As the 2011 Mardi Gras Parade looms, the last sequins are being frantically placed and the world begins to look like it is held together with feathers, hot glue and gaffer tape in preparation for the world’s largest night-time street parade.

The Illawarra has two entries in this year’s march. Illawarra Rising’s entry is Angels and Demons. A new group organised by the Allsorts Wollongong University Queer Collective — the Allsorts and Regional Uni Float — will bring together people from across the state to represent issues close to the hearts of those living regionally. You’ll see them wearing green to reflect their connection to the bush.

Look out for your local floats, enjoy the night, and remember to plan your night out so that everyone gets home safe after the festivities wind down!

In other news, an exciting new regional project for lesbians is about to have its first forum. Byte by Byte is a new initiative linking groups of women throughout the state in a series of workshops and forums at regional centres conducted simultaneously within an interactive online environment.

Where barriers of distance have previously prevented such collaboration, this new project will allow real-time access for community groups to meet, discuss and interact on issues that are important to their health and wellbeing in rural and regional areas. For information on how you can be involved, contact Nadia on 02 4226 1163

The next UNITY Dance, themed Burlesque, is coming up quickly. It’s at the Beaton Park Tennis Club on Saturday,March 26 from 8pm. Entry is $10 at the door. This is an 18+ event. There will be raffles, prizes for best dressed and live shows for your entertainment. Enquiries: 0403 899 015 or info@unity-wollongong.org

Have fun, take care, play safe and Happy Mardi Gras!

info: For more about groups, services or organisations in the Southern Region you can contact ACON on 4226 1163 or email tslattery@acon.org.au Trevor Slattery is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON’s Illawarra Branch.

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