Kat Dopper

What do you do in your day-to-day life?
In my day-to-day work life, I am the Creative Director at Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras. So basically, I am pulling together the look and feel of a huge, international event that is beloved by an engaged community of people who often have different views on what the festival should be. It’s amazing to be one of the caretakers of an organisation that means so much to so many people. I am constantly thinking about community, colour and how to showcase the best of LGBTQIA+ artists across many events within the festival and there is really something for everyone.

Kat Dopper

Why do you do it?
This job is a dream come true for me – when I think about who I was growing in the small country town of Condobolin and to now be able to give back to my community in such an impactful way, the enormity of Mardi Gras. . . It’s a lot. I can’t think of a single reason not to do it. I'm very grateful.

What do you love about the city you live in right now?
I live in Sydney, and I guess what I love about it most is the eclectic group of communities who live together here, making us one community really. I love being near the beach, I love the parties, I also love how strong and resilient the people of Sydney are, we stick together and fight for what matters to us, from lock outs, marriage equality, to climate change. I am proud to call Sydney home.

What's the best thing about being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
The sex. Lol (jokes)

In your opinion, what is the most misunderstood thing about the community?
That we all think the same way. Many people think the LGBTQIA+ community all vote the same way, act the same way, do the same things. . . But it is a community made up of individuals, as richly diverse as any other community. I haven’t met any, but I believe there are even a couple of gay people who voted for Scomo!

How do you define happiness?
I don’t think I can define happiness. . . It creeps up on you in the most unexpected places and it’s so consuming and lovely.

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
The great thing about what I do right now, (and in my previous role creating Heaps Gay parties) finding a balance is tricky, it is a lot of wok all the time, but I love it. I’m working with friends and the community, and creating work that I’m proud of. The pay-off is a party. So I think the balance is just right!

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I’d love to go back to 1978 and see the very first Mardi Gras demonstration in Sydney. . . I would love to be there, to be able to help, even if only to tell those amazing people in the march that what they were doing has relevance, that they are important, and they are making a difference.

What is the best lesson you've ever learned?
Always stay true to who you are, I’ve never shied away from just being me, the bogan Aussie girl from Condo.

What is your spirit animal?
In respect to First Nations communities I think it’s best to not answer this question, but if I had to choose an animal I can relate to I’d say a hummingbird… They are playful, full of lightness, connection and speed.