Rotarians will make history at this year’s Midsumma Pride March when club members march with the LGBTIQ community in an Australian-first.
On Sunday 28th January, Rotarians from all over Victoria will don hot pink vests with rainbow hearts to march behind the Rotary Club of Prahran banner, making it the first club in Australia to take part in Pride.
They will be joined by LGBTIQ advocate and 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria Jason Ball, who is a proud Prahran Rotarian and among several gay members of the club.
Ball said it would send a powerful message about the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and turn the Rotary stereotype on its head.
“Rotary clubs were once seen as for old white men, but the modern Rotary really does reflect the communities it serves, and I’m so proud to be part of this exciting movement,” he said.
“The organisation has a long history of community involvement and service as well as an open door for people of all races, religions, abilities, vocations, sexualities and gender identities.”
Ball said that since joining Rotary he had been embraced by club members of all ages and from all walks of life and that their willingness to take part in Pride only showed how inclusive the movement is today.
“It is just so heartening to see Rotarians from all over Victoria coming out in bright colours to march in Pride and show that Rotary really is for everyone with a heart” he said.
Rotarians and Rotaractors of all ages, from Prahran, Southbank, Daylesford, Bendigo and other Rotary clubs near and far, will take part in the annual march which turns Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, into a sea of colour, life and fun.
Ball said they hoped it would attract more people to get involved in the important work Rotary does serving communities.
“At Prahran, like Rotary clubs all over the world, we are looking for more members to volunteer on more community programs at home and abroad. Join us Sunday?”
On Sunday 28th January we are marching at position T11 so must assemble at Ian Johnson Oval (cnr. Lakeside Drive & Fitzroy Street) before 2.30pm. Entry to the oval is via Canterbury Road, trams will cease in the area between 1.30pm & 4.15pm (approx) and the march will process from the oval down Fitzroy Street to the Catani Gardens where there will be post march festivities & a bar.
If people want to order a $20 hot pink high vis vest that we are having made for the event, they should visit our website www.rotaryprahran.org.au. Numbers of vests are limited for cost reasons, numbers of marchers are quite simply "the more the merrier" and all marchers should wear their own Club branded shirts, hats etc.