DEFGLIS will once again be participating at the Sydney Mardi Gras parade this year with Defence members, APS employees and family members to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an annual community festival supported by Defence to promote the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce for Defence capability, and demonstrate that both the APS and ADF reflect the community they serve.
Hon Matt Keogh MP, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Assistant Minister for Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, walked alongside members of Defence’s parade contingent in the parade. (Image by LSIS Susan Mossop from Defence News)
In 2013, Defence approved its members to march in uniform at the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. A decade later, in 2023, for the first time Defence ministers joined Defence personnel in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, as part of the Sydney WorldPride festival.
DEFGLIS exists to strengthen the bonds of community and inclusive practice through engaged and resilient members who are capable of supporting each other. (Image from the DEFGLIS website)
A Colourful History
DEFGLIS was founded in 2002 as the Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service to provide policy and community information to gay, lesbian and bisexual members of Defence.
Starting out as a website and an e-mail newsletter, DEFGLIS evolved into a national community through the efforts of founder Stuart O’Brien and a team of volunteers based in each state. Through the efforts of volunteers, DEFGLIS assisted members to connect with each other and to access community services that could provide for their health and wellbeing needs. Check out the timeline here.
In 2014, DEFGLIS became an incorporated association and a registered charity. It remains a recognised support service by the Australian Defence Organisation.
The Military Pride Ball 2022. More photos taken during the event available on DEFGLIS Instagram
DEFGLIS now regularly delivers Defence LGBTI news across a range of mediums and hosts a range of activities to satisfy diverse interests across the membership base. Its members serve as LGBTI speakers to meet a range of Defence community needs.
Its board is currently headed by Rachael Cosgrove, Principal Warfare Officer – Mine Warfare of the Royal Australian Navy.
DEFGLIS President and VP at the Pride in Practice Conference 2023 in Sydney. Image from DEFGLIS Facebook page
DEFGLIS membership is open to individuals with a connection to the ADF or Department of Defence who wish to promote LGBTI diversity and inclusion in Defence. You can join DEFGLIS as a member here or donate directly.
Other Ways To Show Your Support
Celebrate and embrace diversity in our defence force through our Embracing Diversity collection.
Created to celebrate the incredible diversity of those who serve across all areas of the defence force, these vibrant pins each feature a unique rainbow poppy with beautiful metallic detailing throughout. Wearable on caps, bags and clothing these pins are a perfect way to show your support.