A range of local events across NSW during Pride Month in June celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of the state’s LGBTQ+ communities have been announced as the successful recipients of a small grants program provided by NSW’s leading HIV and LGBTQ+ health organisation, ACON.

Designed to honour the wide range of identities and backgrounds that make up NSW’s LGBTQ+ communities, this year’s ACON’s ‘Diversity Days’ grants scheme has been timed to mark the global celebration of sexuality and gender-diverse communities during June’s Pride Month.

Given initially out by ACON to mark IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia), the focus and name of the grants have been revamped to generate more awareness regarding other days of significance for our communities; and to empower the community organisations and community members we work with to host events on the days that are most relevant and meaningful to them.

Fourteen grants of up to $1000 each have been awarded to community groups and organisations throughout NSW, focusing on regional and rural areas and events for LGBTQ+ First Nations people. Community picnics, balls, history nights, project launches, pride events, and more are among the activities being held.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says community events for LGBTQ+ communities are vital in ensuring visibility for sexuality and gender-diverse people in metropolitan and regional areas.

“We were excited to see diverse applications for Diversity Days grants this year. The grants committee was impressed by the breadth of activities supporting various communities, which at their core, are all about celebrating our incredible diversity and fostering inclusion.

“From a dazzling NAIDOC ball to a vibrant multicultural festival, a captivating Rainbow Histories night, and a Pride Month bonanza, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Pride Month is an excellent opportunity to unite our communities around NSW to celebrate inclusion and diversity and undertake activities promoting good mental health and well-being.

“It’s vital to have visibility for our communities wherever they are, as LGBTQ+ people need to know they have safe places to be themselves and to feel celebrated for their identities.

“ACON is proud to work with our partners in celebrating the rich diversity of our vibrant communities in NSW. By raising visibility, we hope to continue to address discrimination and work towards fostering an inclusive, healthier society.”

“Make sure to mark your calendars for June, the month of Pride, as we celebrate the past, embrace the present, and pave the way for an inclusive and accepting future. Let’s come together, raise awareness, and create unforgettable memories.”