Prolific Professional Lesbian Silke Bader Stands For Re-Election On Mardi Gras Board
Prolific Professional Lesbian Silke Bader Stands For Re-Election On Mardi Gras Board

Mention Silke Bader’s name at any lesbian gathering in Sydney or Australia, and it is likely that you will be met with gasps of recognition and appreciation.

You see, Bader is like the Forrest Gump of lesbian history in Australia in the past thirty years: you mention an event, a movement, or a business, and it’s likely that she either organised it, attended it, founded it, or is friends with someone who did.

Bader has been working for 30 years as an entrepreneur in Australia’s LGBTQI+ community, providing services specifically for lesbians, but also for the community as a whole. She ran her own LGBTQI+ travel agency, “Silke’s Travel” for 10 years, started LEZBIZ, an organisation for lesbians in the business world, and has been an absolute maven in lesbian publishing for the last 15 years – owning and publishing Australia’s LOTL since 1999, America’s best-selling lesbian magazine Curve since 2010, and the UK’s DIVA in 2016.

In 2016, Bader launched the Australian LGBTI Awards, honouring and celebrating those in our community who have gone above and beyond fostering LGBTQI+ acceptance, inclusion, and success in their various fields. This year the Awards return for their second year, along with the happy news that Bader will also be launching the New Zealand LGBTI Awards next year.


She and her partner of 20 years have for 15 years raised two foster children, and have been instrumental in changing NSW’s same-sex adoption laws. In the past two years, since her children are now relatively grown up, Bader has been a passionate and active Board Member of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Now, the Board is coming up for re-election, and Bader is standing for re-election.

Rather than standing for re-election out of habit, or self-preservation, it is immediately clear from talking with Bader that what drives her candidacy is an absolute love and respect for Australia’s LGBTQI+ community, and a desire to ensure that it does not go off-course.

“Throughout my last two years on the Board, I have developed an understanding of a very crucial, but very complex, community organisation, which has struggled as many LGBTQI+ organisations globally have done in the past few years, to maintain a clear sense of direction and purpose,” explains Bader.

“Like many organisations of its kind, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is not immune to in-fighting, and this in-fighting has, I believe, caused the organisation to lose its way somewhat.

“However, in the last four weeks, I have seen a diverse range of LGBTQI+ businesses, community members, and organisations come together in an extraordinary way to fight a masterfully unified campaign for marriage equality.

“Seeing this has given me the clarity to know that we are all able to put aside our differences and fight together for the rights and identities that are proudly ours. This unity of vision is something that I want to bring to the Board – to ensure that while marriage equality is fought for, so too are the other, less publicized issues affecting our community, like mental health, adoption and custody, workplace harassment, wage disparities, and more.”

She concludes, “The Mardi Gras Board must consistently liaise with the community, adapting and reacting to the changing needs of our diverse group. Mardi Gras is not just a business, it is an advocacy group, too, and it needs to remember that.”

To vote for Bader in the upcoming Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board elections, you must first sign up to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras by midnight this Friday, September 8.

You can then click here to access your electronic ballot.

Electronic voting for directors will close at 5.00pm on Tuesday, 19 September 2017.

If you do NOT wish to vote in this election electronically, you can still vote in the following ways:

  • Pre-polling facilities: 13-15 September 2017 at the SGLMG’s principal place of business between the hours 4pm – 6pm at Suite 6, 94 Oxford Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010
  • Postal Vote: request a postal vote from the Returning Officer at [email protected] and return by 5pm on 19 September 2017
  • Proxy Vote: appointing proxy to another member to vote on your behalf at the AGM Proxies need to be lodged by 5pm on 20 September 2017. You can download a proxy form here; or
  • Attend: attend and vote at the AGM in person.

Voting in person will take place at the 2017 Annual General Meeting, to be held at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst at 10:00am, Saturday, 23 September 2017.