Ron Austin, a gay rights activist and 78er, passed away in Sydney aged 90. Ron played an important role in the foundation of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras making the suggestion the protest be a street party.
From these beginnings the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has grown to become one of the world’s most famous Pride events attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Via Facebook Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras said, “For decades, Ron proudly marched in every Mardi Gras Parade. Each year the ‘Most Fabulous Parade Entry’ Mardi Gras award is named in his honour. RIP to our dear friend Ron Austin.”
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board member Robyn Kennedy knew Ron in the 1970s, and described him as brave and committed.
“We couldn’t quite work out what to do and then Ron came up with the idea of a street party,” she said.
Ron marched in the first parade and for decades after.