The annual Mardi Gras Awards have once again honoured some of the individuals and community groups who make Australia’s biggest LGBTIQ celebration so iconic.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to beloved community friend Teresa Leggett, who was nominated an incredible 35 times.
Leggett has been a Mardi Gras parade float organiser for 17 years, first joining the celebrations in 2004 to support her then-husband Michael, who had come out as gay.
Community members nominating Leggett for the honour called her “an amazing ally” and “a queen”.
“Her contribution has given hope, love, and joy for hundreds,” said one person.
Leggett said she was “touched and honoured” to receive the award.
This year, no ceremony could be held because of the social gathering restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Leggett and the other award winners will receive their trophies by mail.
Also honoured with awards were some of the thousands of volunteers who bring Mardi Gras to life.
Long-time volunteer Joel McKinnon and Fair Day stalls coordinator Katherine Hudson received Awards for Excellence in Innovation.
Aiden O’Dea won Volunteer of the Year for “going above and beyond” in everything from communication to problem-solving in planning Mardi Gras events and supporting volunteer teams.
Among the parade award winners were Le Petit Bateau art collective for Best Float Design and the Evolution Dancers for Best Choreography.
Winners of the awards for Fair Day included Sydney Gaymers for Best Community Stall, Street Roller Hockey Chix Club for Best Sports Stall, and Dogue for Fair Day Stall of the Year.
Mardi Gras organisers congratulated the winners and thanked everyone who contributed.
“Thank you to everyone who commits their time, skills, and passion throughout the Mardi Gras festival,” they said.
“You inspire us so very much, and we are immensely grateful for everything you do.”