Fifteen people will seek positions on the next New Mardi Gras board when members vote at the annual general meeting on August 21.

Current board members Lynne O’Brien, Josh Keech, Tony Knight, Robert Partos, Siri May and co-chair Steph Sands are all seeking re-election.

They are joined by Peter Urmson, David Wilson, Phillip Kershaw, Greg Small, David Walker, Damon Hartly, Peter Walton, Michael Douglas and James Rongen-Hall.

Curren co-chair Nick Parker will not seek re-election. Parker told Sydney Star Observer he was sad to be leaving the organisation, but work commitments meant he would be traveling overseas more frequently in the year ahead.

“I’ll still be available to help,” he said. “New Mardi Gras remains a passion of mine.

“But with the commitment that being a director and being co-chair requires, I would be letting the organisation down if I tried to share that with the job I now have.”

Sands thanked Parker for his contribution to New Mardi Gras, both as co-chair and as a board member over a number of years.

“Nick stepped up to lead the board during a very difficult time and with his integrity and vision he leaves behind an important legacy for the organisation,” Sands said.

“His contribution in regards to determining and implementing good governance, and formulating long-term strategic plans has left Mardi Gras a positive and visionary direction.

“I will personally miss him on the board, yet I know he will continue to contribute, as he has done for the past eight years, to the success of this organisation. We wish him all the best for his recent and well-deserved promotion.”

The elections come on the back of a controversial decision to move the annual Sleaze Ball party from the Hordern Pavilion to the Entertainment Quarter at Fox Studios.

The announcement in April this year that Mardi Gras would post a loss of more than $400,000 for the 2010 season as a result of splitting the parade and party is also expected to play a role in voting.

Although financial reports for the AGM won’t be available until early August, SSO understands the season loss far exceeds the $400K originally predicted.

info: The New Mardi Gras AGM will be held at the National Institute of Dramatic Art playhouse, 215 Anzac Pde, Kensington on August 21 from 1pm.

Editor’s Note: Peter Urmson is a member of the SSO Media board, which publishes the Sydney Star Observer.

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