SYDNEY, March 5 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined 50,000 revelers on Sunday in a march across Sydney's Harbour Bridge to celebrate the final day of WorldPride festival.
The crowd, decked out in rainbow flags and colourful outfits, streamed across the bridge on Sunday morning in sight of the iconic Opera House, just off to their left.
"This is just a great celebration and it’s symbolic of bringing people together, the unity, that’s what a bridge does," said Albanese.
"Over the last 17 days it has been a great moment of unity and celebrating the diversity in Australian society and also sending a message to the world that we’re enriched by it."
Sydney is the first city in the southern hemisphere to host WorldPride, a global festival celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.
The 17-day festival coincides with the fifth anniversary of Australia passing marriage equality legislation.
"I’m very proud to be marching with the community that I love so much and celebrate how far things have come," said "Jurassic Park" star Sam Neill during the march.
Sharlene Dixon, who travelled from Perth for the march, said she was moved to tears by the procession of "78'ers" who led the march. The group is made up of participants of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978.
"I was in tears on the parade watching them, everything they’ve done and where we’ve come has just been great. I was able to marry my wife and have a normal life, so to speak, so it’s pretty great."