Uniting puts clients centre-stage
26 February 2019
Uniting NSW.ACT is encouraging everybody to “Fear Less and Love More” at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras this year.
This annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is set to be one of Uniting’s largest ever, with approximately 60 people including 10 residential, Home and Community Care and disability service clients, Uniting staff and volunteers from across NSW and the ACT, marching.
Mardi Gras is an important opportunity to demonstrate inclusivity and diversity.
Uniting is a faith-based organisation that proudly welcomes everyone exactly as they are, which is why we’re marching under the banner ‘Fear Less, Love More’.
This is an important message for the many LGBTI “Baby Boomers” now either planning their future aged care needs.
One such client is Michael Parsons, who utilises Uniting’s Home and Community Care service and will be proudly marching under the Uniting NSW.ACT banner at this year’s parade. For health reasons, he moved from his home city of Melbourne to Port Macquarie last year and was connected to Uniting through a friend.
“I can no longer drive, so I now have two support workers that visit twice a week to help me out. And a friend said to me, ‘go to Uniting, they’ve got the Rainbow Tick,” Mr Parsons said.
The Rainbow Tick recognises inclusivity and safe environments
Uniting aged care and disability services have received the Rainbow Tick in recognition of its efforts to strengthen advocacy, inclusivity and safe environments for members of LGBTI communities, their families and friends.
Mr Parsons has always been an active member of the LGBTI community, ranging from promoting LGBTI focused dance parties across Melbourne through to volunteering with the world’s first gay and lesbian community radio station JOY949 FM, as a breakfast show presenter. This year will mark Mr Parsons’ 15th appearance within the parade.
“I’ve always been gay. And I was at the very first Mardi Gras party in 1979 – we all could feel it was the start of something bigger.”
Contact Media@uniting.org or 0457 568 938.