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Everyone welcome!

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A SUPERMARKET chain is leading the way when it comes to inclusivity at work.

Coles Group last week unveiled the theme behind its partnership with World Pride and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which is ‘Everyone is welcome at our table’.

It forms part of the retail giant’s commitment to building a strong Pride network and actively contributing to local Pride communities.

Coles Group’s inaugural float proudly paraded along Oxford Street, on Saturday, February 25, led by drag queen MisTy del Ray, who was crowned Miss Gay Australia, in 2019, and is also a proud and loved Coles store manager, from Hobart, Tasmania.

Last year, the company announced 10 days paid leave to team members undergoing gender affirmation and they have a strong focus on their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members, who also identify as being part of the Pride community.

Cannonvale Coles store manager Tracey Thorn is an Indigenous woman. who is proud to be part of the Pride community.

Ms Thorn said the instore celebrations at Cannonvale Coles were a big moment for the team.

“We had instore celebrations with the team…Coles unites Pride team members from across the country for Worldwide Pride 2023, so there was a big focus on that with the team to make them feel involved and engaged,” she said.

“It’s very engaging for the team, knowing that everyone is welcome at Coles, it’s a big moment for all of us and we appreciate the support that Coles put across it to make us all feel welcome within our roles.”

Ms Thorn said the progress Coles had made in appreciation and respect towards the Pride community was overwhelming.

“I’ve been around for 30 years with Coles, and been in a relationship for 24 years with my partner, and where it was 24 years ago compared to now, it just gets more impressive and more impressive with how open we are within the business and how we treat each other with respect.

“My regional manager Todd went to the Mardi Gras as a part of the Coles Group… and I was really proud that he got the opportunity to go as a leader for me and from our region.

“I’m just very proud to be a part of the business, the part for me is that Coles has really got a strong focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team members who identify as a part of the pride community and, for me, that’s a really big moment because I’m indigenous as well. I’m proud of who I am.”

Whitsunday customers can show their support for World Pride 2023 by purchasing a recyclable and reusable ‘Everyone is Welcome at our Table’ paper shopping bag, with 30 cents from every sale donated to Pride Cup, which is changing sporting culture.

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