Oxford St welcomes back Mardi Gras Parade 2023

mardi gras parade 2023

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2023 went back to its roots tonight, returning to Oxford Street after time away during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese became the first sitting PM to march in the parade in his 35th year of participation in the annual event. Neither Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton nor NSW premier Dominic Perrottet attended the 45th annual parade.

The PM described Mardi Gras Parade 2023 to the ABC as a celebration of modern Australia.

“It’s unfortunate that I am the first (PM to march), but this is a celebration of modern Australia. We’re a diverse, inclusive Australia and that’s a good thing.

“People want to see that their government is inclusive and represents everyone, no matter who they love, no matter what their identity, no matter where they live. We need to be a country that respects everyone for who they are.”

Mardi Gras Parade 2023

As always, the roar of the approaching Dykes on Bikes heralded the beginning of the parade.

Rainbow Serpent

Probably the best float in the parade was the first. The 20-metre-long First Nations Rainbow Serpent snaked its way along the Mardi Gras route, reminding onlookers that a float can both make a point and provide a visual spectacle.


The ever-popular 78ers remind us year after year of the sacrifices and hardships members of our communities endured to get us where we are today. And those Mardi Gras pioneers retain their spirit of protest, using their float to address current issues.

Pride in Protest

Speaking of protest, the Pride in Protest float addressed critical issues.

Donna Maree Bates

Missed by so many. I knew her in Cairns where she volunteered for everything. Whatever the community cause, Donna’s hand went up. Love you, Donna. 💖🏳️‍🌈

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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