Adrian Phoon has been elected to the Mardi Gras board alongside the re-election of three sitting members, with Pride in Protest’s candidates falling short.

The controversial motions brought forward by Pride in Protest – including banning police and the Liberal Party from the parade – were defeated at Saturday’s annual general meeting.

“It was great to see people who are passionate about Mardi Gras and our community come together and share their views,” Phoon said of the AGM.

“As someone who was an unaligned and independent, I wanted to sit down with my fellow members and hear the conversation.

Phoon told the Star Observer he wanted to use his experience as a grassroots volunteer to bring further diversity to Mardi Gras.

“I come from a governance and compliance training background, so I bring those skills to the table.

“But I am particularly passionate about the diversity of our community, and I am keen to help Mardi Gras build platforms that connect our diverse views and LGBTIQ+ people from all walks of life and experiences.”

Phoon joins returning board members Kat Dopper, Christopher Brooke and Jesse Matheson, who were reinstated to the board.

They will sit alongside the board members who are continuing their two-year terms: Kate Wickett, Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco, John Hannaford and recent Honour Award-winner Robyn Kennedy.

Co-Chair Brandon Bear stepped down from the role after five years served on the board, while CEO Terese Casu was reinstated for a further two years.

A resolution granting lifetime membership to a list of Mardi Gras ’78ers who applied for it was passed, while a series of further motions received support at the meeting and will be taken to the board for consideration.

They include a motion to bid to host World Pride in 2023, to extend lifetime membership to those entered into the SGLMG hall of fame and to Mardi Gras Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

One passed motion recommended that access to the workshop for community parade entrants in order to advise and assist community groups and members with float design and development, and another recommended that the establishment of a permanent community workshop be a strategic objective of the organisation.

In a post on Facebook, Pride in Protest wrote that lead candidate Holly Brook finished fifth in the final distribution of votes, missing out on a board position.

The group nevertheless said they were “incredibly proud” of rallying the support they had just over two months since it was formed.

Mardi Gras will unveil the creative theme and a suite of events for next year’s festival on Friday.

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