In 1985, a group of passionate Darwinites came together to create the very first Darwin Pride Festival – promoting diversity, equality and celebrating LGBTIQ+ communities. These brave individuals shined the spotlight on issues that needed to change and celebrated what already made us shine. Over three decades on, we’re continuing what they began.
Top End Pride is run by a group of volunteers who are passionate about equality, and diversity. We meet on a monthly basis to talk about items raised to our attention, plan and coordinate events and work closely with local Government bodies to ensure we have our voices heard for future generations.
It is our mission to continue to raise awareness within our community and campaign for freedoms that will allow our people to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.
In November 2020, members of Darwin Pride elected to change the name to Top End Pride. As a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting our the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (GLBTQI+) community here in the Top End of the Northern Territory, our name change is reflective of the work we have done in all regions such as Darwin, Katherine and Jabiru and everywhere in between.
Darwin Pride (NT) inc rebrand to Top End Pride (NT) inc
This was a huge step for us as an organisation and a number of different things had to change including creating a new logo to represent our name change. Great work and thought has been put in to our logo which has been designed to stand out on the National and International stages. Our committee has spent months discussing ideas and it was important we have a story to share.
The first notable piece of the art work is the outline of the Northern Territory as it identifies us being from this great land.
The colours of Pride are diverse and we decided to include such colours which also represent our spectacular sunsets seen here in the Northern Territory.
As the Brolga can often be seen in the stunning parks of Northern Territory, we decided to have this great crane as a feature of our logo.
Amber Sayers - Hunt
Not sure I have any real skills to speak of ... except... being a Lesbian. 🤣 Which I started begrudgingly realizing (back then, not now) when I was about 11 or 12yrs old.
Moving on... Kirsty and I have been together since 1999, when she, as an “I’m not a lesbian, I was just attracted to Amber” kinda person jumped me at my 30th birthday party... true story!
We moved to the NT from WA in 2002 and together we partied HARD (still do occasionally) through the early 2000’s often with our very own Emma 😁...
Our daughter, Saige, finally came along in 2011, and with her in tow, we embarked on campaigning for Marriage Equality. Marriage Equality became our mission in life when Saige asked us “why we didn’t have the same surname” and then “why we weren’t allowed to get married” and we couldn’t give her an adequate definitive answer!
Thankfully, we where finally allowed to marry and did so in July 2018 at our home, 8mths after Marriage Equality passed. Saige was a vital part of our wedding... It was a huge and very expensive event but worth every cent.
Saige is a very special little person and she rules our world!
Back to me? I have lots of life experiences both amazingly awesome and some totally shit ones to draw on.
What I want to see for Pride moving forward is to reach all our Community. I know as a whole our Community, here in Darwin, are relatively close (gay boys happy to hang with gay girls) but I want us to reach all walks of our Community, it’s just trying to figure out where they are and how to engage them, thats of course if they want to.
I’ll say this though about my skills, I make a pretty good gofer and lacky! I can take instruction and lift heavy things.
I moved to Darwin in October 2009 - right in time for the build up. It took my now ex partner 2 years to talk me in to moving here but once I got here, I fell in LOVE with the place!!!! The top end is truly special and I don't think you can really understand or appreciate it until you live here.
I have many friends in the LGBTQI community and have always been a proud ally. I first volunteered for Darwin Pride Festival in 2019 and met some wonderful people - many of whom will be my friends for life. I had so much fun that I decided to nominate to join the committee in 2020.
As I'm sure you can appreciate, this was a difficult year for all of us and at times, we weren't even sure if we were going to be able to proceed with anything even remotely resembling a festival. I am extremely proud of what we, your pride committee, managed to achieve last year in a very short space of time. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the 2021 team to produce a bigger, better and more inclusive festival!
Kia Ora! Great weather we're having...
Okay, so as you may have been able to tell from my introduction, I'm a half Kiwi - half Brit now living in beautiful Darwin.
I grew up in Christchurch before moving to the UK to pursue my career in the digital space. After almost 20 years in the UK, I decided in 2013 it was time for me to return to New Zealand and spend quality time with my family. This turned out to be the best decision I'd ever made as it was also then that I met my future-husband and love of my life.
We fell into the most amazing love possible with just one problem... he incessantly carried on about this city I'd never heard of called Darwin. I thought Darwin was a botanist, but as it turned out, it's also the most beautiful city I've ever seen.
Damian brought me over for a week long holiday, straight from the airport to Mindil, sipping cocktails and within 2 of those sips I was sold with the idea of moving here. A few days later into our holiday, Damian popped the big question in Kakadu National Park and I said Yes making Darwin an even more special place in my heart.
We moved here in 2019 and the rest is history. I absolutely love Darwin and wanted to be involved with the amazing LGBTQI+ community we have so that that I could help bring love and celebration to our wider community.
My work on Committees and Boards goes back decades including as a Director on the Sydney 2002 Gay Games Board, National Secretary for the Australian Greens, Treasurer for the NT Greens and various other community organisations.
I’m passionate about our community and am super excited to be the Secretary for Top End Pride – an awesome group of people, both on the Committee and our many amazing volunteers. Let's show our community how loud and proud we are.
I've been in the Territory since 2004 and love it. Spent the first 2 years in Alice Springs working with remote Indigenous communities then moved to Darwin in 2006. Definitely can’t see me living anywhere else J I've pretty much had a few careers over the last 25+ years starting as an environmental consultant in Sydney then working for years in Indigenous community development and Indigenous higher education. I have then worked as a public servant and as a ministerial advisor over the past 10 years.
As a public servant my roles have been extensively in legislative reform and environmental regulation. Until recently I was also an Alderman on City of Darwin Council for 5.5 years and now work as an executive manager at Council.
I made my first move to the Northern territory in 2008, to Alice Springs and then Darwin in 2009. Working within Tourism, I commenced tour guiding within the Territories fabulous National Parks including Uluru – Kata Tjuta, Kakadu and Nitmiluk. Initially the move to Alice Springs was dawning. A 21 year old gay guy set free in a small country town surrounded by desert and natural wonder. Soon I learnt Alice Springs had a very groovy GLBTQI scene and made friends with many people who all shared my interests and lifestyle. Darwin was another prime example, being welcomed not only by the LGBTQI+ community but also by the heterosexual community.
I moved to New Zealand in 2017 and flew for Air New Zealand for just under 3 years, but most importantly, met the love of his my, Shane.
Soon after, we moved back to Darwin, I popped the question in stunning Kakadu National Park and happier than ever, settled into our new life here.
In 2020, along with Shane, we joined Top End Pride to help bring people within our community come together.
"As humans we all celebrate life, in different ways. Allow us to unify with people of all ages and provide our community the true meaning of what pride is all about."