Tag Archives: Sydney Mardi Gras

New Qantas ad features sweet same-sex wedding and Sydney Mardi Gras

A new ad by airline Qantas features a same-sex wedding, Hugh Jackman and scenes from the Sydney Mardi Gras parade.

The ad starts off with Jackman talking about the ‘Spirit of Australia’ connecting people.

He says: ‘It connects us no matter where we were born, how we look or how we live.

‘Our spirit is about standing up for what’s right, standing up for a fair go and about standing up for those who can’t,’ he says.

The video then jumps into a song that sings ‘We’re going to stand up with pride’ and ‘Stand up!’

It cuts to various scenes, including a same-sex wedding where two women place rings on each other and then kiss.

Another scene is from the Sydney Mardi Gras, where a guy throws confetti in the air and a group of marchers wave glow sticks in unison.

Alan Joyce is the openly gay CEO of Qantas, said he believes being open about being gay ‘allows him to be himself at work and demonstrates to others that it hasn’t hindered his career.’


In an interview in 2016, the CEO said;

‘‘I can say categorically that we wouldn’t have gotten through the transformation and the tough times of this business as well as we did without having that diversity in the top leadership team.

At the end of the day, it makes you a better business.”

During Australia’s fight for same-sex marriage equality last year, Joyce donated $1 million to the ‘yes’ campaign.

Earlier this year, he also became the co-patron of national LGBTI workplace inclusion program, Pride in Diversity.

Thousands Attend Sydney’s Mardi Gras

Hundreds of thousands of people packed the streets of Sydney’s gay village this weekend to watch the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The now famous parade has been going for 37 years.

The theme for this year’s event was tackling homophobia in sport – with gay and lesbian sports teams in the parade and one float carrying prominent sports men and women.

“Mardi Gras is a time of year where everyone has a chance to express themselves without fear of persecution. It’s also a chance to be super creative and make amazing costumes. And it’s the only time of the year that you can walk through the city half naked and covered head to toe in paint and glitter.”

Nearly 150 marching groups and floats participated in this year’s parade, including members of Australia’s armed forces, who for the first time ever they were lead by the most senior enlisted military figures. Military personnel have only been able to participate openly in the parade since 2008, and it was only this year that they have been allowed to march in uniform.

The parade always begins with the traditional roar of the Dykes on Bikes, and this year was no different  – well one little inclusion – the cast of hit web series Starting From Now rod shotgun.

They were followed by 42 Boys on Bikes and by a visiting contingent from Victorian LGBTI biker group the Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers.

Highlights included, a large contingent of LGBTI sporting groups, followed by a float from the ANZ bank – this year’s Principle Partner with the festival. 

The ‘78ers – veterans of the first ever Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978 (which descended into a police riot after officers attacked the marchers). A large group of indigenous Australians, with a bus carrying respected members of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

People With Disability Australia (a crowd favorite) travelled on a float featuring a pair of giant lips – sending the message that people should be free to love without discrimination regardless of their ability.

Another highlight of the parade were marchers from Australian Marriage Equality, with 100 marchers wearing Passion t-shirts dancing to the tune of Bruno Mar’s song ‘Marry You.’  

One of the largest corporate entries in the parade was the Google entry – with over a thousand people, including Australia’s first ever Eurovision entry Guy Sebastian, Megan Washington and band The Jezabels, marching to raise awareness for LGBTI youth charity Twenty10.