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Crown Perth Pride Luncheon 2023 served up a fabulous celebration

The Crown Perth Pride Luncheon 2023 saw WA’s LGBTIQA+ community come together with corporate leaders and allies to connect, share stories and find new ways to work together to celebrate diversity, and make changes for a more inclusive world.

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Guests, dressed in their most proud and fabulous best, entered the Crown Ballroom to a spectacular wash of rainbow light, soundtracked by a delectable selection of camp classics spun by DJ Dean Misdale.

Friends and colleagues connected with new faces at the many tables across the grand space, as Matt Tinney welcomed the one-and-only Casey Donovan to the stage. Casey set the tone for the special occasion with a soaring rendition of This Is Me, reminding everyone she’s not to be missed in the much anticipated & Juliet at Crown Theatre.

“Pride is everything. I mean, Pride is who you are,” Casey shared with the captivated crowd, noting this year’s luncheon theme of the ‘journey to becoming your true self’.

“You don’t have to answer to anyone. Pride is accepting you unapologetically and imperfectly perfect as you are, and I think that is the most pride you can have.”

Ingrid Cumming warmly welcomed guests to Whadjuk Noongar Country, sharing the touching personal story of learning to love her diverse sexuality and the joy of being able to support a loved one on their own journey of self-discovery.

Crown Perth CEO David Tsai shared his own pride in the diverse staff of Crown, and the dedication of the Pride In Professionals network in celebrating and supporting LGBTIQA+ staff at all levels of the organisation.

“We are grateful that each of you are here as partners and allies in that same spirit, knowing that that adversity, opportunity and inclusion should be and is the future for us all,” David thanked attendees, before handing over to the first keynote speaker.

Kate Wickett, former Chair of Melbourne’s renowned Midsumma festival and former CEO of the outstandingly successful Sydney WorldPride, took to the stage to share her journey from growing up gay in South Australia to leading the nation’s most successful international Pride celebration.

“If we want others to value us as a community, we must value ourselves first. This couldn’t be more true,” Kate said of Sydney WorldPride’s enormous 2023 impact, attracting more than 1,000,000 visitors to the east coast earlier this year.

“From our wonderful government partners and corporate partners came and coalesced around us. This was a real team effort.”

As mouth-watering main courses began to make their way to each table, lovingly designed by Crown’s Executive Chef, Sean Marco, Western Australia’s first openly gay government minister and a key figure in Australia’s marriage equality – Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC – reflected on his own remarkable story of marrying the man he loves, Dennis, not once, not twice but thrice.

“Walking down the aisle alongside Dennis and our then four-year-old Jasper, I was acutely aware of how much times had changed.”

“We were no longer outsiders, we were married parents, just like our families and friends.”

The final keynote speaker was the iconic Danielle Laidley, whose contributions to AFL in this country cannot be understated. Now, Danielle is using her platform to stand up for other transgender and gender diverse people who are finding their way to their true self and sharing her truth through her book Two Tribes.

“If you’ve ever found yourself feeling out of your depth, and you’re trying to find the best ways to become a more supportive friend, partner or ally… being an ally to trans or gender diverse people can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you are new to it. “

“But if you keep a soft heart an open mind you will build up the confidence and the skills. Until that day, keep showing up. Stay curious, keep listening and keep challenging.”

Following a final address from Pride WA CEO Dr Lauren Butterly while guests enjoyed a delectable dessert to wrap the three-course meal, Casey Donovan returns for a full performance of fabulous music and Dean Misdale brought the dance-floor fillers to keep people grooving and celebrating into the evening.

The Crown Perth Pride Luncheon 2023 proved exactly why this occasion has become a sell-out event on the Pride calendar. The gala is both a spectacular celebration of Pride in Western Australia, and an unmissable opportunity to make real waves of change across the corporate sector. Be sure to get in fast to secure your tickets for 2024!

OIP Staff

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