Women have dominated the field of 30 finalists for the 2015 Honour Awards, NSW’s annual LGBTI* community service awards.

Now in their ninth year, the Honour Awards recognise outstanding achievements within or contributions to NSW’s LGBTI community. The awards are also a gala fundraising event for LGBTI charity Aurora and for ACON.

The 30 finalists were selected from a record 250 nominations received across eight categories covering the business, health, education, community, legal, political, media and cultural sectors.

The winners will be presented with a range of gifts and prizes at a gala ceremony and cocktail party at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 30 September.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says the judges were impressed with the quality and variety of nominations. “The judging panel noted that selecting the finalists was a difficult process because the achievements and contributions of all the nominees were remarkable in their own way,” Mr Parkhill says.

“However, the judges agreed that the finalists they selected exhibited a truly outstanding commitment to supporting the LGBTI community and deserved to be recognised for their efforts. It’s also great to see so many women in our community being recognised for their service and achievements.

“I’d also like to thank all the judges, including Channel 7 Morning Show host Kylie Gillies for helping to judge the media category.

“I congratulate all the finalists and look forward to them and other members of our community coming together to celebrate their achievements at the Honour awards ceremony at the Ivy on September 30.”

The finalists will join over 300 people including government, media, entertainment and community personalities for an inspirational night full of fun and festivity. Guests will also be able to bid on a range of amazing silent auction items including luxury holidays, art, furniture, home wares, and 5-star dining, accommodation and entertainment packages.

WHAT:              2015 Honour Awards
WHERE:           Ivy Ballroom, 330 George St, Sydney
WHEN:             Wednesday 30 September 2015
TIME:               6:30pm – 11pm
COST:              $85
per person (inc. quality wines and beers, delicious canapés and fabulous entertainment)

Community Partners

Aurora Group | Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association | Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras | SX Magazine

Event Partners

Foxtel | Merivale/Ivy | GLYDE Health | OX Live | DL Comm

Media contact: Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media and Communication Officer

T: (02) 9206 2044     M:     E:  M: 0419 55 768



BUSINESS AWARD (presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association)

  • Dowson Turco Lawyers – for being one of NSW’s most LGBTI-engaged law practices through pro bono work, community partnerships and direct donations to key community organisations.
  • Nadia Neuman – for building the successful Mondial by Nadia Neuman bespoke jewellery business, mentoring lesbian businesswomen and supporting LGBTI charities and community organisations, especially Australian Marriage Equality through her recent Marriage Equality ring initiative.
  • Pink Media Group – for creating a unique and innovative national LGBTI advertising network, securing support/sponsorship for key LGBTI events and causes, and supporting a range of LGBTI charities and community organisations.
  • 357 Sydney Gay Sauna – for 13 years of operating a welcoming and safe space for gay men to meet and socialise, and for supporting a range of HIV prevention and community health initiatives.

MEDIA AWARD (presented by Foxtel)

  • Rick Feneley (SMH) – for A Gay Beat, A Fatal Plunge And The Long Search For Answers, one of a series of articles about Sydney’s historical gay hate homicides which played a large part in convincing the NSW Coroner and NSW Police to reopen investigations into several suspicious deaths.
  • Lane Sainty (Buzzfeed) – for Transgender Women Are Falling Through Cracks In Australia’s Homeless System, an investigative piece into the high levels of homelessness among transgender women in Australia.
  • SBS – for promoting LGBTI culture and inclusion through an outstanding broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on the main SBS channel and for preceding the broadcast with two weeks of LGBTI themed programming.
  • Lisa Pellegrino (ABC Radio Darwin /Alice Springs) – for her story about Kellum, a 35 year old Aboriginal ‘brotherboy’ transitioning in Wadeye, a remote community in the Northern Territory.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT AWARD  (presented by SX Magazine)

  • Beccy Cole – for her success as one of Australia’s top country music artists and for being an inspirational role model for LGBTI people, particularly those living and working in regional and rural Australia.
  • Holding The Man Cast & Crew – for bringing the much cherished memoir of Timothy Conigrave to the big screen and, by doing so, creating an important piece of social history as well as championing acceptance and inclusion of LGBTI and people with HIV.
  • Jan Blanch – for over 25 years of service to same sex dance sport including founding Gay and Lesbian Australian Dance and advocating for inclusion of LGBTI couples in mainstream dance competitions.
  • Sarah Penicka-Smith – for over 10 years of service as the music director of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir and the significant impact she has had on the musical and community life of the members and organisation.

HEALTH & WELLBEING AWARD  (presented by GLYDE Health)

  • Anthony Venn Brown – for over 20 years of providing leadership and support for LGBTI people of faith and for working to bring ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy practices and organisations to an end in Australia.
  • Lance Feeney – for over 25 years of providing education, advocacy and support for people living with and affected by HIV.
  • Mollie Smith – for 20 years of providing support for LGBTI people and their families as founder of the Western Sydney chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
  • A/Prof Roger Garsia – for making a significant contribution to the understanding of clinical, pathophysiological, treatment and behavioural aspects of HIV/AIDS in those living with HIV and at risk of HIV transmission.


  • The Pollys Club – for 50 years of organising popular drag and dance-oriented community events, and for raising tens of thousands of dollars for HIV and LGBTI related charities.
  • Twenty10 (inc. GLCS NSW) – for over 30 years of providing vital support programs for LGBTI young people and their families, and mental health services for LGBTI people.
  • Dykes On Bikes – for providing over 25 years of support and friendship for hundreds of lesbians and same sex attracted women in Sydney, for fundraising for many LGBTI related causes and helping increase awareness of lesbian culture through their internationally famous presence in the annual Sydney Mardi Gras parade.
  • HIV/AIDS Legal Centre – for providing important support and protection for gay asylum seekers, especially men from countries that criminalise or otherwise persecute homosexuals.

YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD  (presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)

  • Matthew Capell – for providing support and mentorship to young LGBTI people through his work with Camp Out, Family Planning NSW’s Same Difference program and Macarthur LGBTIQ youth group Camp Queer.
  • Sally Rugg – for being a passionate and tireless grassroots campaigner and rally organiser for same sex marriage and issues affecting young LGBTI people.
  • Alex Taylor – for being an inspirational role model, spokesperson and advocate for young transgender people.
  • Nicholas Steepe – for providing education and support for young LGBTI people in Dubbo and western NSW and advocating for improved inclusion of LGBTI people in the region.
  • Richard Ezomoh – for his HIV prevention and support work with gay and homosexually active men in Nigeria and among Australia’s Nigerian refugee population.
  • Erol Dalkic – for his passionate LGBTI health promotion, mentorship and community development work at UNSW, Out For Australia and with a range of LGBTI community organisations, especially his work with LGBTI people from immigrant and Muslim backgrounds.


  • Amanda Honey – over 20 years of producing and supporting events – such as Lovely Dinners, Girl Fest and Lemons With A Twist – that help lesbians and same sex attracted women to support, mentor and connect with each other.
  • Silke Bader – for over 15 years of service to lesbians and same sex attracted women as publisher of Lesbians On The Loose and for generously supporting a broad range of LGBTI causes, groups and organisations through community partnerships, sponsorships and donations.
  • Steph Sands – for over 15 years of developing, guiding and supporting a range of LGBTI community organisations and events including as co-chair of Mardi Gras and founder of Women Say Something.
  • Sue Thompson – for over 25 years of advocating for justice for victims of gay hate murders and crimes, reducing violence against LGBTI people and building bridges between the NSW Police and the LGBTI community.

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