The unique “All Roads Lead to Oxford Street” artwork celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community has gained the thumbs up from the Port Pirie LGBTIQ+ Community Working Group and Uniting Country SA’s Rainbow Tick Standards Accreditation Team.
Port Pirie was chosen for the artwork because it is one of 123 other places across Australia that has an Oxford Street. On Saturday 2nd March Sydney’s famous annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras travelled along the full length of Oxford Street. The art installations, sponsored by ANZ, mark the 40th year of Sydney’s Mardi Gras, celebrating LGBTIQ+ equality and pride.
The past 40 years has seen significant changes in recognition of the rights of all LGBTIQ+ community members to be included, not discriminated against and excluded. Do LGBTIQ+ individuals living in Port Pirie feel safe and included? A recent survey indicated that 84% believe there are still parts of Australia where they feel isolated and unsafe. It is a long way from country South Australia to the open acceptance and celebration of diversity and commitment to social equality that is celebrated in Oxford Street Sydney.
The local LGBTIQ+ Community Group is working together to make Port Pirie an inclusive, supportive and knowledgeable community that embraces LGBTIQ+ people. The group distributes Rainbow Stickers to identify safe and inclusive spaces to local services nominated by members of the LGBTIQ community. The chairperson Suzanne said, “New members are welcome. We have a member only Facebook group and a public page that shares services and information. We want to hear from community members about how they would feel more included. We are also seeking assistance to set up a support group in Port Pirie for the LGBTIQ+ community”.
Uniting Country SA is the first organisation in Port Pirie to receive a Rainbow Sticker Chairperson of their LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Working Party Elissa said, “We are committed to being an inclusive service provider and employer and are striving towards gaining Rainbow Tick Standards Accreditation. We believe we are the first in Country SA to be taking this journey.”
The Rainbow Flag was dedicated in 1978 and is the symbol adopted worldwide by the LGBTIQ+ community. Red symbolises life, orange signifies healing, yellow is for sunlight, green represents nature, blue stands for harmony and violet signifies spirit.
The ‘Flash Mob’ assembled at the art installation to promote a community discussion about embracing inclusion and celebrating diversity.