Sydney WorldPride Recognises Next 20 Rainbow Champions





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On the third anniversary of winning the bid to host the largest LGBTQIA+ celebration in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney WorldPride is shining a spotlight on the achievements of 20 members of the LGBTQIA+ community by honouring them as latest Rainbow Champions.

The 20 Rainbow Champions announced today represent a diverse cross-section of the community, with trans activists, actors, performers and community leaders all being recognised.

A total of 45 Rainbow Champions will be announced ahead of the 2023 celebrations, representing the 45 years since the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which took place on 24 June 1978.

All 45 Champions have been chosen for their contribution to Australian LGBTQIA+ community and culture. Today’s 20 Champions have been named as:

  • Alex the Astronaut (she/her) (NSW) – musician and folk-pop singer-songwriter.
  • Courtney Act (she/her, they/them) (NSW)– international drag superstar, singer, podcaster and TV personality.
  • Trevor Ashley (he/she) (NSW) – musical theatre actor, cabaret performer and drag artist.
  • Katie Brennan (she/her) (VIC) – Australian Rules footballer and captain of the Richmond Football Club in the AFLW.
  • Paul Capsis (he/him) (NSW) – performer, singer and actor.
  • Teddy Cook (he/him) (NSW) – LGBTQ+ advocate, health promotion specialist and trans man; ACON’s Director of Community Health and Adjunct Lecturer at the Kirby Institute UNSW.
  • Casey Donovan (NSW) –  artist, musician, actor and presenter.
  • Fran Kelly (she/her) (NSW) – ABC broadcaster and one of Australia’s leading interviewers and commentators.
  • G Flip (they/them) (VIC) – singer, songwriter, producer, drummer, and musician.
  • Chloe Logarzo (she/her) (NSW) – International football player, Olympian and Matildas star.
  • Daniel McDonald (he/him) (NSW) – Gadigal and Wonnarua man, Deadly Hand Talk artist, and LGBTQIA+ advocate living with a disability.
  • Mo’Ju (they/she) (VIC) – Musician, songwriter, storyteller advocate and Third Culture Kid (Filipino/Wiradjuri).
  • David Parsons (he/him) (NSW) – community sports coordinator and Director of Finance and Membership for Emerald City Kickball.
  • Jordan Raskopoulos (she/her) (NSW) – comedian, singer, actress and streamer.
  • Mon Schafter (they/them) (NSW) – Walkley Award winning journalist and editor of ABCQueer.
  • Magda Szubanski AO (she/her) (NSW) – actress, author and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate.
  • Zoe Terakes (they/he) (NSW) – actor best known for their roles in Wentworth and Nine Perfect Strangers.
  • Maria Thattil (she/her) (NSW) – writer, TV personality and Miss Universe Australia 2020.
  • Vanity (she/her) (NSW) – drag performer, podcaster and entrepreneur.
  • Jojo Zaho (she/her) (NSW) – a Biripi and Worimi drag queen and star of the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.

Sydney WorldPride’s Chief Executive, Kate Wickett, said: “The contribution that these 20 Rainbow Champions have made to the community has been enormous across the arts, sports, media, literature and health. Their visibility and advocacy has literally put a face to what it means to be LGBQTIA+ in Australia, and by sharing their journey has made it safer for other community members to simply be themselves.”

A total of 35 Rainbow Champions has been announced to date and today’s honourees join 15 previously announced Rainbow Champions including: Peter de Waal AM, author, gay history documenter, researcher, life-long activist, and “78er”; Crystal Love, Sistergirl, First Nations Elder and mentor to the Sistergirl community of the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin; and Katherine Wolfgramme FRSA, trans advocate, award-winning Gender Diversity Consultant and educator. The full list of Rainbow Champions can be found at www.sydneyworldpride.com/rainbow-champions/.

Sydney WorldPride is a mega Mardi Gras festival taking place from 17 February to 5 March 2023. Over 17 days, Sydney will host more than 300 LGBTQIA+ events, including Rainbow Republic presented by Optus, Ultra Violet and Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert, as well as the much-loved Mardi Gras Parade, which will be returning to Oxford Street for the first time in three years.  The full festival program over 300 events across WorldPride Official, WorldPride Arts, WorldPride Sports and Pride Amplified will be revealed in November 2022.

Flights, accommodation and Sydney WorldPride event ticket packages for domestic and international visitors available at: https://sydneyworldpride.com/travel-providers/

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Acknowledgement of country

Sydney WorldPride will take place on the lands of the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Bidjigal, Darug, Dharawal people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Sydney Basin.

We pay our Respects to their Elders past and present. Always was Always will be Aboriginal Land.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people come from many different clans and communities across Australia & in 2023 will come together as one, to celebrate with our global LGBTQIA+ community.