Despite the soaring temperatures, a small but dedicated group of staff represented Austin Health for the first time at this year's Midsumma Pride March on Sunday.
Standing behind the Austin Health banner which read "PRIDE, Nurturing and embracing gender and sexual diversity" staff celebrated our LGBTIQ+ community.
Armed with water, hats, feathers, glitter and rainbow coloured umbrellas, staff marched down Fitzroy St and Beconsfield Parade, finishing at Catani Gardens, where they then joined the post-pride festivities.
"It was so exciting to represent Austin Health at such an incredible event and show our support for our staff, patients and the broader community," says Director of Employee Relations, Diversity and Inclusion, Nicole Harvey.
"There was a wonderful party atmosphere, everyone was having fun and dancing, there was lots of colour and you could hear people cheering Austin Health on. You could really feel the sense of community" says Nicole.
"I'm very proud of the work that Austin Health is doing to create a culture of inclusiveness and respect for our diverse group of staff and patients," says Acting Divisional Director of Medical Services, Debbie Munro.
"It was great for me to be able to show my support by attending. It was a bit hot, but great fun to experience the joyous atmosphere of the day, and it's not every day that you get to walk around wearing glittery rainbow coloured fairy wings!" says Debbie.
"I feel proud to support diversity and inclusion at Austin Health, it just makes staff, patients and our community feel welcome and really does strengthen our health service" says Divisional Manager of the Health Independence and Ambulatory Services, Sara Brentnall.
"Next year, we'll be louder and even prouder!" says Sara.
Special thanks to the Mental Health Rainbow Working Group for arranging Austin Health's first Pride March.