All the winners from the 61st Queens Ball Awards at City Hall


61st annual Queens Ball
Hall-of-famer Joel Devereux & crew ready for the big night. Image: Joel Devereux

The 61st annual Queens Ball Awards took place on Saturday, June 25 at Brisbane’s majestic City Hall. The Queens Ball, first held on Mount Tamborine in 1962, remains the longest-running continuous LGBTIQA+ event in the world.

Record numbers attended the Ball with the largest turnout since the event’s dance party heyday in the late 80s and 90s. Patrons followed the rainbow lights to the red-carpet entry and then into the hall’s magnificent domed auditorium.

Many who couldn’t attend watched online via Brisbane Pride’s live feed. Kudos to the committee and workers responsible for the quality of the video, sound, and camera work.

Dame Sybil von Thorndyke

Wonderfully, Queens Ball founder Dame Sybil von Thorndyke was able to attend in the guise of alter-ego Laurie Deane. Dame Sybil has attended more balls than any other person. Every Ball from 1962 until 2018. Ill health and the pandemic prevented her attendance for the last few years, but Saturday night, Laurie was back.

He told me earlier this month that like Elvis, Dame Sybil had left the building.

“That dame knew how to party. I owe her much for all the fun and joy she brought me over many decades. She made my life fuller in countless ways. But she was also a demanding mistress so, I’ve packed her up, and sent her into a well-deserved retirement.”

Paul Wheeler and Bebe Gunn hosted the night’s festivities with a spectacular entertainment line-up directed by Harry K.

61st annual queens ball awards brisbane city hall brisbane pride festival
Image: Funky Munky

Over recent years, the Brisbane Pride committee worked diligently to craft an entertaining evening out of the often long and unwieldy awards ceremony. An uncomfortable truth about a night that honours very deserving members of our communities. But truth, nonetheless. I’ve both sat in the audience, and stood on the stage as MC, and witnessed the audience lose interest as the night wore on.

Nailed it

This year, the committee nailed it. The format and hosts kept the night moving. And the balance of entertainment and awards both entertained and ensured a respectful recognition of the awardees all the way through to the end.

Of course, every change prompts protest. But the Brisbane Pride Committee serve communities both glorious and challenging in their diversity. The efforts of those dedicated and hardworking volunteers contribute enormously to community building, inclusion, and visibility. I think anyone who ever served on a Pride committee anywhere would describe it as an often-thankless role that involves much self-sacrifice while frequently attracting harsh and unforgiving criticism. So, it was wonderful to watch Pride President Bec Johnson recognise committee members’ efforts with personal awards. Thank you to every one of you.

61st annual queens ball awards brisbane city hall brisbane pride festival
Image: Funky Munky

Masquerade

As always, the costumes were a highlight and this year’s inspired theme — Masquerade — prompted a truly iconic turn-out. Perhaps the time has come to recognise attendees’ efforts with an additional award beyond the much sought-after Belle of the Ball. It seems that every year of late, the costumes top those of the year before.

All-in-all, a great night. As Tamara Biddulph posted on Facebook, “Sensational evening…thank you & great work by all involved.”

61st annual Queens Ball Photo Gallery coming soon.

61st annual Queens Ball Awards

YOUNG ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Thalia Novela

FIRST NATIONS LEADERSHIP & ENGAGEMENT AWARD

Kevin Yowyeh

THE PROUD AWARD

Twitch Donnelly

COMMUNITY SOCIAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Fraser Gays

COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP OF THE YEAR

Diverse Voices

COMMUNITY SPORTING GROUP OF THE YEAR

Brisbane Hustlers

ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR

Felicity Myers

ALLY OF THE YEAR

Mama Lou-King

LIFETIME ALLY AWARD

Aunty Flo Watson

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Brisbane Tritons Committee

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Jill Kerswill

DRAG PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Lulu Lemans

PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Katya Lou-King

DJ OF THE YEAR

DJ AUXI

VENUE OF THE YEAR

The Sportsman Hotel

EVENT OF THE YEAR

Cult Burlesque

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Vic Ogilvie

BELLE of the BALL

Lady Sasscrotch

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1 Comment

  1. A wonderful reflection of the evening! We had about 25 of us from Free Mum Hugs Australia at the ball, including a group of our own young people.. and what an amazing night! Kudos indeed to Bec and the committee, the entertainers, the staff who kept us fed and in bubbles, and congratulations to all the award winners. Free Mum Hugs members were quite involved in the Citipointe debacle so we were thrilled to see Felicity receive her award! I was stoked to get up on stage as a Belle of the Ball nominee (I was shorter than everyone else by at least a foot, aNd in heels, but it was so much fun!) I love that you finished this story with a quote from Tamara, one of our beautiful Free Mum Huggers and our honorary photographer, who faithfully chronicles so many of the queer events we attend to share love, affirmation and give hugs to our gorgeous ️‍community! What a special night!!!️‍️‍⚧️
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/530194344180858

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