2007 went by so fast and Christmas seemed to jump up on us. Some of us find this period very trying, but hopefully most of us enjoyed the festivities, gathering with relatives, GLBT families and friends, loving and laughing and enjoying the day.

Moving on from Christmas our community had a plethora of events to welcome in another year in true GLBT style. Sydney turned on many fantastic parties, while some of us decided to travel further a field from the GLBT heartland.

Closer to home, Newcastle’s Gateway Hotel hosted the Gateway to Heaven dance party with a fabulous line up of DJ’s and the irrepressible talents of Penny Clifford and Minnie Cooper.

In Lismore, the institution that is Tropical Fruits held another amazing dance party rolling out the red carpet for locals and visitors from Sydney to Brisbane and beyond.

With this festive season behind us, it’s time to get ready to celebrate again at our own GLBT Christmas -“ Mardi Gras. People will travel from all over NSW, interstate and internationally to mark our 30th anniversary. Newcastle is busy preparing its float already so contact us to find how to get involved.

In your personal preparation for this important year, remember to look after yourself and your friends. Homophobic violence is a very important issue with incidences increasing recently in Sydney.

When you are a visitor, be vigilant and stick together with friends and don’t venture too far on your own.

If consuming alcohol and drugs, stick to your limits. Talk honestly with companions about your use and look after each other and our visitors who may not have local knowledge of these issues.

Have a happy and prosperous 2008. Together we can have fun and stay safe.

If you want any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in the Hunter, New England, MNC or Central Coast contact ACON Hunter/MNC on 4927 6808 or email [email protected],

Sean O’Rourke is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON’s Hunter/MNC Branch.

E: [email protected]

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