Bronwyn Robinson will be perched on the ANZ Pride float at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, rather than dancing up front as she's done in previous years – and getting her there will involve a fair bit of behind-scenes juggling.
This year, Bronwyn and her partner Tracey have two young sons to manage. Their new baby Samuel will be just eight weeks old, and their first child Jackson a boisterous two-and-a-half, so Bronwyn's mum has been called in to babysit and breastfeeding will have to fit in around the Pride Parade.
Bronwyn is taking twelve months parental leave after giving birth to Samuel, and while she's thrilled to have this time with the kids at home, she's also going to miss her role as ANZ Service Quality Manager for the Northern Beaches, and says she'll be happy to return.
“Jackson has finally worked out that Samuel is here to stay," Bronwyn says. “It's been really different this time, it's like we know what we are doing with the new baby, which makes it easier - but we have the added demands of a two-and a half-year old."
When Tracey birthed Jackson over two years ago, Bronwyn took three weeks co-parent leave under ANZ's Family Friendly parental leave policies (which apply to same-sex partners) then added three more weeks annual leave.
This time, it's Tracey who heads back to full-time work after taking six weeks leave, and Bronwyn will be home with the two boys for the next year.
Everyone at work has been so supportive of me and so happy for my family
“My ANZ family have been great, I was actually surprised at how supportive and how interested everyone at work has been," Bronwyn says.
Bronwyn and Tracey (who both play for Brookvale Women's Premier League soccer team) met through mutual friends and have been together for fifteen years.
In 2006, tired of waiting for Australian law to catch up, they were married in Canada. They shared a love of sport and travel, but four years ago, they decided they were ready to raise a family together.
“It has all gone pretty smoothly ever since – we both agree on most things, we have shared values around parenting and discipline and the importance of good manners," Bronwyn says.
The couple's plans for a second child went awry when Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer after Jackson was born. Fortunately, her surgery and treatment were successful, and Bronwyn says she really appreciated the flexibility of her job and support of her line managers throughout.
“Everyone at work has been so supportive of me and so happy for my family when things have worked out for us, it's been such a positive experience for us all."
Contributing Writer: Fran Molloy
Photographer: Brendan Fitzpatrick