To ignite this year’s theme of ‘United we Shine’, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and MINI Australia are celebrating “Big Love is all around us” – a movement of collective voices which this week will be brought to life across Sydney to inspire equality, pride and self-expression and create more Big Love in the world.
As part of the movement, MINI has announced media personality, Neale Whitaker, award-winning pastry chef, Anna Polyviou and RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, Maxi Shield as its ‘Friends of MINI’ – strong champions of the LGBTQIA+ community who embody the meaning behind Big Love and have actively shared their own Big Love stories for the world to see.
Last month, MINI invited everyday Australians to share their inspiring stories of #MINIActsofBigLove with the wider community. From weddings to families to colleagues to pets, Australians showcased heart-felt words and treasured images to represent their personal meaning behind Big Love.
From Monday, 21 February, three of these stories will be brought to life as impressive painted murals and unveiled in Bondi, Redfern and Paddington as part of the Mardi Gras festivities. The murals will act as a visual representation of Big Love, hope and unity in line with the MINI optimistic attitude to life and this year’s Mardi Gras theme of ‘United we Shine’. A QR code on each will direct visitors to video footage of the stories being told by the individual or couple themselves.
The murals are free for the public to view and located at:
Bondi (celebrates rainbow families) – 21 Curlewis St Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Redfern (celebrates “love is love”) – 265 Cleveland St, Redfern NSW
Paddington (celebrates marriage equality) – 412 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021
Friend of MINI and media personality, Neale Whitaker said:
“It’s been truly heartwarming to hear and see the stories of Australians who are proud of their individuality and want to be a role model to so many. There’s no better time of year to celebrate each other and be grateful for our experiences and what we have around us. It is our hope that Big Love will create a sense of belonging for all.”
In addition, MINI Australia has also developed a digital platform called ‘Map of Big Love’ which champions different perspectives on Sydney’s Pride festival by profiling LGBTQIA+ businesses and hotspots highlighted by the ‘Friends of MINI’ and the LGBTQIA+ community. It will be a go-to map for special MINI activations taking place in the lead-up to the official Parade (5 March 2022). The Map of Big Love will be available post-event to continue advocating local businesses and sharing the voice of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Nikesh Gohil, Head of Marketing for MINI Australia and New Zealand said:
“What Australians love most about Mardi Gras is the unity it creates amongst all people – no matter what their culture, age, sexuality or identity. It’s so important that we support and encourage one another to inspire positive change and be part of something bigger together. This is what Big Love is all about, so let’s make this the loudest, most exciting Mardi Gras yet.”
As part of the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, 5 March, MINI will lead a spectacularly bright and fun celebration of Big Love choreographed by world-renowned Amé Delves. The Parade led by Neale, Anna and Maxi will explode with dance, acrobatic elements and gymnastics in a fusion of music, dance, light and fashion.
To access the Map of Big Love, visit: https://www.mini.com.au/mapofbiglove
Follow MINI on Instagram @miniaustralia for the latest news leading up to the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival.
Editorial Photos of mini billboards by queer photographer/creative: Robs_Wild_World