Co-chairs to push for gender equality

Co-chairs to push for gender equality

New Mardi Gras’ decision to return to a co-chair model was based on a need to drive greater female involvement in the organisation and publicly kill off the perception it is run by a single individual, Steph Sands said.
Sands was elected NMG co-chair last week alongside Nick Parker. She told Sydney Star Observer the organisation was firmly focused on the future.
“We believe the single chair model probably gave undue prominence to one individual. This gave the impression that one person was calling the shots. Not only was that impression false, but it also puts tremendous pressure on anyone in that role,” she said.
“The second reason is that we believe that we lost something when we stopped having both male and female co-chairs.
“The key thing is that the organisation has clear leadership. When I was a co-chair previously this leadership had to come from the board as there were few other people around to do it.
“The situation is quite different today. NMG now has a small, but growing permanent staff base that is driving the organisation forward on a day-to-day basis. The role of the board and the co-chairs is now quite different. Our role now lies in broader areas of policy, review and strategy.”
Sands said the new board would work towards improving NMG’s relationships with key community organisations while CEO Anna McInerney takes on the public-face role.
“The entire board will definitely be building relationships with community organisations and groups and spending more time with members of our organisation,” she said.
“The board can provide a visible and approachable forum for our members and community. What is of utmost importance, however, is that the entire board fulfill our elected duty of a governance role for the company.
“We are writing a three-year strategic plan for the business which will document our longer-term vision, however, short term goals revolve around governance, succession planning for both staff and key volunteer positions (such as the board) and effective risk management.
“Our immediate action point from the AGM is regarding consultation, from which we sent out our first of many surveys to our members last week on our community grants program.
“Our next survey is a membership-based survey to help craft the strategy for our membership program moving forward and includes ideas for how members can have even further input into the organisation.”
Sands, who with Lynne O’Brien is one of only two women on the board, said she hoped having male and female co-chairs would encourage greater female participation in NMG.
“As such a regular networking event for the women of Mardi Gras and other organisations will be held in the near future,” she said.
“All female members of the organisation and community should watch out for this evening as this will be an opportunity to become more involved in the organisation in a number of ways.”

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7 responses to “Co-chairs to push for gender equality”

  1. Guys Listen to you all,as a country guy in the highlands of country victoria,we run our own Festival Spring Migration.This year we changed the format to a 9 day festival,instead of a weekend.Next Year it will just go back to over a weekend.We tried something different,and the last weekend was successfull as it has always been.But spliting it up to a new format diddnt really work.
    ALEX above you really cant blame anyone, but the owners of FOX studios. The party has been there for over 30 years FOX would have it BOOKED For Mardigras every year.So something sounds like maybe a communication thing ,or as we have found out sadly some people in the gay community can spread rumours that arent true or they have heard from someone else.
    So what ever has happened, as a community we should all get behind it,DONT PUT DOWN SOMETHING like Mardigras that gave us our voice and life and the energy from it makes us strong.
    But sadly alot of people dont think of that,when in anger maybe things are said without thinking and cooloing off.Enjoy each day we live together we are strong

  2. “Bad decisions” Mike? It’s common knowledge there was no “decision” to split the party and parade. The General Manager who get’s paid $175,000 screwed up the RHI booking and they had no choice. Hope the new board has the foresight or guts to replace her before she does makes another boo-boo.

  3. It’s interesting that a GLBT organisation would go down the route of having “female” and “male” co-chairs….

  4. Actually I’ve sent several emails, and have most of my friends to the new mardi gras email address in response to the parade/party split, use of our email addresses for soliciting proxies, and even one with a simple question about Sleaze Ball, none of which have ever been responded to.

    And it’s in the spirit of democracy that one should be able to be critical of any organisation, whether it’s a government, political party or community based organisation. It’s called debate.

  5. Jeez Mike – Give it a Bone !

    You harp and harp and harp and harp on about The Board and Communication – but have you actually gone into the office, met with anyone, or even shough to communicate with any of the Board directly to let your feelings be known ???

    I agree with all those other people who have commeneted that you are obvioulsy going to hand in your membership. I can’t see how anyone who is so vitreolic about this organisation could be a member and not be described as a hypocrite!!

    Let the new board get on and do the job for sh!ts sake !

  6. “This gave the impression that one person was calling the shots.”

    Interesting that at the AGM they made it quite clear David Imrie was ultimately for responsible for all of the bad decisions, and “miscommunication” about the parade and party split.

    NMG you can’t have it both ways. Just more (bad) spin. May I recommend you employ a media relations agency to assist with your constant, conflicting positioning and statements? At least they way the community may believe you…