Couple and Service NSW staff Ken and John - courtesy of DCS media
2 min read

Get ready for a rainbow explosion at the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade, because Service NSW is joining the festivities for the first time! With 40 team members, from frontline staff to CEO Greg Wells, decked out in vibrant hues, Service NSW is sending a powerful message of support and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Leading the charge are Ken and John, a married couple who met in California in 1996 and now serve side-by-side at Bankstown and Auburn Service NSW Centres. This year’s parade marks their third, but their first with colleagues, showcasing the evolving landscape of inclusivity within the organization.

The festival’s theme, “Our Future,” resonates deeply with Service NSW’s commitment to fostering a welcoming and diverse environment. Staff can proudly display their preferred pronouns on badges, wear Pride Flag lanyards, and participate in training to gain a deeper understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community.


“Service NSW is proud to be an organisation that supports and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community,” declared CEO Greg Wells.

“We are committed to ensuring that no matter what walk of life you come from, people feel supported and a sense of belonging in the workplace.”

This commitment extends beyond internal practices. The NSW government will proudly display a rainbow Waratah logo throughout the festival, a symbol of their dedication to inclusivity. This visual representation echoes Wells’ sentiment: “We are serving NSW with pride now and into the future.”


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For John, a participant in the parade, the opportunity holds immense significance: “I feel beyond proud to be walking with Service NSW and my husband at the Mardi Gras Parade this year. It’s an awesome opportunity to share stories and celebrate diversity.”

“I believe Ken and I were one of the earlier couples where a same-sex partner was approved residency in Australia and we went through a lot to be together,” John reflected

Their story embodies the theme of “Our Future,” offering hope and inspiration.

Ken, another participating staff member, echoed the feeling of belonging saying that working at Service NSW always felt inclusive and culturally diverse.

“A great environment to work and be a part of,” Ken said.

“It’s full circle that I’m working at Service NSW and am able to assist other LGBTQIA+ community members whether it’s a same-sex couple applying for a marriage certificate or someone requesting to record a change of sex on their Registry record. I feel empowered and happy to help these people along their journey.”

Couple and Service NSW staff Ken and John hugging - courtesy of DCS media
Couple and Service NSW staff Ken and John hugging – courtesy of DCS media

This year’s Mardi Gras participation signifies a milestone for Service NSW, showcasing their commitment to inclusivity and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

As Ken and John prepare to walk alongside their colleagues, their story serves as a testament to the evolving landscape of acceptance and empowerment. This is more than just a parade; it’s a celebration of progress and a commitment to a brighter future for all.

Last Updated on Mar 1, 2024

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