FAIR PLAY was originally known as Project Blue which was launched in 2009 by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG), ACON, Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) and the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. FAIR PLAY remains an initiative to inform, support and educate members of the LGBTIQ community on health, safety and rights issues when attending Mardi Gras events, particularly where police drug operations occurred.
In light of a number of concerning incidents raised by LGBTIQ communities and organisations in relation to the conduct of the NSW Police Force during the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, the Policing at LGBTIQ Events and Venues advocacy paper was developed and launched in September 2013. This document makes clear the commitment of LGBTIQ organisations to provide accurate legal resources and education to the LGBTIQ community.
In line with this commitment, FAIR PLAY has been re-launched for the 2014 Mardi Gras season with the intention to support, empower and educate LGBTIQ communities. FAIR PLAY seeks to help party-goers know their legal rights and how to keep safe over the Mardi Gras Festival.
FAIR PLAY works to:
Educate and support LGBTIQ communities
Promote community safety
Respond to community needs and demands
Provide information about services
Build community confidence and trust
The NSW Police Force has committed to ensuring officers at the Mardi Gras Party and Harbour Party are briefed on the FAIR PLAY program and will refer community members they engage with to the FAIR PLAY stall.
FAIR PLAY is supported by teams of community volunteers known as Fair Players. Fair Players are on site at the Harbour Party and Mardi Gras Party to share legal and safety information with party-goers, monitor and document the operations of NSW Police and provide support to people who have been searched or questioned by police.
We are monitoring police operations because the LGBTIQ community demanded a strong response.