Sydney WorldPride has named its first three Rainbow Champions.

The three are 78er Peter De Waal, journalist and presenter Narelda Jacobs, and host and co-creator of Rainbow History Class Rudy Jean Rigg.

45 Rainbow Champions In Total

45 Rainbow Champions will be chosen in total, from around Australia, in order to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2023.

Showcasing members of the LGBTQIA+ community that have made a significant contribution to the community and its culture, these individuals will be chosen from now till November.

De Waal is the founding member of Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) Inc. He is also one of the 78ers that participated in the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in 1978. In 2017, he was named a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the LGBTQI community. 

Peter De Waal. Image: Jaimi Joy

Jacobs is a Whadjuk Noongar journalist and presenter. Since 2000 she has worked for Network 10 and is currently a co-host on Studio 10. Jacobs’s passions include fighting for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Narelda Jacobs. Image: Jaimi Joy

Rigg is an autistic and non-binary transgender presenter, writer, director, and collaborator. He is the host and co-creator of Rainbow History Class. He is currently working on TransAthletica with his friend, the co-creator and writer of Rainbow History Class, Hannah McElhinney.

Rudy Jean Rigg. Image: Jaimi Joy

A Spotlight On The Diversity and Tenacity of Australia’s Queer Community

According to Sydney WorldPride Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Pinkstone, “These 45 Rainbow Champions are our way to shine a spotlight on the diversity and tenacity of Australia’s incredible LGBTQIA+ community, from famous faces to community members, from people who have taken public action to those who have made a contribution behind-the-scenes. 

“Progress for LGBTQIA+ people has been hard won by people like Peter, Narelda and Rudy, who have taken action and been visible, at times when it hasn’t been easy to be accepted. 

“As we make our way to the 45th anniversary of Mardi Gras in 2023, I’m really looking forward to WorldPride being a time to honour the past, inspire ourselves for the future and of course, celebrate the beautiful diversity of our rainbow community.” 

Sydney WorldPride 2023 takes place from February 17 to March 5, 2023 with nearly 1 million people expected to take part in the 17-day celebration.

WorldPride started in 2000 in Rome. Since then it has been held in London, Toronto, Madrid, New York, and, most recently, Copenhagen.

For information on Sydney WorldPride 2023 go to

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