Service NSW to shine at Mardi Gras Parade for the first time

NSW Department of Customer Service

**Vision and interviews with couple and Service NSW team members Ken and John: VNR Service NSW marching in Mardi Gras Parade for the first time ( Photos attached. **

For the first time, Service NSW team members will be proudly marching at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, celebrating inclusivity and diversity.

From frontline team members from local Service NSW Centres to the Chief Executive Officer Greg Wells, 40 team members from across the State will be decked out in rainbows and join 12,000 marchers to put on the razzle dazzle and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Among them is married couple Ken and John, who have been together since 1996 after a chance encounter in California and are now busily serving customers at Bankstown and Auburn Service NSW Centres. It will be the pair’s third Mardi Gras Parade but first with their work colleagues.

The festival’s theme ‘Our Future’ calls for everyone to participate in, influence and champion LGBTQIA+ causes and to look forward while honouring the past.

Service NSW strives to be a beacon of support and solidarity for LGBTQIA+ team members and customers with staff having the option to include their preferred pronouns on their name badges, to sport a Pride Flag lanyard or pin as part of staff uniform and to complete inclusion training to better understand the LGBTQIA+ community.

The NSW Government is proud to support the 46th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and will be turning the Waratah logo rainbow during the festival as a symbol of inclusion and diversity.

The Rainbow Waratah is a great visual representation of the commitment the NSW Government has for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Quotes to be attributed to Service NSW Chief Executive Officer Greg Wells:

“Service NSW is proud to be an organisation that supports and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community and I look forward to walking in the parade, waving the rainbow flag and showing we value all our team members.”

“We are committed to ensuring that no matter what walk of life you come from, people feel supported and a sense of belonging in the workplace.”

“With around six million customers visiting Service NSW Centres each year, we want to make sure every customer feels welcomed when they’re completing transactions or requiring extra support. We are serving NSW with pride now and into the future.”

Quotes to be attributed to Service NSW team member and Mardi Gras Parade participant John:

“I feel beyond proud to be walking with Service NSW and my husband at the Mardi Gras Parade this year. It’s an awesome opportunity to share stories and celebrate diversity.”

“I believe Ken and I were one of the earlier couples where a same-sex partner was approved residency in Australia and we went through a lot to be together.”

“Our relationship shows that anything is possible. If you believe in something and you have the right attitude, things will happen and we are proof of that.”

Quotes to be attributed to Service NSW team member and Mardi Gras Parade participant Ken:

“Service NSW has always felt inclusive and is a culturally diverse environment to work and be a part of.”

“It’s full circle that I’m working at Service NSW and am able to assist other LGBTQIA+ community members whether it’s a same-sex couple applying for a marriage certificate or someone requesting to record a change of sex on their Registry record. I feel empowered and happy to help these people along their journey.”

“This will be our third time walking in the Mardi Gras Parade and we are thrilled to show how much it means to be together and celebrate with teammates.”

/Public Release.