WITH speculation the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival might record a profit after the 2016 season for the first time in many years, news has broken that the organisation is looking for a new CEO.

Michele Bauer stepped down from the role after this year’s festival wrapped up saying she was proud of what she achieved during her tenure as interim CEO.

 “It has been a great experience overall. I appreciate the opportunity I have been given. I think I have given to the organisation as much as they gave to me,” she told the Star Observer.

“They instituted and tried a lot of different stuff and the community and audience came along with us for the journey.”

Bauer took on the interim role for the 2016 festival after former chief executive Michael Rolik resigned last year.

Bauer was previously on the Mardi Gras board for three years. She said she was stepping down after one year in the interim role as per the agreement when she was appointed last year.

“The after party sold out, we had record numbers at the parade and I’m not taking credit for that, but I helped in steering the organisation,” she said.

“I’m most proud that we’re continuing the work to re-orient ourselves firmly in community and social justice, the board took that direction and I assisted. 

“I want to thank the board for the opportunity and the LGBTI community for coming on the ride and trying something new.”

In a statement to Star Observer the Mardi Gras board thanked Bauer “for being the driving force behind many of the highlights of the 2016 festival”.

“Michele’s dedication and leadership, along with strong passion for the community helped bring to life the vision for Mardi Gras 2016,” the board said.

“Her hard work, innovation, integrity and commitment were integral to producing this mammoth celebration of the LGBTQI community.

“We are now recruiting for a permanent CEO for Mardi Gras and call on any interested parties, with the relevant experience and passion for the LGBTQI community to apply at [email protected].”

The news comes shortly after Melbourne’s equivalent to the Mardi Gras, Midsumma, announced last month they were looking for a new Festival Director following the resignation of Tennille Moisel.

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