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Image - Tony Lee Facebook/Kimberleyblakpride

I rise today to celebrate the success of the inaugural Kimberley Blak Pride Festival, held on the lands of the Jugan and Yawuru people in Broome, Western Australia. It took place from the 26th of April till the 4th of May, and it began with a parade that made history as it marched through the streets of Broome, led by Yaruwu traditional owners.

I was so honoured to march alongside and behind festival founder and coordinator, local Yaruwu man Tony Lee, and I pay tribute to him today. The festival is a legacy from the work done at Sydney World Pride last year that really did a lot of global leading work to celebrate the cultural diversity and rights of First nations people who are queer people, LGBTIQ+ people who are also part of First nations communities around the world.

So it's wonderful to see that celebration and that cultural strength brought forth in the Kimberley town of Broome. And the festival really reached people right throughout the Kimberley, the northwest, Perth, and even brought people nationally.

It brought together cultural, social events, showcasing talent and leadership of local LGBTIQ+ First nations people in the region. We heard stories of discrimination and bullying, but equally importantly, visibility, cultural and cultural strength and strength in identity.

The platform the festival provided a really important platform for people celebrating their identity and whole self. May there be many more.