March for Pride this February
Pride March is an annual event held in Melbourne as part of the Midsumma Festival, a celebration of LGBTIQA+ culture and arts. This year, it will be held on Sunday, 5 February 2023.
More than 7,400 marchers usually take to the streets in St Kilda each year, and over 45,000 people line the streets and balconies along the march route to show their support.
“The march is all about celebrating the LGBTIQA+ community, and showing support,” said Electra Ulrich, Senior Dietitian and Co-Chair of the Rainbow Working Group.
“A number of different health services march, as well as sporting clubs, schools, businesses and government organisations.”
Northern Health first marched at Pride March in 2020 with the Pride in the North network, and again in 2021.
“This will be the first year that Northern Health will march under its own banner at Pride March. It feels great to be taking part in this important event again, now with visibility under our own banner” Electra said.
“It’s important for us, as a health service, to proactively show support for the LBGTIQA+ community. Unfortunately, the LGBTIQA+ community still experience discrimination. For us, as a health service, it is important to let the community know that we aim to provide safe care. Unless we state this, how will they know?”
The annual march begins at 11 am at the Ian Johnson Oval on the corner of Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy Street, before proceeding along Fitzroy Steet and ending in Catani Gardens.
“We march with other health services – whether it be community health or other hospitals,” Electra said.
“The crowd cheer us on and, in the past, I’ve heard people yell out ‘Northern Health is here!’ It feels pretty special, and I feel very proud to be representing the health service. The march ends at Catani Gardens in St Kilda, by the beach, where there is entertainment and food.”
“The march is family friendly, and we’ve had some staff bring their children along to march too. The day tends to be quite warm, so make sure you are sun smart and carry a bottle of water.”
“We would love to have you march with us. It’s a fun day and many marchers share their experience as something very special! It’s one way you can stand with the LGBTIQA+ community to say; ‘I support you, you matter, and we strive to provide safe care for you,'” said Electra.
“Whether you identify as part of the LGBTIQA+ community, or are an ally, feel free to come along. Bring a colleague, friend, partner and family too.”