Celebrating our LGBTI Heroes: Nominations for Honour Awards Now Open

ACON Honour Awards Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahonIs there an LGBTI community member you admire, or a person or organisation you know that has helped our LGBTI community and deserves to be recognised for their efforts? Then now is your opportunity to shine a light on a community hero by nominating them for an Honour Award.

Established in 2006, the Honour Awards is an annual event that celebrates outstanding service to, and achievements within, the LGBTI community in NSW. Now in its 11th year, the Honour Awards is also gala fundraising event for LGBTI community initiatives supported by leading LGBTI community charity the Aurora Group, and ACON, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation.

Nominations can be submitted in eight categories covering health, education, business, community, cultural, legal, media, and political, sectors. Nominations are free and can be submitted on the Honour Awards website – nominations close at 5.00pm on 16 August 2017.

A judging panel selects four finalists in each category with the winner announced on the night of the awards. Winners receive a range of gifts, and all 32 finalists – as well as their nominators* – receive a free ticket to the gala event.

Aurora Chair Alison King says the Honour Awards provides a valuable opportunity to pay tribute to people and organisations that are making a difference in the lives of LGBTI people in NSW.

“The Honour Awards are all about celebrating how people from all walks of life are helping or inspiring others in our community,” said Ms King. “We’re calling on everyone within our communities to nominate people or organisations they feel have provided leadership, achieved outstanding success within the LGBTI community, have provided exceptional service or made a substantial contribution to our community.”

ACON President Justin Koonin says the Honour Awards are about recognising and celebrating all kinds of achievements and contributions from many that don’t receive the appreciation and credit they duly deserve.

“Everyday, people and organisations from right across our community are helping others in all kinds of ways, and the Honour Awards is about acknowledging all kinds of community service, whether big or small,” said Mr Koonin. “As a community, it’s important that we celebrate our unsung heroes as well as our more high-profile achievers. So we’re keen to hear about people and organisations that have made a difference whether it be in the lives of only a few people, or whose contributions are more wide-ranging.”

Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon was named Community Hero at the 2016 Honour Awards. The long-time minister and activist was recognised for her work as a spiritual leader for the LGBTI community, and for championing acceptance and inclusion of LGBTI people in faith-based organisation for more than 30 years.

Mrs. McRae-McMahon says she was humbled and encouraged by the award, and urged others to nominate people and organisations whose work in bettering the LGBTI community deserved to be recognised. “Giving recognition to those among us who shine light on the quality of our people, and all that they achieve for us and the wider community, is very important,” she said. “To nominate somebody can bring that person forward and give them a voice for us all.”

Mrs. McRae-McMahon says the award gave her strength and inspiration to press on with her activism and advocacy work. “It lifts my heart and encourages me to continue working for the rights of LGBTI people and for recognition that we are to be respected as genuinely part of the variety of humankind.”

This year’s awards will be presented at a gala ceremony and cocktail party at The Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 27 September. The finalists and their guests will join a host of government, media, entertainment and community personalities for an extraordinary night of celebration. Guests will also be able to bid on $100,000 worth of amazing silent auction items including luxury holidays, jewellery, art, furniture, homewares, and 5-star dining, accommodation and entertainment packages.

For more information, visit: www.honourawards.com.au for details.

Image: Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon was named Community Hero at the 2016 Honour Awards (supplied)

Note: *only the first person to nominate a finalist gets a free ticket