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Young people have a ball at Pride Formal

Katherine Hansford and Claire Sanderson (also known as Dia Thundara) from the Cardinia Pride advocacy group helped organise this year’s Pride Formal with support from Council’s Youth Services Team.
Katherine Hansford and Claire Sanderson (also known as Dia Thundara) from the Cardinia Pride advocacy group helped organise this year’s Pride Formal with support from Council’s Youth Services Team.
Published: 6 March 2023

On Saturday 4 March, young people from Cardinia Shire and beyond were thrilled with the return of Council’s annual Pride Formal, held at the Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre.

Now in its sixth year, the Pride Formal is a free event for LGBTIQA+ young people, friends, and allies to come together and celebrate in a safe, discrimination-free environment to embrace pride, diversity, and inclusion for all.

This year, the event saw over 130 young people hit the dance floor with highlights including lip sync battles and prizes awarded for ‘best moves’ and ‘best dressed’ - where all young people were encouraged to express and celebrate their most authentic self. 

A highlight from the night was a special drag performance by long-time Cardinia Pride member, Claire Sanderson, otherwise known as Dia Thundara.

A relaxed sensory space was also set up for those needing a break from the dance floor or just somewhere to chill out and chat. A photo booth was available for young people to capture lasting memories of their big night.

“We’re really privileged and proud to hold this important and exciting event for our young people,” Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Tammy Radford said.

“It was fantastic to see so many of Cardinia’s young people out celebrating who they are, expressing their individuality and having a great time.

“Supporting our local LGBTIQA+ community is something we’re very proud of. Hosting the annual Pride Formal is one way we demonstrate Council’s commitment to fostering a sense of belonging for all people within our shire,” the Mayor said.

“Events like this are pretty rare in the outer suburbs, so to have over 130 young people come together to celebrate who they are is quite impressive.”

Pride Formal is made possible each year with the efforts of dedicated young people from the Be Ur Self and Cardinia Pride groups, who volunteer their time to help plan and deliver the event, supported by Cardinia Shire Council’s Youth Services team and LGBTIQA+ internal action group.

The event is also supported by FReeZA, a Victorian Government initiative that supports young Victorians to get involved in their community by planning and running drug, smoke, and alcohol-free events for other young people.

“The ongoing success of this great event is truly a credit to all of the young LGBTQIA+ people in our community and their friends, families and allies. We hope that everyone had an unforgettable night and look forward to supporting Pride Formal for years to come.”

For more information about this event and other activities available for young people who identify as LGBTIQA+, contact Youth Services on 1800 496 884 or email myplace@cardinia.vic.gov.au

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