Brisbane City Hall has never looked as fabulous as it did this week for the 54th annual Queens Ball Awards where Brisbane’s LGBT community gathered to recognise the people and groups who work so hard for our community’s benefit.
Decked out with rainbow flags flying both inside and outside the Hall along with the hall’s famed dome lit up in rainbow colours, the evening was a mix of black tie glamour combined with 1970s, Studio 54 campness and attracted a who’s who of both the LGBT community and the political world with senior representatives of all parties attending. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk opened the evening while Deputy Premier Jackie Trad led a contingent of newly elected state MPs. Green Senator Larissa Waters also addressed the crowd and spoke of the continued importance of activism.
Award winners on the evening included: Joel Devereux for Artist of the Year; Wendybird for Social Group of the Year; Martini Ice for Drag Performer of the Year; Sportsman Hotel for Venue of the Year; Open Doors for Community Support Group of the Year; Big Gay Day for Event of they Year, and Balls Out Bingo for Regular Event of the Year. QNews’ long time columnist Stephen also took home Activist of the Year for his tireless efforts promoting LGBTI rights, particularly in the area of assisting same-sex couples become parent via surrogacy.
The biggest award of the evening, however, was the Lifetime Achievement Award which this year honoured John Ebert (pictured centre) for his decades of service to the local LGBTI community, which includes the roles he played in establishing Queensland’s response to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and the foundation of the LGBTI telephone counselling service which has become the Gay & Lesbian Welfare Association (GLWA).
A full listing of the award winners can be found at www.brisbanepride.org.au.