Vicki Harding, author and organiser of Preventing Homophobia In Educational Settings.

What is your event about?

Preventing Homophobia In Educational Settings is a book launch and forum, with guest speaker Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli from Deakin University. The books being launched are two new children’s readers and a teacher’s manual in the Learn To Include series. The series aims to raise awareness about diverse families in schools.

Why did you decide to include Preventing Homophobia In Educational Settings in the Mardi Gras Festival?

Working with very young people on homophobia is a very important and way overdue strategy for preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The resources being launched at this event are one way to start this work. The forum (jointly organised by the Teacher’s Federation and the Anti-Homophobia Interagency) will explore other ways. The Mardi Gras Festival is the perfect time to raise awareness with teachers and others about this work.

What are you looking forward to attending in the festival (apart from your own event)?

Some of the films in the festival look great and we always love Fair Day.

What’s your favourite Mardi Gras memory?

When Kidzone Le Space won best community event in 2000, and then to see it as a part of Fair Day last year. So many families loved and appreciated it.

What does Mardi Gras mean to you?

Mardi Gras is an annual affirmation, celebration and a seriously good time. It’s easy to show our children how proud we are with the variety and quality of events on offer.

Preventing Homophobia In Educational Settings will be held at the NSW Teachers Federation Library, Level 1, 22-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills, on Friday 11 February from 5pm (kid’s party), 5:45pm (launch) and 6:30pm (forum). RSVP to Michelle Rosicky on 9217 2188 or 9217 2189 by Monday 7 February.

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