On 29 January, we joined the Victorian Public Sector at the 2017 Midsumma Pride March, where we took part in a lively and colourful celebration of difference, acceptance and equality.

This year marked the 22nd anniversary of the iconic Melbourne event, which is an opportunity for organisations, groups and individuals to recognise Victoria’s LGBTI community and acknowledge the journey towards equality.

We joined the Victorian Premier, the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, the Minister for Equality and Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Martin Foley, and the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Ro Allen, in the kilometre-long procession down Fitzroy Street St Kilda to the Catani Gardens, where the vibrant festivities continued.

Commissioner Lynne Coulson Barr said Pride March is an opportunity for us to engage members of the LGBTI community and raise awareness of their right to speak up.

‘We know that when LGBTI people experience discrimination and social exclusion, this can have a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing, as well as their access to, and use of, health services,’ Commissioner Coulson Barr said.

‘We wanted to let them know of their right to make a complaint about their experience with a public mental health service, and that we are here to support them in resolving their concerns.’

Pride March is part of the annual LGBTI arts and cultural event, Midsumma Festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The festival features a diverse range of visual art, live music, theatre and social events across Melbourne and regional Victoria. For more information, go to https://midsumma.org.au/

Members of the MHCC team at the 2017 Midsumma Pride March