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Created date

22/02/2017

Media Release - NT Stars set to Shine Bright!

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY 21st February 2017

The Northern Territory float for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is poised and ready to go! Over 85 participants will represent the Northern Territory in the country’s largest street parade to celebrate sexual diversity on Saturday 4th March 2017.

The float, named “Northern Territory Stars”, is creatively themed to represent the “Shining night sky of the NT and all the uniqueness we have to offer” say the organisers.

It has been organised by Darwin-born theatre makers, Daniel Cunningham and Ben Graetz (the creators of Darwin’s ‘Departure Lounge’ pop-up parties) in partnership with the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTAHC). Daniel and Ben are also well known throughout Australia for their infamous Drag characters 'Marzi Panne' and 'Miss Ellaneous’.

The motivation for the float is to showcase the NT to Sydney and the rest of the world. The centrepiece consists of a huge, inflatable star, which will illuminate the float amidst hundreds of fairy lights adorning the participants as they march. “All the stars in the sky are special and unique, just like the LGBTQI community in the NT” says Cunningham.

“We are overjoyed to announce that Territory-born actress Miranda Tapsell (Newton's Law, The Sapphires, Love Child, Black Comedy, Play School) will be marching again this year, along with her Mum and Aunty. Additionally, we are honoured to have leading Aboriginal model and youth and family advocate Casey Conway with us. Casey is the face of NTAHC’s “Drama Down Under - Wet & Dry” sexual health awareness campaign, so we are really excited to have him join the float!” Cunningham said.

Another highlight of the NT’s 2017 Mardi Gras presence will be the attendance of up to 30 Tiwi Island Sista Gals, who are travelling down from the Top End of Australia. “The Sista Gals stand strong in their traditional dances and songs and continue to share their culture and stories for all of the LGBTQI community. They have worked hard to raise their own money to get them to the parade, and this will be their first time attending the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras!” says Graetz. “We are over the moon that such a large contingent of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous community are able to attend. Some of them have never left the NT before, and here we are getting them to walk proud and strong in front of thousands of people in the parade!”

The float this year has been funded through various fundraising activities by throughout Sydney and the Northern Territory, and also from the generous donations of local individuals and Top End businesses.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been held annually since 1978. With an attendance each year of over 300,000 people, it generates $30 million towards the NSW economy. Mardi Gras is one of the highlights of the LGBTIQ community globally.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be putting the Northern Territory on the international gay and lesbian map” say the organisers.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will be televised on SBS TV, Sunday 5th March.

For further information regarding the float please contact event directors:

Ben Graetz 0402 765 191 or Daniel Cunningham 0413302121 or partypassport@me.com

For Miranda Tapsell please contact: Jane Negline at Jane@platformpr.net

For Casey Conway please contact: Jason Williamson on 0418 414 823 or jason@williamsonmgt.com

For The Sista Gals please contact: Shaun Kerinaiua on 0477 313 285 or skerinaiua@hotmail.com

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