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Sunny times for Pride March
Thousands of spectators turned out on to St Kilda’s sun-kissed Fitzroy St on Sunday, February 3 for Victoria’s 18th Pride March.
More than 2,000 people marched with over 120 groups and organisations who showed their pride on the day.
AFL footballers Dan Jackson and Brock McLean joined openly gay footballer Jason Ball who led the march, marking the first time AFL players had joined the event.
The day proved to be a first for numerous groups including the ENUF campaign, No To Homophobia and DEFGLIS, the Australian Defence LBGTI Information Service.
DEFGLIS chair Vince Chong said it was important defence personenl were involved in local events and showcased diversity and inclusion in the ADF.
Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Tim Cartwright said police representation in the march was its biggest ever in the 12 years it had marched with more than 60 police officers getting involved.
LGBTI rights advocate Sally Goldner was impressed with the regional representation in the march and said new regional groups and organisations had joined this year’s march.
Pride March Victoria board member Adam Lowe told the Star Observer the day turned out to be a stunning event despite initial concerns about the weather.
“The weather turned out to be fantastic, the 2,000 plus people who marched were fantastic and I think colour and movement were so much more bolder this year from all of the community organisations and some of the commercial organisations who stuck their hand up in support of all things pride,” he said.
“The Catani Gardens ended the festival, I think it was a really solid turn out for people there all afternoon.”
Pride March Victoria financially depends on sponsorships, fundraising and money earned from drink sales on the day.
Lowe, who now chairs the strategy and planning sub-committee for Pride March Victoria, said he was confident this year’s takings could recoup last year’s loss of $23,000.
“The gut feeling is that we made the target sales at the bar; whether or not that’s ultimately enough to cover the costs is still yet to be seen,” he said.
While organisers were yet to finalise how much was raised on the day, Lowe said they had probably made enough this year to cover the 2013 event as well as restored much of what was lost last year due to bad weather affecting poor drink sales.
He thanked City of Port Phillip, Gaydar and the GH Hotel for their support.