This year, Greenpeace celebrated peace and love in all its forms by entering its first ever float into the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.













© Jane Castle/Greenpeace

Normally I’d find it hard to wake up early on a cold rainy Sydney Saturday. But last weekend was special. Not only was it my first time marching in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, but also the first time Greenpeace Australia Pacific had entered a float into the parade. The chill and drizzle didn’t deter me as I, with 20 other Greenpeacers, put the final touches on our costumes.

 © Kassandra Hackenberg

Our theme this year was “You can’t Sink a Rainbow”, paying homage to the Rainbow Warrior ship that was bombed in Auckland Harbour by French government agents in the 1980s. The Rainbow Warrior has remained an enduring symbol of our movement: that no matter the adversity we face, we will continue until our vision of a green and peaceful world for all is a reality.

Our participation in the parade was truly an example of that. It was inspiring to see Greenpeace supporters join with staff, volunteers and activists and the beautiful Rainbow Warrior to form a vibrant and enthusiastic Mardi Gras float. As we marched down Oxford Street, everyone was exhilarated to hear the support from the crowd – tourists and locals alike.


 © Jane Castle/Greenpeace

Most strikingly, it was incredible to see the diversity of participants. This year’s parade saw a record 144 floats and 10,000 marchers celebrate diversity in Australia. Religious and ethnic communities, local community groups, international organisations, and multinational corporations joined together in the name of equality, love, and human rights.

Greenpeace always has and always will be first and foremost an environmental organisation. We’re also part of a broader, global community of people working to make the world a better place for all — and that’s what I love about working here. We’ve always celebrated diversity in our staff, volunteers, activists and supporters. This weekend was an opportunity to show our true colours and march in solidarity with our friends.

For those who weren’t able to make it this time, I’ve put some of my favourite pictures from the night into the slideshow below. Thanks for a great night Sydney – see you next year!