FOR IMMEDIATE USE
For further information call Jen Skatterbol or Gina Laurie on 9550 2725
QUEERS FOR RECONCILIATION
SYDNEY, FEBRUARY 3: The People's Movement for Reconciliation is to have a presence at this year's Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade with a float designed by a young, gay Torres Strait Islander man.
The float is for 'Queers for reconciliation', a new group based in Sydney who support Reconciliation with the indigenous people of Australia, call for a National Apology to the 'Stolen Generations' and oppose the Government's racist Ten Point Plan.
Part of the planned entry is a Giant Goanna which was jointly built in August last year by a group of Sydney lesbians with young Aboriginal men from the North-West NSW town of Moree for a local Reconciliation Parade.
The February 8th Mardi Gras 'Fair Day', an enormous community event held this year at Victoria Park on Broadway, will be the group's first outing. People will be able to make 'hands' to be used in the Parade entry and the Black + White + Pink group have organised Australians for Native Title 'Sorry Books' for people to contribute to
A website has been established at http://reconciliation.queer.org.au/ to support and enhance the group's efforts and has already been visited by over 600 people from all over the world.
It includes an 'online' apology to the stolen generation from our communities and a large section of links including information about indigenous gay & lesbian people around the world and the relationship between black and gay & lesbian communities.
Part of the site has been translated into French, German, Spanish and Italian to encourage people from around the world to learn about Australia's first peoples during this year's Mardi Gras.
Queers for Reconciliation is an inclusive collaboration. We believe that a Reconciliation float at Mardi Gras can draw local and international attention to the struggle for Native Title.
For many thousands of Australians, in every city and town, it is vital to the future of this country that the Reconciliation process occur. We believe that it is vital that our communities play their part.
This year marks not just the 20th anniversary of the Mardi Gras parade but also ten years since the first organised Aboriginal presence in the parade. (A 'Black Gays' banner was on the 1980 Parade).
A number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisations including Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras have already made statements this year supporting Reconciliation. many community organisations are involved in practical and ongoing support - we are not the only ones taking action.
Anyone interested is welcome to become
involved in making the float, either to build it (at the Mardi Gras workshop
from Saturday 7th February), or to march in it on the night. Registrations
for the walking group will be available at the Fair Day Stall, or people
can ring (02) 9550 2725 to register.
Box 121, NEWTOWN 2042 Australia
+61 2 9550 2725