Know Your Rights and Stay Safe at the Mardi Gras Party

APN Fair Play volunteers - photo by David FieldFor seven years, the Fair Play initiative has been helping to smooth interactions between police and partygoers, particularly international visitors.

Fair Play is a commitment by LGBTIQ organisations to provide accurate legal resources and education to the LGBTIQ communities. Outside the Mardi Gras Party on Saturday night (29 February), look out for the Fair Play volunteers wearing white t-shirts with the purple and orange Fair Play logo featured on them.

“The key to Fair Play’s ongoing success is our volunteers, who are on site at the Mardi Gras Party to share legal and safety information with party goers, and to support people who interact with police,” says Vicki Harding, Director of Inner City Legal Centre.

“Our volunteers work closely with NSW Police to ensure that party-goers are respected by police and to keep misunderstandings and negative interactions with police to a minimum.”

It is also important for partygoers to be aware that if they are found to be in possession of prohibited drugs, they may not be able to enter the Mardi Gras party venues. Fair Play volunteers will be available to all partygoers for any questions they may have prior to the Mardi Gras Party.

Hilary Kincaid, Principal Solicitor Inner City Legal Centre reminds both international visitors and locals that “all prohibited drugs are equally prohibited, there is no ‘safe’ amount and there is no risk-free way to possess prohibited drugs.”

“Fair Play is a critical initiative that provides the Inner City Legal Centre, Mardi Gras and ACON with a vital opportunity to educate the communities we serve on a range of issues including legal rights and responsibilities, health and safety and wellbeing,” adds Nic Parkhill, CEO of ACON.

“We commend the NSW Police’s efforts in seeing that this program can operate successfully; which has in the past resulted in a decline in the number of issues involving police during the Mardi Gras period,” he adds. “This is foremost a community-led response that seeks to keep party-goers informed and safe, and we’re proud to be a part of this great initiative.”

Fair Play is an initiative of the Inner City Legal Centre, NSW’s LGBTIQ legal centre, in partnership with ACON and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. You can access Fair Play’s up-to-date legal information about keeping safe, police powers, drug searches, sniffer dogs and complaint procedures on

Image: Fair Play volunteers – photo by David Field