We did it again! To say “Gig Buddies marched at this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade” is an incredible honour.
For the second year running we, along with thousands of others, made our way around the world famous Sydney Cricket Ground - brandishing our message of ‘together we shine’ to a packed stadium.
To those who joined us - both as part of the parade and from the stands, along with supporters who sent us positive vibes during the night, we can’t thank you enough.
As you may imagine, we have reels and reels of photos and hours of video footage to get through. Downloading, editing and uploading is ongoing, but for now jump on this link to see what we’ve shared so far.
And be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels as we’ll be sharing more Mardi Gras footage throughout the week.
Sadly, our appearance did not make it to air. The ABC’s coverage began after we had completed our lap. Alas, however, our roaming photographers and videographers managed to snap all the sights, sounds and razzmatazz of the occasion.
Saturday night was a truly amazing spectacle. We brought the Sydney and Central Coast projects together to share our message: we celebrate our differences and support our participants and the wider community to embrace their individuality based on mutual respect and understanding.
How we got here
20 minutes of marching, three months in the making. Our presence at the Mardi Gras was a culmination of time, effort and reward.
Back in December the application was submitted. This was followed by a coming together with the with project’s user-led team, Soul Fly Band, who helped come up with placard messages and our overall theme.
Out of hours meetings with Mardi Gras organisers, along with dance practise sessions - both in person and via Zoom - and prop making sessions in Sydney and on the Central Coast, followed.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and made Mardi Gras 2022 so unique and unforgettable.
In other news, our recent run on new pairings has continued.
This past week locked-in two new matches. It’s wonderful to welcome Shannon and Jess (left, L - R) and Tim and Leith (right, L - R) to the Gig Buddies community.
The Gig Buddies’ socials continue - this week we head to North Sydney for their Twilight Food Fair.
Tickets are still available for Friday’s offering. Join us as we unfurl our picnic blanket and soak up the live entertainment vibes. Load up the link below to find out more:
Then, towards the end of March, we invite buddies to join us for a bite to eat as we head to Brooklyn’s The Anglers Rest Hotel, overlooking the Hawkesbury River.
To join us on Sunday 27 March jump on the link below:
If you have any questions about our March outings, or would like more information, get in touch: we can be reached via Facebook Messenger, email: email@example.com or via text or phone call on 0422 061 990.
Drawing against the clock
As for the here and now, this week we invite buddies to connect with us online for a game of Pictionary.
Pens and paper at the ready, we’re drawing objects against the clock.
In addition to Thursday’s online event, we also invite buddies to connect with us at 4pm tomorrow (Tuesday 8/3) for our weekly chat. To attend get in touch via text: 0422 061 990 or Facebook Messenger.
And to find out more about this week’s online offering (and to sign up), load up the link below.
Thursday 10 March
All online games will take place via Zoom. For information on how to use Zoom, load up the following easy read guide written by Learning Disability Wales. Alternatively, click here to check out our 'how to use Zoom' video.
If you have any questions or would like more information, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call/SMS us on 0402 708 814.
Looking for love?
Our friends from Northern Pictures, makers of hit TV shows Love on the Spectrum and Employable Me, have been in touch.
They are working on something new for 2022 and they’re appealing for people who are looking for love.
They’re looking for single people who may have a disability. If you or someone you know might be interested, get in touch with the producers. Send an email with a brief description of yourself (and a photo and contact number) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hold the press
I’m on annual leave as of Wednesday, meaning there will be no newsletter next week. The Gig Buddies blog will be back on Monday 21 March.
A word from the pros
We’re going to continue pushing referral services for those who may be struggling with Covid and lockdowns.
Mental Health First Aid Australia have issued the following guidelines on assisting someone distressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and they’re also providing mental health first aid in the time of ‘social distancing. Additionally, the team from ideas.org.au have shared their ‘look after your mental health in the COVID-19 crisis’ list of ideas.
reachout.com have also released their 10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus guide, while for those of you now working from home, Black Dog Institute have put together the following checklist to support your mental health.
We’re here to chat
From our perspective, while we’re not trained professionals, we are available for a chat.
For anyone experiencing increased social isolation, send a text or call us at 0402 708 814 (Gig Buddies Central Coast) or 0422 061 990 (Gig Buddies Sydney).
Gig Buddies Central Coast coordinator
Would you like more information about Gig Buddies Central Coast? You’re only a click away. Connect with us via the links below.
Fancy revelling in legendary status? If so, please support us in our cause to get more people out to live events in Sydney.
Donations over $2 are tax deductible and all are gratefully received.
Gig Buddies Central Coast is an initiative of ACL Disability Services.