For further information call (02) 9550 2725
Spokespeople: Maurice Serico; Sue Green; Jen Skatterbol; Gina Laurie; Steven Ross
Indigenous and non-indigenous spokespeople are available for comment



SYDNEY, FEBRUARY 16: Three hundred people have signed up to be a part of a Reconciliation float in this year's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. This will make the float one of the largest in the parade, organisers said today.
Queers for Reconciliation is a new, inclusive, coalitionist group based in Sydney. It involves gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people in supporting Reconciliation with the indigenous people of Australia. The group calls for a National Apology to the 'Stolen Generations' and opposition to the Government's racist 'Ten Point Plan'.

Queers for Reconciliation believes that a Reconciliation float at Mardi Gras can draw local and international attention to the struggle for Native Title.

Part of the 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. Two of the men will take part in the Parade. Other parts are designed by a young, gay Torres Strait Islander man.

The hands which will be carried by walkers were constructed at the very sucessful Queers for Reconciliation stall at the February 8th Mardi Gras 'Fair Day', where a large number of people signed up for the float.

Queers for Reconciliation is encouraging all participants in the Mardi Gras Parade to wear armbands which support Native Title, available for $5 from the group. Photo by Amanda James

Anyone interested is welcome to become involved in making the float, either to build it (at the Mardi Gras workshop), or to march in it on the night.

Registrations for the walking group are $20 for waged people for the required teeshirt and costs. People can ring (02) 9550 2725 to register or they can attend the group's meeting at ACON, 9 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills at 7pm February 22.

Donations towards meeting the costs for the float are encouraged and should be sent to PO Box 121, Newtown 2042. Financial and in-kind support for Queers for Reconciliation has come from Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, the Body Shop, Word of Mouth, Leather Pride, King St Chemist, The Bookshop Newtown and Women Redress Press.

Organisers also announced that the group's website has been updated to include original photographs and many new and historical documents, including the story of the first Aboriginal float in the bicentennial year of 1988. The website address is The site has been visited by nearly 1000 people from all over the world.

The website also includes an 'online' apology to the 'Stolen Generations' 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.

For many thousands of Australians, in every city and town, it is vital to the future of this country that the Reconciliation process occur. Queers for Reconciliation believes that it is vital that our communities play their part.

A number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organisations including Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras have already made statements this year supporting Reconciliation. A group has been established in Melbourne. Many community organisations are involved in practical and ongoing support - we are not the only ones taking action.

For further information call (02) 9550 2725
Spokespeople: Maurice Serico; Sue Green; Jen Skatterbol; Gina Laurie; Steven Ross
Indigenous and non-indigenous spokespeople are available for comment

PO Box 121, NEWTOWN 2042 Australia
+61 2 9550 2725