Pride.
This allows the SGLMG board and management to focus on delivering the work of SGLMG including the development of its annual events for 2021,2022 and beyond, and it protects SGLMG from the financial risks of producing such a large event in 2023.
SGLMG and Sydney WorldPride will work in close partnership to deliver the full 2023 Mardi Gras Festival, Parade and Party and the extensive WorldPride programme.
Once WorldPride is complete, the Sydney WorldPride entity will be wound up, and any surplus transferred to the SGLMG Public Fund for the benefit of the community.
A copy of the Sydney WorldPride constitution can be found here.
Interim Board and Management
The initial Sydney WorldPride board of directors were selected by the board of SGLMG for their professional skills and experience, involvement working on the WorldPride 2023 bid and their experience working within both SGLMG and the local community.
As outlined in the Sydney WorldPride constitution, two current SGLMG directors with the relevant skills and experience necessary were also selected to represent the interests of SGLMG and its members.
The initial Board includes:
• Damien Hodgkinson – Interim Chair, Chartered Accountant and former Co-Chair of SGLMG.
• Michael Woodhouse – An executive in the NSW government, and former Co-Chair of SGLMG.
• Margy Osmond – CEO, Tourism and Transport Forum
• Jesse Matheson – SGLMG representative, current SGLMG Co-Chair
• Chris Brooke – SGLMG representative, current SGLMG Treasurer
The Interim Board’s role is time limited to three months from the confirmation of state government funding.
Their principal role is as follows:
• Establish the company;
• Negotiate the agreement between Sydney WorldPride and SGLMG in respect to conflicts and risks
• Negotiate the agreement with InterPride for the license to operate Sydney WorldPride 2023
• Negotiate the initial funding phase with government stakeholders; and
Establish the risk management and governance profile for the organisation and the recruitment processes for Board members and staff.
Recruitment of Permanent Board
The ongoing Board will be appointed. The recruitment process itself will be managed by an independent committee and external recruitment process determined by the interim Board.
The purpose for an appointed permanent Board is to ensure that the Board has the right skills, and experience to successfully deliver WorldPride 2023 and that there is diverse representation from across the broader community.
Under the Board are three constitutional committees:
· Strategy and Risk Committee which will oversee the event operational issues;
· Pride Committee which will oversee the diversity and inclusion aspects of the event; and
· Governance and Audit Committee which will oversee the enterprise risk issues and funding
The Interim Board will hold online community town halls in late April and early May to discuss with the community the structure and make up of each committee.
To sign up to be involved in this town hall email your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the recruitment process is complete the three non SGLMG representatives from the Interim Board are automatically removed.
The Interim Board has appointed Kate Wickett (previous SGLMG Co-chair), as Sydney WorldPride’s interim CEO. Kate played an integral, leadership role in ensuring the success of the Sydney WorldPride 2023 bid. The interim CEO’s role is to implement the WorldPride 2023 operational plan, with an initial priority of securing funding from Government and negotiating the Licence agreement with InterPride.
A permanent CEO will be recruited through an external agency once funding is secured, and the new permanent Board is appointed.
How can you get involved
Many people have expressed interest in getting involved in the planning of Sydney WorldPride. At this stage we would like to open up a register of these people and their interests and skill sets. We will be calling on people to join consultations, workshops and engagement groups over the next 6-18 months.
Register here to keep up to date and sign up for the WorldPride mailing list: email@example.com.
Please stay tuned for another update from Sydney WorldPride in the coming weeks, including ways you’ll be able to get involved, share your ideas and have your say about your hopes for Sydney WorldPride 2023!
Jesse Matheson, Co-Chair Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Melanie Schwerdt, Co-Chair Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Damien Hodgkinson, Chair Sydney WorldPride