Finalists announced for 2016 Honour Awards

Aurora ACON Honour Awards 2016A diverse and inspirational mix of 34 people and organisations are set to vie for honours at NSW’s annual awards for service to the LGBTI community.

Now in their tenth 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, NSW’s leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation.

The 34 finalists were selected from over 170 nominations received across eight categories covering the business, health, education, community, legal, political, media and cultural sectors.

Acting ACON CEO Karen Price 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,” said Ms Price.

“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. The calibre of submissions in the Media category was particularly outstanding, which is why the judges included two extra finalists in that category.”

“I’d like to thank all the judges, including Sky News anchor on Foxtel, Sunday Life columnist, writer and author Jacinta Tynan 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 and cocktail party at the Ivy on September 29.”

The finalists will join over 400 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.

The Finalists for 2016 Honour Awards are:

Media Award (presented by SX Magazine)

Shannon Molloy (Daily Telegraph – RendezView)
For his evocative and deeply personal opinion piece on his own experience with bullying and why programs like Safe Schools are necessary.

Janine Cohen (ABCTV – Australian Story)
For telling the story about sixteen-year-old Georgie Stone, who has battled prejudice, bullying and legal hurdles relating to her transition.

Monique Schafter
For her body of work on the 7:30 Report and ongoing championing of LGBTI content on the national broadcaster.

Patrick Abboud (SBS)
For his consistent commitment to the reporting of LGBTI issues across national television, radio and online, along with presenting the national broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Mark Whittaker (SBS)
For his work on investigations into gay-hate crimes in Australia, most notably crimes committed in South Australia and Adelaide.

Karl Stefanovic (Nine Network)
For his groundbreaking and earnest apology to the transgender community following unfortunate comments made on the Today Show, and also for a subsequent 60 Minutes piece on young transgender people.

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.

Claire’s Kitchen/Marc Kuzma
For creating and maintaining a successful Oxford St eatery and for many years of supporting a broad range of LGBTI community causes and organisations.

Points Of Difference Events/Adam Bold
For established a successful business providing a variety of social/travel events which promote diversity, inclusion and acceptance among and beyond the LGBTI community.

Max Black
For their close work with LGBTI organisations and health providers to deliver products and services that promote safe sex and sex positivity, particularly for transgender people and their partners.

Arts & Entertainment Award (presented by Foxtel Arts)

New Theatre
For their 25 year commitment to LGBTI content and productions for the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and for recognising diverse sexualities and genders as an important demographic within the theatre’s community and audience.

Jordan Raskopoulos
For her work as the lead singer of the Axis of Awesome, a world renowned musical comedy act, and for her work educating and informing audiences around the world about transgender issues with a sense of grace and fun.

C Moore Hardy
For her tireless and iconic work over 35 years of documenting the diversity, richness and colour of Sydney’s LGBTI community through photography.

Producers, Cast and Crew of From Sydney With Love
For a beautiful and moving event to raise money for the horrific mass murders in Florida earlier this year, which expressed strength and solidarity with the community in Orlando.

Health & Wellbeing Award (presented by GLYDE Health)

Dr Kerryn Phelps
For over 20 years of service to and advocacy for the LGBTI community in her role as a local GP, as former president of the AMA and as a media commentator on health issues.

Garry Trotter
For almost 40 years of work within heath care and for pioneering efforts in establishing an HIV in-care unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, as well as his work on the board of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine.

David Murray
For over 30 years working within the HIV sector both at the clinical and programming levels, as a leading advocate for both clinical and community health and wellbeing.

headspace Dubbo
For providing vital support programs for LGBTI young people and their families, and mental health services for LGBTI people in Western NSW.

Cayte Latta Memorial Award for Visual Art (presented by Friends of Cayte)

Youjia Lu
A Chinese artist currently undertaking her Master of Fine Arts (Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, utilising digital media to produce works that have been shown across the world.

Luke Stambouliah
An international celebrity portrait photographer based in Sydney with an Honours in Photomedia from the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts. Luke specialises in headshots, film stills and fine art prints.

Richard Hedger
A Sydney-based photographer who works primarily in arts and entertainment photography, but also shines a light on the LGBTI community with his work featured at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Lionel Bawden
An eminent visual artist based in NSW working predominantly in sculpture, also painting, performance and installation, and is a proud member of the LGBTI community.

Young Achiever (presented by Mardi Gras)

Melody Gardiner
For dedicating over seven years to creating and/or supporting a range of LGBTI support and lobby groups including Out West, gayCU, Equal Marriage Rights Australia, Australian Catholics for Equality and the Rainbow Catholic Interagency for Ministry.

Chris Pycroft
For 10 years of change-making service and activism in the areas of mental health, disability, youth development and LGBTI rights.

Sally Rugg
For being a passionate and tireless grassroots campaigner for same sex marriage, the Safe Schools program, and issues affecting young LGBTI people.

Beau Newell
For groundbreaking advocacy in regional and rural NSW in relation to marriage equality and other LGBTI rights.

Community Organisation (presented by Aurora)

Camp Out
For providing care and support for young LGBTI people and their families for over seven years through a program of annual camps and retreats.

Kirkton Rd Centre
For 20 years of providing HIV prevention, treatment and care to the marginalised populations of ‘at risk’ gay men, young people, sex workers and people who inject drugs.

Rainbow Families
For establishing NSW’s first peak support and advocacy group for children and families within the LGBTIQ community.

MAG (Mature Aged Gays)
For close to 25 years of providing care, support, health promotion and social activities for hundreds of older gay men throughout NSW.

Community Hero Award (presented by ACON)

Peter Bonsall-Boone and Peter de Waal
For over 40 years of pioneering and leading the fight for LGBTI rights in Australia after becoming the first real-life gay couple to share a kiss on Australian television, becoming foundation members of the first gay rights group in the country (CAMP NSW), setting up the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service and continuing to serve the LGBTI community through volunteer support for a range LGBTI groups and causes.

Ann-Marie Calilhanna
For being one of Sydney’s most prolific and consistent documentors of the LGBTI community over the past 15 years, having been amongst many things, the official photographer for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Star Observer.

Glen Hansen/Candy Box
For his decades of work that has seen him become one of the most respected entertainers and promoters within the Sydney LGBTI community, for his long-term commitment and involvement with Stonewall on Oxford Street, and his tireless support for numerous LGBTI charities.

Rev Dorothy McRae-McMahon
For over 30 years as a spiritual leader for LGBTI people and the LGBTI community and for championing acceptance and inclusion of LGBTI people in faith-based organisations. As one of the first Ministers of the Uniting Church to “come out”, she has also become an internationally renowned writer, liturgist and feminist theologian.

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 29 September 2016. For more information, visit: for details.