Two weekends ago, as Sydney glittered with the vibrant colours of the Mardi Gras Parade, it wasn’t merely a celebration; it was a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion. Community leaders from various backgrounds came together, recognising that our communities thrive when built on the foundation of acceptance and kindness.

Before the festivities, we gathered to mourn the tragic loss of two members of the LGBTIQA+ community. Yet, in the weeks leading up to this period of celebration and reflection, a troubling decision was made by our Local Councillors in The Hills Shire, Castle Hill, Sydney.

In a vote led by Liberal Hills Shire Councillor Jerome Cox on 6/2/24, the LGBTQIA+ community was excluded from certain initiatives, a decision vehemently opposed by Greens Councillor Mila Kasby and Labor Councillor Ryan Tracey. Mila Kasby, a compassionate and educated voice in our community, expressed her disappointment in her fellow councillors’ actions, rightly calling their decision indefensible.

What followed at the subsequent council meeting on 20/2/24, was disheartening. Deputy Mayor Mitchell Blue launched a tirade against Mila Kasby, a display of bullying that went unchecked by other councillors, leaving the impression that such behaviour was condoned.

But amidst the adversity, Mila Kasby remained composed, articulating her respect for her colleagues while firmly standing by her principles. Her response was a testament to her character and resilience, qualities we should all aspire to emulate.

The question remains: why would our elected leaders take such a stance, especially in the lead-up to the Sydney Mardi Gras festival? Is it a political manoeuvre, prioritising party interests over community representation?

A glimpse into the actions of State Liberal MP for Castle Hill and also a Hills Shire Councillor, Mark Hodges, sheds light on a possible motive. Mark Hodges’ MP Facebook site announced on 8/2/24 his opposition to the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023, a stance seemingly echoed by the Liberal-led Hills Shire Council.

Are our local leaders using their positions to oppose state legislation rather than serve their community’s local interests?

The Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023, championed by Alex Greenwich MP, seeks to promote inclusivity and equality, values I wholeheartedly support. Alex’s track record of collaborative leadership speaks volumes, and his commitment to creating an inclusive society is commendable. Alex was the co-chair of the successful YES campaign that delivered marriage equality in 2017.  In 2019 Alex introduced the co-sponsored Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill which decriminalised abortion in NSW.  At a personal level Alex was a regular guest presenter at my NSW Police Force, Leadership Development Workshops that I facilitated for several years.  He is one of the best collaborative and inclusive leaders I have ever met.  That is why I asked him to write the Foreword in my Memoir – The Courage to Lead – Resilience and Compassion in Police Command. 

I believe in supporting affordable housing, ensuring transparency and accountability in council decisions, fostering increased community participation, and above all, making inclusivity a cornerstone of our local governance.

Join me in advocating for a Hills Shire Council that embraces diversity and inclusion, where every voice is heard and valued. Together, we can build a stronger, more inclusive community for all. Let’s strive for unity, kindness, and progress.

I am Local, I am Independent, and I am an Experienced Collaborative and Inclusive Leader.

How is it possible that our elected Liberal led Hills Shire Council can undo the freedoms, advancements,and inclusivity fought for since 1978 and reverse diversity and inclusion in our local community?

If you want to voice your objections at this position vote Allan Sicard, Independent, Local Government Elections, September 2024