Unsung heroes, inspirational individuals and outstanding community organisations comprise a diverse field of finalists for the 2023 Honour Awards, NSW’s premier awards celebration for LGBTQ communities.

First held in 2007, the Honour Awards celebrates outstanding service to, and achievements within, LGBTQ communities in NSW. The awards are also a gala fundraising event for ACON, NSW’s leading HIV and LGBTQ health organisation.

The 36 finalists were selected from over 230 nominations across nine categories covering the health, HIV, youth, community, business, entertainment, visual arts, media and cultural sectors.

The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony and cocktail party at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 23 August 2023.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the judging panel were impressed by the calibre and variety of nominations: “There are so many people and organisations across NSW working passionately in support of our communities or striving and achieving excellence in the fields.

“Selecting the finalists is always a difficult process, and this year is no different due to the myriad of accomplishments and community contributions of all the nominees. However, the judges agreed that the finalists they selected exhibited a truly remarkable commitment to supporting our communities and as such deserved to be recognised for their efforts.

“It has been wonderful to see people put forward so many unsung heroes in our communities. We thank you everyone who submitted a nomination and for being part of the Honour Awards.”

Finalists will join over 300 attendees including a host of media, entertainment and community figures for a fabulous night of fun and celebration at the Honour Awards on Wednesday 23 August at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney.

“I congratulate all the finalists and look forward to them and other members of our communities coming together to celebrate their service and achievements at the 2023 Honour Awards,” Parkhill said.


Wednesday 23 August 2022
Ivy Ballroom, 330 George St, Sydney
Doors open 5.30pm
Awards ceremony commences 6.30pm SHARP
$110 per person (incl. quality wines and beers, delicious canapés & entertainment)
Tickets available from






Presented by Dowson Turco Lawyers

Sean Linkson: For his tireless and tenacious work in co-founding and building The Pinnacle Foundation in support of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia. For over a decade, Sean has helped to build the foundation’s capacity to deliver scholarships and mentorships to LGBTQIA+ university students across the country. Last financial year, Pinnacle awarded more than 80 scholarships, the most ever.

Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco: For his decades-long community service and activism. For more than 25 years, Giovanni has been involved in various volunteer roles, with many of NSW’s LGBTQIA+ institutions. Through his passionate efforts, he has helped develop and strengthen vital organisations and events for sexuality and gender diverse communities.

Lee-Anne McDougall: For her passionate work in supporting the development of LGBTQIA+ communities and promoting diversity in Newcastle and the wider Hunter region. As co-founder and president of Newcastle Pride, Lee-Anne has been instrumental to efforts in bringing back events and spaces for sexuality and gender diverse communities in Newcastle and the Hunter region.

Xander Khoury: For his work in supporting sexuality and gender-diverse people of colour of Western Sydney through ballroom culture. Xander’s efforts through initiatives such as House of Silky, Xaddy’s Door List Events, Australian Fashion Week and The West Ball in collaboration with Jamaica Moana provides a forum for Western Sydney’s dynamic LGBTQIA+ communities – particularly queer, trans, black and indigenous people of colour – to come together and showcase their talents, strength and diversity. 



Presented by ACON

Trans Pride Australia: For providing support, advocacy and visibility for all trans and gender diverse people in Australia through public events, online space and community networks.

Newcastle Pride: With innovative and inclusive programming, Newcastle Pride is providing vital spaces and social outlets for the Hunter region’s LGBTQIA+ communities.

Sydney Bi+ Network: For elevating the diverse experiences of bi+ people through advocacy, research, educational initiatives and community events.

Trikone Australia: For over 15 years, Trikone Australia has been raising awareness of, providing support to, and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people from South Asian backgrounds in Australia.



Presented by people2people

Zoe Myers: For her important work in helping to build the youth-led Rainbow Wave Festival in the Bega Valley. As one of its Youth Project Leaders, Zoe was instrumental in guiding the festival’s most recent iteration in December 2022, a testament to her tenacity, hard work and drive. Zoe has been nominated for her efforts in delivering the festival and supporting rainbow youth in the Bega Valley.

Dan Davis: For his passionate work in supporting and advocating for LGBTQIA+ young people in the Out-of-Home Care sector. In his work in the Child and Family Welfare industry, Dan ensures vulnerable LGBTQIA+ young people, their parents and carers, family and kin are safe and supported. A dedicated advocate, Dan also spearheads efforts to raise awareness of issues impacting LGBTQIA+ young people in the broader OOHC sector.

Bree Mountain: For her dedicated work in championing and elevating the bi+ community in New South Wales. Having founded the grassroots advocacy organisation, Bi+ Visibility, and established the now-popular event series BiCONIC, Bree has been instrumental in raising the visibility and representation of bi+ people in events, programming, media and community advocacy, both in Australia and overseas.

Sasha Bailey: For her impressive body of work as health researcher and advocate. Through her involvement in various projects, committees and working groups, Sasha is passionate about shining a light on mental health, trauma, substance use, inclusive healthcare and public health. Sasha also advocates to promote and protect the health and rights of sexuality and gender diverse people in Australia, especially trans communities and LGBTQA+ young people.



Presented by St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney

Neil Bosworth: For over 30 years of providing healthcare to LGBTQ+ communities in his role as a general practitioner and sexual health physician. A dedicate health professional, Neil is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ communities. He is also being recognised for his efforts to support medical research.

Sydney Local Health District: For their passion, commitment and hard work in delivering inclusive health services and care to LGBTIQ+ communities. Sydney LHD has been recognised for their various efforts in improving their approach to responding to the health needs of LGBTIQ+ people and their provision of inclusive healthcare.

Garrett Prestage: Since 1976, Garrett has worked to support LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing through various roles and projects in research, advocacy and community health. Now retired, Garrett has been nominated for devoting his life and career to LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing and for leaving a legacy of knowledge and excellence for the next generation of LGBTQ+ health and HIV researchers.

Sydney Frontrunners: For providing a safe and welcoming space for LGBTIQ+ community members to come together for physical activities for 40 years. Through their activities, events, meets and tournaments, the Frontrunners contributes to supporting people’s health and wellbeing. The group has also been recognised for its passionate support for and engagement with the broader community and various charities.



Presented by Positive Life NSW

David Polson: For his tireless work as an advocate, speaker and community champion for people living with HIV. As a long-term HIV survivor, David shares his personal story to empower others, provide education, challenge discrimination and reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS. David has also been nominated for his various community, volunteer and advocacy roles, including being the co-founder of Sydney’s first queer museum, QTOPIA.

Melissa Corr: For her service and commitment to the public HIV sector spanning 40 years. Melissa contribution to the welfare of patients of the Sydney Local Health District and New South Wales at large has been unparalleled in her discipline of psychiatry; she is widely regarded as the leading clinician in HIV psychiatric care in New South Wales. With plans to retire from clinical practice in 2023, Melissa leaves behind a culture of non-judgmental inclusive care, grounded on empowerment for people living with HIV.

Ruan Uys: Over the last decade, Ruan has advocated for, and on behalf of, people living with HIV. During that time, he has spearheaded projects that improves and strengthens the health and wellbeing of HIV-positive people. From his involvement with the Positive Speakers Bureau and participating in media and campaigns, to building an online community support group and his work as Programs Manager at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Ruan is a role model for others living with HIV and an inspiration to all.

Garrett Prestage: For his decades-long work in HIV research and education. From the mid-1980s until his retirement this year, Garrett played a central role in deepening our understanding of HIV, its treatments and prevention through groundbreaking research projects and countless publications. Coupled with his advocacy, engagement and education work throughout the years, Garrett has made significant, enduring and game-changing contributions to Australia’s HIV response.



Presented by OUT@NBCUniversal

Samuel Yang: For his work as a broadcast journalist on the ABC that shines a light on the Chinese queer community. A proud Chinese-Australian journalist, Samuel is passionate about bringing to the fore issues affecting on marginalised and underserved queer communities, in both English and Chinese languages.

Michael Burge: For his body of literary work spanning journalism, non-fiction and fiction that explores LGBTQIA+ issues, history, culture and politics. A rural-based writer and artist, Michael has particularly championed the issues of LGBTQIA+ communities in rural Australia for the past two decades, ensuring they remain part of the conversation and policy debates.

Rick Feneley & Greg Callaghan: For their collective body of work spanning two decades, covering LGBTIQ hate crimes in Sydney and NSW. Through their separate efforts ranging countless articles in major mastheads and podcasts to published books and interviews, Rick and Greg have been instrumental in the quest for truth and justice for victims and their families of LGBTIQ hate crimes.

Narelda Jacobs: A Whadjuk Noongar journalist, presenter and commentator, Narelda has appeared on scores of TV programs over the years, including Ten’s The Project; the ABC’s Insiders, Q&A and The Drum; NITV and SBS’s The Point, Going Places and Mardi Gras broadcasts. She is currently a co-host of Studio 10 and presenter of 10 News First: Midday. Narelda is a passionate community advocate and cause ambassador, supporting a range of charities and humanitarian initiatives.



Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Stan Munro: For his decades-long work in showbusiness and Australian drag entertainment. From his time as host of Les Girls in the 1960s and 70s, to his recent appearances in ABC’s Back Roads and Queerstralia, Stan is a community and entertainment stalwart. Now 82, Stan continues to perform in Kyogle, where he now lives, and further afield. A long-time supporter of charities and causes, today Stan continues to serve and help his local community in Northern New South Wales.

Penelope Pettigrew: For her contributions and achievements both as an artist and a fierce advocate for the bi+ community. An accomplished singer-songwriter, Penelope produced a song honouring the bi+ community and has performed at various LGBTQIA+ events and shows, particularly in the last 12 months. Off-the-stage, Penelope has worked to support and empower bi+ people through various creative and community progress.

Courtney Act: For their various accomplishments as an artist, performer, musician, TV presenter and writer. Multi-talented and internationally-renowned, Courtney is an Australian entertainment icon, creative powerhouse and showbiz trailblazer. As an outspoken advocate, Courtney is also passionate about supporting and elevating LGBTQ causes, charities and communities through their various platforms.

Dan Murphy: For his work as an event producer, promoter, DJ, content creator and filmmaker. Dan has been a force in Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ scene for over two decades, providing spaces and opportunities for community members, their friends and allies to unite, come together and celebrate. Through various artistic and creative projects, Dan is also passionate about showcasing Sydney and LGBTQIA+ pop culture.




Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association

Bernie’s Bar: As Newcastle’s only queer-dedicated venue, Bernie’s Bar aims to provide a safe and welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ people in the city. While a recent addition to the Newcastle scene, Bernie’s Bar has quickly established itself as an important hub of the local LGBTQ+ community.

Richard Savvy: Known as ‘The Naked Barber’, Richard has been nominated for his efforts in supporting the revival of Sydney’s leather and fetish scene through his events enterprise, Haus of Savvy, which in the past 12 months has rolled out various events and activities.

The Bearded Tit: For providing an inclusive and creative space for queer people to come together and for giving a platform to emerging artists. With its focus on community, queer culture, visual and performance art, The Bearded Tit is a mainstay in Sydney’s creative and queer scenes.

Nungala Creative: Established by Warumungu / Wombaya woman Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative produces innovative content across various platforms and mediums with a distinct Aboriginal voice. Nungala Creative has been nominated for their work in designing the creative, visual identity and key art for Sydney WorldPride.



Presented by Friends of Cayte

Jeff McCann: Based in Sydney, Jeff specialises in community engagement projects, public art, collaborations, illustration, props and fashion. Jeff’s artistic ethos is to create inclusive works that encourage audience involvement and fun. Jeff has been nominated for his striking body of works installed during Sydney WorldPride, which includes activations at Broadway Shopping Centre, The Rocks Sydney, Maroubra’s Pacific Square and Lucid Dreams at the Imperial Hotel.

Dylan Mooney: Dylan Mooney is a proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist working across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing. Influenced by history, culture and family, Mooney responds to community stories, current affairs and social media. He has been recognised for his large-scale queer-themed mural featuring a young First Nations couple installed in Kings Cross for Sydney WorldPride.

Jeremy Smith: An accomplished drawing artist, Jeremy’s thought-provoking and visually captivating artworks expresses, interprets and explores the experiences, identities and issues within the LGBTQ+ community. His artistic practice primarily focuses on large-scale detailed drawings, maps and prints, influenced by the Sydney and local queer culture and society.

26-07-2023Honour 2023: Finalists Announced for NSW LGBTQ Community Awards