Mirvac Retail centres in Sydney and Brisbane are set to become members of community-based organisation “Welcome Here” to focus staff and retailers on inclusion and diversity as they break out their rainbow celebrations in centre, through fun and engaging Mardi Gras installations and activations.
Welcome Here, an offshoot of ACON - Australia’s and NSW’s leading LGBTIQ health organisation, was first founded in 1998. The project’s aim, along with participating Mirvac centres, is to promote and create an environment that is visibly welcoming and inclusive of all people. Multiple centres have undertaken important steps to champion this safe space message by introducing rainbow ‘Welcome Here’ stickers at each of their entry points, along with having taken part in training programs which enhance understanding and inclusivity of the LGBTIQ community and provide practical advice and actions for promoting inclusive spaces.
Kelly Miller, General Manager, Retail at Mirvac said the Sydney Mardi Gras period was the perfect time to announce the partnership as the centres literally roll out the rainbow welcome, with family friendly activities being a central theme at their dynamic urban centres of Broadway Sydney, Tramsheds, East Village, MetCentre; and Toombul in Brisbane also joining the festivities.
She said the program is designed to both celebrate with the LGBTQI community and to promote awareness and inclusion amongst the broader community.
“Mirvac has a longstanding dedication to supporting inclusivity and diversity in all aspects of our workplace; but the special place which our urban retail centres hold within each of their communities provides the perfect platform for us to take that commitment wider and celebrate with our LGBTQI communities. Our legacy is to contribute to a better, more liveable and connected community as part of our constant mantra to reimagine urban life. This partnership and celebration is exactly the way we can touch and enrich the lives of numerous Australians in our communities,” Ms Miller said.
All the centres will feature rainbow escalators and decorations including a Giant M at the city MetCentre. And the centre retailers are getting onboard with everything from rainbow juices and hot cross buns to rainbow manicures on offer.
Drag Queens, DJ’s comedy and bingo are programmed at Broadway Sydney by Australia’s leading LBGTQI cabaret and drag artist Trevor Ashley. In a celebration of self-expression, insta-worthy installations will feature a neon sign shouting out ‘EXPRESS YASSELF’.
Over at Tramsheds a floral take on the rainbow will cover the ceiling and a Welcome Arch and will also feature live music and a Glitter Bar. East Village is celebrating rainbow families with kids craft workshops complementing rainbow family photo booth, a disco lift that was the talk of the town last year and a Drag Queens dance party.
Toombul in Brisbane has billed it the season of love as celebrations for Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras are planned beneath a giant suspended neon love heart. The Welcome Here project will be a focus at entry points as the centre embraces instagrammable experiences.
Mardi Gras activities get underway from February 10th and continue in most centres beyond Parade day on Saturday, February 29th through to March 2nd. Full details of centre led events, activations and competitions can be found on centre websites and socials.