A pride of proud lions brought a taste of the jungle to Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday night, with more than 100 students and staff members joining the fun as part of the University of Sydney float.
Inspired by the lion on our University crest, the float featured a golden, glittered lion with a rainbow mane sitting on top of a sequined rainbow box and the iconic Quadrangle. Walking, dancing and waving alongside the float were a pride of lions, complete with manes and painted faces, performing Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ to a cheering crowd in a celebration of diversity and self-expression.
This year’s much-anticipated float was the result of the creativity– and not to mention hard work – of University’s Ally Network which supports the University of Sydney's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LBGTIQ) community.
Our pride of lions were proudly accompanied by seven senior staff from the University, including Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Garton, who explained why we’re involved in Mardi Gras.
“I think it’s important for the University to be. From our founding, we have been an institution open to everyone. We’re an institution about diversity and inclusion, and Mardi Gras is great expression of our commitment.
In the current political climate it feels even more important that we celebrate and acknowledge and actually proclaim the virtues of diversity, because they are our core values as an institution.
The University’s participation in Mardi Gras is just part of the year round support for our LGBTIQ community, and an ongoing commitment to supporting equity and diversity across all our campuses.
The University community are waiting in eager anticipation to hear whether our float won any awards at this years Parade, after scooping the award for Best Choreography in 2016. Stay tuned to find out.