The Board of Directors of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Limited and Mardi Gras Arts Limited have announced a surplus on operations for the year ended 30 June 2017 of $173,774, building on the previous surplus for the year ended 30 June 2016 of $183,068.
Now more than ever, organisations like Mardi Gras are important to our LGBTQI communities as we continue our battle for equality and face the challenges of discrimination. That’s why part of this year’s surplus will be used to address the damage our community faces from the nationwide marriage postal vote.
The Board confirm that Mardi Gras will allocate $20,000 in funding to support the postal vote YES campaign, and an additional $20,000 to an organisation focusing on LGBTQI community welfare and counselling.
“Mardi Gras remains one of the most recognised LGBTQI diversity and social justice organisations in the world,” said Terese Casu, the newly appointed CEO who delivered her first season this year. “In 2017 we partnered with a number of new organisations including My People | My Tribe showcasing real people and stories, 107 Projects for Koori Gras, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Queer Art After Hours and Queer Thinking.
“The continued expansion of programmes with these new partners is creating a more diverse and inclusive festival especially for under-represented parts of our community.”
Since 2014 the organisation has refocused on its roots in social justice, appointed a new CEO and Creative Director, reduced administration overheads, eliminated unprofitable events and expanded the festival programme by new inclusive partnerships.
“This surplus is the culmination of four years of transformation for the organisation,” said director Damien Hodgkinson. “In 2014 we set a clear transformation plan to bring the organisation back to profitability and with two years of surpluses we have demonstrated that this can be achieved by the organisation, which had suffered significant losses since 2009.”
Planning has begun to create the organisation’s stunning 40th anniversary festival for 2018 – to celebrate, honour and cherish their incredible four decades of Mardi Gras. The festival will run from 18 February to 4 March, with Fair Day on Sunday 18 February and the spectacular Parade and Party on Saturday 3 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade (supplied)