By Tanya Plibersek MP

15 February 2023






As the festival capital of Australia, Sydney is dressed up and ready to celebrate the arrival of World Pride this weekend. It promises to be the biggest, brightest, most fabulous event of the year.  

World Pride is the largest LGBTQIA+ festival on earth. Major cities across the globe compete for the right to host it. And this year, for the first time, it’s leaving the northern hemisphere behind and travelling down under.  

Sydney is an obvious home for this global rainbow carnival. We’re the city of Mardi Gras and Oxford Street. We have a big, welcoming, fun loving heart. And we know how to throw a truly world shaking party.  

Over half a million people are tipped to visit Sydney during the festival, bringing more than $100 million with them. After a difficult few years for local tourism, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Visitors will be staying in our great hotels, eating in our incredible restaurants, and visiting our wonderful sites. They’ll see the best of Sydney in our late summer sparkle. 

Held over three weeks, World Pride offers something for everybody. Music lovers can spend the opening night spinning around with Kylie Minogue. Sporting types can sit ringside at the world gay boxing championships. And if you’re more serious, there’s one of the world’s largest ever human rights conferences on LGBTQIA+ issues.  

Other highlights include the Pride March over Sydney Harbour Bridge, the opening of the Qtopia museum in Darlinghurst, Fair Day in Victoria Park this Sunday, and the 45th annual Mardi Gras Parade down Oxford Street.  

Over the years, I’ve had the great joy of attending more than twenty Mardi Gras parades. It’s been a lovely thing to watch people embrace the night, in larger and larger numbers, to the point where it’s now the second largest annual event in Sydney. 

The success of these events show that we can come together as a city, while celebrating our differences as people. It’s the natural extension of a very Australian idea: to live and let live.  

These festivals and parades are a lot of fun, but they’re more than just a party. They’re a symbol of our acceptance. They tell young Australians who might be unsure or worried about their sexuality that there is a place for them in modern Australia. Just by existing, they save lives.  

It's now been over five years since Australia voted for marriage equality. Since that historic day, the sky hasn’t fallen in and disaster hasn’t struck. With time, the divisions of that period have begun to heal, and love has triumphed over all.   

Because it doesn’t matter who you love. It doesn’t matter what your family looks like, or how you dress, or how you run your private life, as long as you are kind and respectful to other people. In the end, we’re all human beings and we’re all equally worthy of love and happiness.   

As World Pride comes to town, I think that’s something we can all celebrate.