Hello, everyone, welcome to one of my favourite Mardi Gras events.
I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
How wonderful to see all these Sydney dog-lovers out in force, accompanied by your animals. I've brought my own along, and I can tell you that they enjoy it as much as I do.
Companion animals bring so much joy into people's lives; they provide an incentive to get out and enjoy all our beautiful City has to offer and as any dog-lover will tell you, they provide a terrific way to make friends with a whole range of people in your neighbourhood or your local park.
We've increased the number of off-leash areas to give more dogs the chance to run and play freely and all we ask is that dog-owners respect the rules and be considerate of other park users. And don't forget the City runs free dog-obedience courses if you have a recalcitrant pet!
Meanwhile, there's this amazing obstacle course here for the dogs to practise on before this afternoon's entertainment begins.
So let me wish you all a fabulous time here at Doggywood, and Happy Mardi Gras!