As we gear up for our 30th anniversary Mardi Gras this Saturday, ACON’s new campaign “Together we can” has hit the streets. The campaign acts as a prompt to remind us of the importance of looking after each other, and of the need to celebrate our diversity, as well as our community bonds.

The Hunter community has created a fantastic parade entry, which showcases the breadth of GLBT life and community groups in our region. Look out for the Pash ’N’ Bonker float, and be sure to show loud support for your regional brothers and sisters.

For those who are not able to make the trek down the F3 freeway, we can still celebrate by supporting our monthly regional community events.

At this time of year it’s worth turning our thoughts to the ideas that underpin our notions of community: what is our sense of it, what do we want from it … but also what can we give to it?

Some of us choose to get fully involved, yet some others of us choose to leave it. Events like Mardi Gras, as well as our regional community activities and venues, will always please some and not others. This is a simple fact of human nature.

But as the 78ers, as well as our local regional heroes, have fought hard for our right to feel included in a community, it is important that we make an effort to preserve these victories.

ACON, and our partner GLBT groups, encourage people with ideas for improving our community and our meeting spaces to come forward and put them on the table. Together we can work to continue providing social outlets and opportunities for our community today, as well as ensuring there’s a prosperous community environment for future generations.

Enjoy your Mardi Gras – celebrate that we are free to show our diversity, that we have a right to feel proud and that we have events and community spaces where we can be ourselves.

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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