Fair PlayYour Rights and Safety at LGBTIQ Events

Today, the Inner City Legal Centre in association with ACON and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras announced the launch of Fair Play, an LGBTIQ community initiative to help partygoers understand their legal rights during the Mardi Gras season.

Fair Play supersedes Project Blue, which was launched in 2009 by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG), ACON, Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) and the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby as an initiative to inform, support and educate members of the LGBTIQ community on health, safety and rights issues when attending parties during the Mardi Gras period, particularly where police drug operations are involved.

Following consultation with the community after the 2013 Mardi Gras season, it was decided to relaunch and better resource Project Blue as Fair Play, with the aim of helping people to understand their legal rights when attending or participating in activities during the 2014 Mardi Gras season.

Fair Play aims to inform, support and increase the awareness of the LGBTIQ communities in relation to health, safety, rights, and appropriate policing practices when attending parties during the Mardi Gras period, particularly where police drug dog operations occur.

Fair Play is composed of the following strategies:

Creation of an online resource at  HYPERLINK “http://www.fair-play.org.au” www.fair-play.org.au which informs the community about their rights, the law, police powers, and how to get help or make a complaint.

Engage members of the community to resource the initiative by volunteering as “Fair Players”

Provide Fair Play teams at Harbour Party and Mardi Gras Party, providing the following services:

Providing information on rights and legal support

Offering emotional support

Monitoring police operations

Nic Parkhill, CEO of ACON, said of the initiative: “Fair Play provides ACON and our partner community organisations with an opportunity to educate the communities we serve on a number of issues, ranging from legal rights and responsibilities, through to safety and wellbeing.  This is a community-led response that seeks to keep party-goers informed and safe over the Mardi Gras period. We are committed to supporting people in our communities to know their rights and to have the support, if needed, to hold the police to account.”