Ethical Charter

INTRODUCTION

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the oldest LGBTIQ+ organisations in Australia and the producer one of the world’s biggest celebrations of pride and diversity. Our vision is to be a global leader in the promotion of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice through culture, creativity and partnerships.

In 2023, Sydney will host the very first WorldPride in the Southern hemisphere. Both Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride will unite LGBTIQ+ communities and Prides from across the world, inviting them to join us here in-person or to take part in the festival online.

Together, we will listen and learn from some of the most isolated LGBTQI communities in the world, celebrate as one and show bold leadership as activists into the future.

As custodians of this truly global event, we want to make decisions we are proud of. Decisions that represent why we exist, what we believe in, and what we stand for.

The purpose of our shared Ethical Charter is to serve as a compass for our people to make decisions that are aligned with our vision, values, principles and promises. Decisions we can feel confident about.

This Charter holds us accountable to best achieve our objective of organising events of celebration, commemoration and protest, ultimately building transparency and trust within the organisation and broader communities.

The Charter is designed to be used by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Sydney WorldPride boards, executive and staff. It will be applicable to all general business decisions and will guide us in who we choose work with.

 

OUR VISION AND VALUES

Over the next three years, we will design and deliver festivals that promote the visibility and rights of LGBTIQ+ people globally and is best practice in meeting current human rights, environmental and project delivery standards, and which build the capability and capacity of the global Pride network, including InterPride.

Working with our communities

We are deeply rooted in our communities. Our annual Festival and other events held throughout the year provide opportunities for individuals to connect with peers, reduce

isolation and instil pride in identity. The Festival provides a platform to our communities for creative and political expression. Members of our communities, including a range of LGBTIQ+ partner organisations, are engaged in all aspects of our operations.

Celebrating diversity and inclusion

We seek to support the participation of people from marginalised communities in our region and ensure they can fully and safely participate in our festival.

Building and maintaining strong relationships

We are committed to working with the LGBTIQ+ community, our partners and other stakeholders to ensure we deliver the highest quality festival possible.

Ensuring safety and wellbeing

We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers, contractors, Festival artists and participants and the wider community in all our events and operations.

Honouring our history

We are committed to honouring and preserving the history of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, including the courage of our elders and early activists, for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

OUR PRINCIPLES

While our vision sets our aspiration and what we are working towards, and our values express what we consider to be good, our principles put boundaries on behaviour and serve as a guide to what’s right.

Openness and Transparency

We are mindful of the intentions behind our actions and always seek to be honest and transparent. We are accountable and take responsibility for our actions.

Integrity

We are committed to doing the right thing, even when faced with difficult decisions and to behaving ethically at all times.

Delivering a sustainable and commercially successful event that reflects our social license to operate

We strive to deliver a festival that meets rigorous environmental standards, makes ethical decisions about our sponsors and partners and ensure the commercial success of Sydney WorldPride 2023.

Providing a platform for First Nations, particularly LGBTIQ+ people, in Australia and across the region

We will ensure focal elements of both festivals contribute to the visibility of and are delivered by First Nations people. Both festivals will reflect the issues of global first nations people ensuring ongoing and increasing participation.

Contributing to the visibility and supporting development of LGBTIQ+ communities across the Asia-Pacific

We will consult with our Asia-Pacific partners, including LGBTIQ+ led and owned businesses in the development of the festival and actively encourage the participation of people in the region through initiatives including membership and attendance subsidies.

Strengthening the global Pride network and the reach of InterPride Our actions and decisions will seek to enhance the reputation of WorldPride by ensuring a positive experience for sponsors and partners, ensuring we resource WorldPride 2023 and pass on as much of our experience as possible to future hosts.

Building agreements that help us work together to achieve our shared objectives

The Sydney WorldPride license agreement has been designed to help us work together by ensuring high standards of communication, confidentiality and cooperation. We will be proactive in addressing any disputes and protecting our reputation. 

Contributing to the sustainability of the Australian LGBTIQ+ communities

We will work in partnership to develop of sponsorships and seek to leave a financial contribution to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Sydney community.

 

OUR PROMISES

Our promises bring to life our values and principles, explaining how these are to be lived in relation to our stakeholder communities.

Our stakeholder communities

We prioritise members of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the NSW LGBTIQ+ communities and are aware of our role in promoting visibility and the rights of LGBTIQ+ people globally.

We also recognise our obligations to broader society – _to continue to advance and celebrate diversity and inclusion and to have a positive environmental and social impact.

Our Community

  • We will put the rights of Our Community first in all decisions we make.
  • We will celebrate the diversity of Our Community through representation and inclusion.
  • We will seek Our Community’s input when appropriate, and actively listen to their ideas or concerns.
  • We will only partner with individuals and groups that share our values and who are striving to make a positive impact on Our Community.
  • We will continue to advocate for social justice and equality.
  • We will be transparent about our decisions regarding organisations we partner with.
  • We will support our communities through grants.
  • We are committed to good governance and management.

Promises to our people and festival operators

  • We will act in a way that community elders and early activists will be proud of.
  • We will continue to build a movement that respects diversity and equality for generations to come.
  • We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff, volunteers, contractors, Festival artists and participants and the wider community in all our events and operations.
  • We will challenge ourselves and each other in the way we make decisions by using this Charter.
  • We will work collaboratively, drawing upon our diverse perspectives, to bring about creative events and festivals that celebrate Our Community.
  • We will work closely with our event operators to ensure sustainable practices underpin our events and festivals.

Promises to the broader community and society

  • We will continue to support and advocate for First Nations people globally and work closely with Australian LGBTIQ+ First Nations communities in planning and delivering our events and activities.
  • We are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of participants and the wider community in all our events and operations.
  • We will challenge those who fail to respect Our Community and champion the rights of LGBTIQ+ people.
  • We will foster cultural vibrancy in Sydney through the mediums of comedy, theatre, dance, art and music.
  • We will assist the revival of Sydney’s night-time economy through partnership with LGBTIQ+ friendly venues and businesses. 
  • We will ensure our festivals work to have positive environmental and social impacts.

Promises to our partners

  • We will work with you to meaningfully engage and positively impact Our Community.
  • We will select partners who are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of people who identify as LGBTIQ+.
  • We will prioritise partners who are working to positively impact upon issues of environmental sustainability, social responsibility and corporate governance.
  • We will ensure rigour, due process and transparency in our selection of partners.
  • We will challenge you constructively when you fail to live up to our values.
  • We will only engage with partners that are committed to providing safe products, services and work environments for our Community.

 

LIVING OUR PROMISES

Our partnership selection framework

We prioritise members of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the NSW LGBTIQ+ communities and are aware of our role in promoting visibility and the rights of LGBTIQ+ people globally.

Partnership Governance

While the decisions about who we choose as partners are primarily operational decisions and the responsibility of the executive, we recognise some decisions may require further consultation and input from the board as the elected representatives of our members and potentially other stakeholders.

Roles & Responsibilities

If less than $1,000,000 or less than 24 months:

Partnerships Manager

Manages onboarding process and ongoing relationship, commercial terms etc.

Conducts due diligence into potential partner organisations as part of the onboarding process.

SWP CEO
SGLMG CEO

Reviews the partner template and supporting research; Decides if the relationship is approved or not approved; Where potential reputational concerns are identified, the matter should be raised with the Board for consultation.

Board

Advised on overall partnerships program including decisions to not approve a relationship;

Can request additional consultation if required.

If more than $1,000,000 or longer than 24 months: 

Partnerships Manager

Manages onboarding process and ongoing relationship, commercial terms etc.

Conducts due diligence into potential partner organisations as part of the onboarding process and prepares template.

SGLMG CEO

Reviews the partner template and supporting research; and

Notes whether the relationship is supported by the executive or not.

SWP CEO

Reviews the partner template and supporting research;

Decides if the relationship is endorsed or not otherwise;

Where potential reputational concerns are identified, the specifics should be raised with the Board for consultation. 

SGLMG Board

Decides if the relationship is approved or not approved;

Advised on overall partnerships program;

Can request additional community consultation if required.

SWP Board

Advised on overall partnerships program including decisions to not approve a relationship;

Can request additional consultation if required.

PARTNER ALIGNMENT WITH VALUES

In assessing the suitability of potential partners, we will seek to assess the degree of alignment with our values, through the questions we ask, the information we collect and our own research.

The purpose of the ethical assessment is to determine if the potential partner for SGLMG and SWP shares the values of our communities.

It is critical that the assessment is undertaken in a transparent way so that the LGBTIQ+ communities can be confident in the decisions made by SGLMG and SWP.

We understand that for some of our partners they will still be on their journey to becoming allies, and we hope that their time with us will help them grow their connection and respect for the LGBTIQ+ communities.

Value Weak expression (1) Strong expression (5) Assessment Questions 
Working with our communities 
Superficial to no engagement with community outside of Mardi Gras 
Genuine and deep engagement with multiple sections of community 
Working for the good of the LGBTIQ+ communities - How has the partner established or contributed to programs that positively impact the development of LGBTQI people? (Mentoring, pro-bono services, donations, other sponsorships).  Openness & Transparency - How committed is the partner to honesty and transparency in their dealings with us and with our community? 
Celebrating diversity and inclusion 
Detracts from diversity and inclusion efforts 
Actively promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusion, including first nations people 
Inclusion - What support does the partner provide to LGBTIQ+ people inclusion within their organisation? (eg. internal pride network, diversity and inclusion initiatives, HR Policies explicitly supporting LGBTIQ+ staff?  Inclusion - To what extent is the partner explicitly committed to diversity and inclusion? (AWEI ranking, WGEA employer of choice, Pride in Diversity).  How does the partner demonstrate respect for the inherent dignity of all people through their operations? (commitment to human rights, modern slavery compliance)  Inclusion – Does the partner demonstrate a commitment to respecting and advocating for the rights of First Nations people in Australia and globally? 
Building and maintaining strong relationships 
Commitment to just one Mardi Gras event or year 
Committed to long-term support for Mardi Gras. 
Collaboration - Is the partner seeking a longer term (3+ years) collaboration or is this engagement just a one-off exercise in promotion/marketing?  Openness & Transparency - Has the partner demonstrated commitment to being fair, consistent and impartial and expressed their support for equality and due process? 
Ensuring safety and wellbeing 
Products, service and activities (internal and external) harms the safety and wellbeing of the global community and environment 
Products, services and activities (internal and external) promotes the safety and wellbeing of the global community and environmental flourishing 
Working for the good of the LGBTIQ+ communities - Are the products or activities of the partner safe for consumers?  Working for the good of the LGBTIQ+ communities - Do the products and activities of the partner contribute positively to wellbeing, with particular focus on the LGBTIQ+ communities?  Sustainability - To what extent does the partner demonstrate commitment and action to environmental stewardship?  Sustainability - To what extent does the partner demonstrate commitment and action to social impact and corporate governance? 
Honouring our history 
No evidence or understanding of Mardi Gras’ history or the LGBTIQ+ rights movement in Australia 
Honours, preserves and celebrates Mardi Gras’ LGBTIQ+ history and achievements 
Working for the good of the LGBTIQ+ communities – Has the partner demonstrated a track record of public support for the rights of the LGBTIQ+ communities? (Support for marriage equality, transgender equality, gender equality)  Working for the good of the LGBTIQ+ communities – Has the partner been involved in activities which directly threaten the rights of LGBTIQ+ communities?