ACON at Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day 2020

Visitors to the ACON Zone at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day on Sunday 16 February will get access to vital health and wellbeing information, resources and support. Located near the Cleveland Street and City Road entrance of Victoria Park in Camperdown, the zone will showcase all of ACON’s work in relation to how our communities respond to HIV, as well as in providing opportunities for sexuality and gender diverse people to live their healthiest lives.

Drop in and have your photo taken at the Ending HIV photo booth; find out more about other effective forms of HIV prevention; how to get support for living with HIV; take part in vital health surveys; learn about cervical health; pop into the Breast Screen NSW van and get a free mammogram; get more information about ACON’s counselling, community care and Mardi Gras safety services; connect with ACON’s work across rural and regional NSW; or chill out in the Welcome Here Marquee.

“Mardi Gras Fair Day is one of the most iconic events on our community’s calendar every year, which really has the ability to bring everyone together,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill. “Fair Day provides ACON with a distinctive and effective platform to showcase the many and varied ways we work to improve the health of our community and celebrate our diversity. Our staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to also provide information on how people can safely enjoy all that the amazing Mardi Gras festival has to offer.”

For more information, click here.

ACON Zone at Mardi Gras Fair Day, Sunday 16 February 2020, 10am – 4.30pm, Victoria Park, Camperdown.

ACON at Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2020


In 2020, ACON’s float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will showcase our latest Ending HIV campaign, ‘Thank You’, as well as celebrating our 35th anniversary. Since our establishment in 1985, ACON has been working with our communities to support their health and wellbeing.  We are a fiercely proud community organisation. For our entire history, ACON has been of, and for, the communities we work with. Our early years were defined by the community coming together to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in NSW, and as we have grown we have been proud to work with a diverse range of people to ensure their voice, heart and health needs are represented in the work that we do. In 2019, NSW saw the lowest HIV rates on record since surveillance began. That’s because our communities mobilised around keeping themselves and their partners safe. In 2020, our 35th year, it matters to us to say ‘thank you’.


The First Nations Float, produced by ACON’s Aboriginal Project, will once again lead the parade and will feature a host of Indigenous celebrities, community figures, community members and supporters.


ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, which supports corporates, sporting organisations and healthcare providers, returns to the Mardi Gras Parade this year with float celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The float will showcase Pride Inclusion Program’s Pride in Diversity, Pride In Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing and will comprise of member organisations, allies and supporters.

Mardi Gras Parade, Saturday, 29 February, 7.30pm, Oxford and Flinders Sts, Darlinghurst and Moore Park

ACON at Sydney Mardi Gras Party 2020

This year’s Mardi Gras Party is set to be one of the biggest yet, and ACON will be there to help ensure our community keep well and stay safe. We’ll be on hand with information and resources at the ACON Info Desk. The ACON Tradies will be handing out safe sex packs throughout the night. And, of course, ACON Rovers will be patrolling the party to provide information, support and assistance.

ACON is also supporting the Fair Play project, which is a partnership between Mardi Gras, Inner City Legal Centre and ACON. There will be a strong police presence at the MG Party. Through this project we work closely with police to make sure the community is treated fairly and with respect. Fair Play volunteers provide drug law and rights info to Mardi Gras partygoers and support people who get strip searched or arrested. There will be a Fair Play tent at the entry to the party as with previous years. Find out more about Fair Play here.

Mardi Gras Party, Saturday 29 February, 10pm-late, Playbill Venues and Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

ACON at Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival 2020

ACON, NSW’s leading HIV and sexuality and gender diverse health organisation, is a long-standing partner of Queer Screen. In 2020, we are proud once again to present several key films at this year’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, running from February 13 to 27.

4pm, Sat 15 Feb – Event Cinemas, George Street
Presented by ACON
Book tickets here

5B is the story of Ward 5B: the forerunner for genuine human care for patients living with HIV in San Francisco. With a lack of knowledge about the virus at the time, doctors and nurses risked infection to provide this basic care. This heartfelt documentary brings a new, personal perspective to the early days of the HIV epidemic in the USA.

The Archivettes
5pm, Sun 16 Feb – Dendy Newtown, King Street

Presented by The LOVE Project
Book tickets here

This documentary is the story behind the Lesbian Herstory Archives, which tells the story of Deborah Edel and Joan Nestle who co-founded, in their own apartment, a library of artefacts that speak to the lesbian experience. The film helps to reinforce the importance of community and inspires viewers to participate and understand more about not only lesbian, but LGBTIQ+ history.

Song Lang
6:30pm, Mon 17 Feb – Event Cinemas, George Street
Presented by ACON: Here For Asian Gay Men
Book tickets here

Song Lang tells the story of an underworld debt collector and an opera singer whose paths cross in 1980s Saigon. The film is a gorgeous and dreamy melodrama of two men who unexpectedly find solace in each other’s company.

Straight Up
8.30pm, Thur 20 Feb – Dendy Newtown, King Street
Presented by ACON’s SPARK.
Book tickets here

What could possibly go wrong when despite all evidence to the contrary, a young gay man believes the answers to his loneliness could be found by going straight? This super-witty and urbane comedy, which is having its Australian premiere at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, is all about setting up camp within your own boundaries.

Changing the Game
1pm, Sun 23 Feb – Event Cinemas, George Street
Presented by ACON’s Pride in Sport
Book tickets here

Changing the Game is a timely and urgent documentary following three transgender teens fighting for their right to compete in the sports they love. Supported by their families, friends, and coaches, but facing discrimination from parents of other children and the media, the film ultimately becomes a striking portrait of three teens chasing their dreams in a world yet to catch up to them.

The Glass Room
7pm, Wed 26 Feb – Event Cinemas, George Street
Presented by ACON LGBTIQ Women’s Health Projects
Book tickets here

Shot on location at the historic Villa Tugendhat in the Czech Republic, this film captures the unwavering hope of love as seen through the eyes of Hana and Liesel who share an intense friendship which frequently verges on more.

The 27th Mardi Gras Film Festival, presented by Queer Screen, runs from 13-27 February. For the full program, visit the Queer Screen website here

Bingay | ACON Fundraiser


For the third year, we are returning to the  Colour the Streets festival at Barangaroo to wreak more havoc, tomfoolery, shenanigans and fabulous Bingay fun in the harbourside precinct! Join us as we take over the stunning Wild Sage café on Thursday 20 February. With lush décor, gorgeous alfresco dining, delicious food and scrumptious cocktails, Wild Sage Barangaroo is the perfect place to experience Bingay outdoors!

DATE: Thursday 20 February 2020
TIME: 6.30pm-late
LOCATION: Wild Sage, Exchange Place, 3 Sussex St, Barangaroo
TICKETS: $20 all games, all night with 100% of proceeds supporting ACON




Join us as we get into the Mardi Gras spirit with a special rainbow edition of Bingay … BINGAY PRIDE! On Wednesday 26 February – during Mardi Gras Week – we’re camping it up to the max as we celebrate the wonderful diversity, strength and all-around fabulousness of our communities. Expect lots of rainbow paraphernalia and gay pride anthems. It’s the perfect warm-up to the parade so bring your whole float.

DATE: Wednesday 26 February 2020
TIME: 7pm-late
LOCATION: The Beresford, 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills
TICKETS: $20 all games, all night with 100% of proceeds supporting ACON




Bingay is gay bingo which means there’s classic disco tunes, weird rules and penalties, outrageous antics, hilarious repartee, deliciously lewd bingo calls, and prizes that range from the silly and camp to great theatre tickets and restaurant vouchers.

Bingay hostess Charisma Belle oversees the madcap proceedings and Bingay’s long time barrel babe Naomi Palmer spins the balls and sings up a storm.

Bingay takes over the upstairs bar of The Beresford Darlinghurst on the second Thursday of every month, with each monthly event having a fabulously flamboyant theme.

Bingay’s balls first dropped in 1999, making it one of Sydney’s longest running LGBTQ community events + it raises money for our HIV and LGBTQ health services.

So whether you’re a regular or a novice, or a local or visitor to Sydney, if you’re up for a wonderfully camp mid-week entertainment experience, then you can’t go wrong with Bingay.

For more information and bookings, visit the Bingay website here

Silver Sessions: Workshops for Women Aged 55+

ACON and City of Sydney are presenting a series of free workshops open to all LGBTQ women who are 55 years or older who live, work or play within the City of Sydney Local Government Area. Each workshop has a different focus and will be a fun, social and engaging way to meet people and access information tailored to you and your local area.

Silver Sessions are a chance to come together, to share a meal and conversation. Each Silver Session dinner will host a few special guest speakers. We will talk about nutrition, financial planning, healthy ageing, and accessing services and supports. There will also be some activities to help everyone get to know each other, Q & A’s and giveaways.

The workshops will be held in Erskineville on:

  • Wednesday 22 January 2020
  • Wednesday 29 January 2020
  • Wednesday 5 February 2020
  • Wednesday 12 February 2020

Time: 6:00 – 8:30pm

Cost: Free

Registrations are now closed. Please sign up to the ACON newsletter for information about future workshops or connect with our LOVE Project.

SPARK Youth History Walk

Join us for SPARK’s Youth History Walk this Mardi Gras season!

Well before Oxford Street became the Gay Golden Mile, King’s Cross was the centre of Sydney’s gay nightlife. How did the community grow and why was there a later move to Oxford Street? Along the walk down King’s Cross and Oxford Street, we will be revisiting Sydney’s LGBTQ history with stories about important bars and venues that carved out spaces for members of the community in those early days, and the legacy of the first Mardi Gras in 1978.

Commentary will be by former gay activist and community historian, Robert French, who has been leading history tours for over 30 years, often in conjunction with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He has also published on homosexuality in Colonial and mid-20th Century Sydney.

The walk will take roughly 90 minutes. We encourage you to bring a water bottle and wear some sun screen on the day.

This event is for people of diverse sexualities and genders aged 26 years and under.

Date: Saturday 22 February
Time: 10:15am for a 10:30am start.
Location: We will start at El Alamein Fountain in King’s Cross and the route will take us down to Oxford Street.
Cost: Free


If you have any questions, please contact us at or (02) 9206 2077.

TransHub – Official Launch

Join us on Trans Day of Visibility to launch TransHub, a ground-breaking new digital platform for all trans & gender diverse (TGD) people in NSW, our loved ones, allies and health professionals.

Presented in partnership with Trans Pride Australia and featuring imbi the girl, Jordan Raskopoulos, DJ Passionpop, speakers, refreshments and community celebration.

Trans Day of Visibility is celebrated on 31 March every year. It is a day to celebrate TGD people around the world, our stories and our achievements.


Date & Time: Tuesday 31 March 2020 | 6pm – 9pm

Location: The Barnet Long Room, Customs House, Circular Quay



LOVE Club Gathering

The LOVE Club Gathering is a community activity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people who are 55 plus, their supporters and friends. The Gathering aims is to create a safe, respectful and welcoming space to share regular social time and activities.

All sexualities, gender identities, cultures and backgrounds are welcome. The LOVE Club is all about maintaining connections, making new ones and building ongoing support networks. Activities may include:

  • Sharing lived experiences and stories
  • Writing, arts or music
  • Supporting physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Field trips
  • Intergenerational conversations
  • Community speakers

This is a new community initiative and one that will evolve with time and community input. Led by community, for community! Donations welcome.

When: Every fourth Thursday of the month starting Thursday 23 January.

Time: 10.00am – 12.00pm

Location: ACON Ground floor Café 414 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills

For enquiries contact Russ Gluyas: T: (02) 9206 2017 | E:


Oxtravaganza 2020

Now in its 4th year, Oxtravaganza is an annual street festival that showcases the vibrancy and dynamism of Oxford Street and surrounds. Produced by the Darlinghurst Business Partnership, Oxtravaganza aims to highlight retailers, business and services in Sydney’s ‘Golden Mile’.

In 2020, Oxtravaganza is on:

Saturday 22 February 9am-late

​Over 100+ local businesses are taking part, offering exceptional retail promotions, live DJ sets, cabaret, outdoor music, plus food and drink packages.

Check out the ‘Glittering Mile Exhibition’ featuring exclusive historical posters and photos of Mardi Gras and the Oxford St scene from the 70s and 80s.

​This year, Oxtravaganza will raise funds for ACON. Oxtravaganza participants will be collecting charity funds on the day, at many venues, so please, help if you can!

Come along and join in the Oxtravaganza fun and help raise the glitter factor just that little bit higher!

For more information, go to the event website here.

Border Pride Fair Day Registration

Border Pride Fair Day returns for the third time to Albury Wodonga, and will coincide with International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). This is an outstanding, family friendly, fun, and community-based event that will bring together local community, businesses, artists, and community services to provide entertainment for all who attend. The event builds on the second Border Pride Fair Day in 2018, which included over 30 stalls, local talent, and a community pet show!

The event will be held at QEII Square Saturday 16th May, from 10am – 3pm.

About the Alliance:

The Alliance, established in 2017, brings together lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer people, plus people of all other sexualities and genders, as well as services, and local government from the Albury Wodonga region. We promote equality, inclusive communities, andare committed to advocacy, education and the development of quality and equitable service provision. Members of the Alliance include: Hume Phoenix, WayOut Wodonga, ACON, AlburyCity Council, NSW Police, Victoria Police, City of Wodonga, Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Gateway Health, Murray PHN, and Albury Wodonga Health.


  • This year stalls hosted by not-for-profits and other services providers will have a focus on being entertaining and interactive. We ask that stallholders think about an activity they can run at their stall during the day to engage with the community.
  • Stallholders will be required to bring all that is needed to set up their stall – including marquee, tables, and chairs.
  • There are limited powered sites available, and these will be allocated with priority to food vendors, on a first come, first serve basis.
  • All stallholders will receive an email containing an information pack before the end of February.

If you have any questions, or require more information, please contact Tyson on

Applications close Monday 25 April 2020

Register Here