Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) will establish a member and community advisory group following the backlash at a recent decision to drop ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ from the festival’s title.

The consensus of opponents and supporters at the December 17 meeting was that the organisation should have consulted more explicitly with members about their intentions before making the changes.

“It was clear from this session that some community members felt strongly about the significance of the change to the festival name and in particular the change to the parade name, believing that more consultation should have taken place,” the organisation said in a statement today.

“In light of this, the SGLMG board has come up with a solution for further consultation and involvement, and the potential opportunity for members of the community to participate in a decision on the parade and festival name.

“A Members and Community Advisory Group will be established to assist the SGLMG Board, staff and Community Engagement Committee. This group will specifically act as a member and
community representative forum to assist in the identification of engagement and consultation needs and opportunities.”

SGLMG said the advisory group’s first order of business would be to “examine the Festival and Parade name change”.

“It is envisaged that this group will meet after the 2012 season to discuss an appropriate way forward that may involve plans for consultations, workshops, and a survey on the preferred name,” the statement read.

A public forum will be held between April and June to discuss the group’s findings and determine if further member feedback is required at the 2012 AGM.

INFO: Anyone interested in nominating for a role with the advisory group should contact Mardi Gras via its website.

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