Last Wednesday the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby held our sold-out 25th silver anniversary party at NSW Parliament House. It was a wonderful night full of reflection, and a great chance to catch up with many friends who have made the organisation so successful over the last 25 years, and to make plenty of new ones.
The Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir, led us off with a truly inspirational speech, followed by our long-time ally, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who has been a staunch supporter of the gay community for over 20 years. We thank them for their commitment.
This was followed by a panel of community leaders, including: Lex Watson, Stevie Clayton and my fellow Co-convenor Justin Koonin. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to hear the perspectives of these three very different people about the progress of legislative equality over the last 25 years, and where they think we should be heading in the future.
We were also lucky enough to have Senator Penny Wong attend and speak from her own unique experience inside the ALP during the change of the party platform on marriage equality in 2011 and the unsuccessful marriage equality bills that have come before parliament in the last two years.
Thanks also to our MC David Marr; the Marriage Equality Working Group who toasted the GLRL; Mardi Gras, the City of Sydney and Michael Kirby who donated auction prizes; Bloodline Productions who donated our sound and lights; and all our wonderful raffle prize donors.
I was lucky enough to escort the Governor into the event, and she remarked how fitting it was that we should be holding our event at Parliament House, when not that long ago we were locked out and protesting in the streets. I have to agree that there is a nice symmetry.
The event was organised entirely by our volunteers, who did an incredible job pulling off a sold out event with guests of such high caliber. I couldn’t have asked for a more professional team.
On a personal note, this is my final column as Co-convenor of the GLRL. Our AGM will be held next Wednesday 6th November (more details at glrl.org.au). I would like to thank the committees of the last two years, and the three staff members we have had during that time. You have been an amazing group to work with. The last two years have seen a lot of changes for both the community and the organization, and I couldn’t feel more proud to have been part of such a wonderful organisation.
I wish the NSW GLRL the very best of luck in the future.