Unsung LGBTQ heroes, advocates and activists, along with organisations and long-standing allies of sexuality and gender diverse people who fight for equality, were among a diverse mix of people and groups recognised last night at the Honour Awards in Sydney.

Over 300 people came together at the Ivy Ballroom to celebrate LGBTQ community members whose work have made a difference to the lives of sexuality and gender diverse people in NSW. Winners were selected from a diverse field of 35 finalists, drawn from over 200 nominations.

First held in 2007, the Honour Awards is an annual celebration of outstanding service and achievements in LGBTQ communities in NSW, and a gala fundraising event for the state’s leading HIV and LGBTQ health organisation, ACON. This year marked the return of Honour, after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill congratulated all the award recipients and finalists on their achievements, community service and recognition.

“After being cancelled in 2020 and 2021, it was wonderful to come together again and celebrate the many wonderful achievements and acts of service in our communities,” Parkhill said.

“There are many people from all walks of life that do such incredible work that makes a difference to the lives of LGBTQ people and their families in NSW. Honour gives us an important opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and community service. So we thank everyone who joined us in that endeavour and that participated in this year’s Honour Awards.

“We also thank all of our partners including Dowson Turco Lawyers, SBS, people2people, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, Positive Life NSW, OUT@NBCUniversal, Friends of Cayte and The Star Observer. We are also thank all the people and organisations that donated items to our silent auction.

“The support of our partners will ensure we deliver an amazing occasion and help us raise funds for ACON programs and services that support the health and wellbeing of our communities. We sincerely thank our partners for their generosity and support,” Parkhill said.

“Congratulations once again to all of this year’s finalists and award recipients. See you at Honour 2023.”





Dr Kerry Chant and NSW Health: In recognition of their service and contributions to public health, including leading NSW’s world-leading response to HIV.


COMMUNITY HERO (Presented by Dowson Turco Lawyers)

Ann-Marie Calilhanna: For her passionate and prolific work in documenting Sydney’s vibrant LGBTQ communities over 20 years through photography, and supporting LGBTQ causes, organisations and businesses.



BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation: For elevating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ+ community through its programs, services, advocacy agenda and much-needed support work.


YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD (Presented by people2people)

Isabella Calero-Rivarola: For empowering rainbow youth through her work with Wear It Purple, as well as providing employment support for LGBTIQ people with disability.


MEDIA AWARD (Presented by OUT@NCBUniversal)

Jason Om: For his work as a broadcast journalist, author and speaker in elevating under-represented voices in the media. Jason is also passionate about speaking up for Asian Australians and culturally diverse communities.


HIV HERO (Presented by Positive Life NSW)

Julie Bates & Basil Donovan: Through their combined efforts in advocacy, support, activism, and research spanning four decades, Julie and Basil have made significant contributions to the NSW and Australian HIV response.


HEALTH & WELLBEING (Presented by St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney) – JOINT RECIPIENTS

Brahm Marjadi: For his work in LGBTQIA+ health advocacy in the Western Sydney region, nationally and internationally, as well as driving inclusion in the health, medical and higher education sectors.

Steve Spencer: For his work in HIV advocacy including facilitating greater access to PrEP and tackling HIV stigma, as well as his efforts in raising awareness of issues impacting Bi+ Australians.



Samuel Luke: Samuel is a trans artist who uses his authentic experiences as a vehicle to explore intimate and complex realities of the lived trans experience. His autobiographical works take the form of prints, artist books, comics, embroidery, and murals.


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT AWARD (Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)

Laura Hart: Through her show The Kings, Laura nurtures and supports drag king culture, creating a safe space for queer women, trans and non-binary people to celebrate their passion for drag kings.


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

Erin Spencer & Bec Cerio, Sock Drawer Heroes: Founders Erin Spencer and Bec Cerio enable vital access to essential gender-affirming products, resources and information; provides a platform for trans-owned brands and trans artists; and runs a support program that gets gender expression products to those that can’t afford them.




For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E:   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

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