Finalists revealed for NSW’s LGBTIQA+ Honour Awards

Sydney artist Jeremy Smith has been nominated in the Arts category of this year's Honour Awards

LGBTIQA+ community health organisation ACON has announced the finalists for the NSW 2023 Honour Awards.

Held since 2007, the Honour Awards celebrates outstanding service to, and achievements within, the LGBTIQA+ community in NSW and culminate in a gala awards ceremony and fundraising event for ACON.

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 the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 23 August 2023.

Announcing the finalists, 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,” Parkhill says.

“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.”

“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 2023
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

The full list of finalists are:

COMMUNITY HERO (Presented by Dowson Turco Lawyers)

Sean Linkson: For co-founding and building The Pinnacle Foundation in support of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia.

Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco: For his decades-long community service and activism.

Lee-Anne McDougall: For supporting the development of LGBTQIA+ communities and promoting diversity in Newcastle and the wider Hunter region as co-founder and president of Newcastle Pride.

Xander Khoury: For his work in supporting sexuality and gender-diverse people of colour of Western Sydney through ballroom culture through initiatives such as House of Silky, Xaddy’s Door List Events, Australian Fashion Week and The West Ball.


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.

YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD (Presented by people2people)

Zoe Myers: For her important work in helping to build the youth-led Rainbow Wave Festival 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.

Bree Mountain: For her dedicated work in championing and elevating the bi+ community in New South Wales through founding the grassroots advocacy organisation, Bi+ Visibility, and establishing the now-popular event series BiCONIC.   

Sasha Bailey: For her impressive body of work as health researcher and advocate shining a light on mental health, trauma, substance use, inclusive healthcare and public health.
HEALTH & WELLBEING (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.
Sydney Local Health District: For their passion, commitment and hard work in delivering inclusive health services and care to LGBTIQ+ communities.

Garrett Prestage: 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.
HIV HERO (Presented by Positive Life NSW)

David Polson: For his tireless work as an advocate, speaker and community champion for people living with HIV.

Melissa Corr: For her service and commitment to the public HIV sector spanning 40 years.

Ruan Uys: Over the last decade, Ruan has advocated for, and on behalf of, people living with HIV, from his involvement with the Positive Speakers
Bureau and his work as Programs Manager at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.

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.    

MEDIA AWARD (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.

Michael Burge: For his body of literary work spanning journalism, non-fiction and fiction that explores LGBTQIA+ issues, history, culture and politics.

Rick Feneley & Greg Callaghan: For their collective body of work spanning two decades, covering LGBTIQ hate crimes in Sydney and NSW.

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.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT (Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)
Stan Munro: For his decades-long work in showbusiness and Australian drag entertainment.

Penelope Pettigrew: For her contributions and achievements both as an artist and a fierce advocate for the bi+ community.

Courtney Act: For their various accomplishments as an artist, performer, musician, TV presenter and writer.

Dan Murphy: For his work as an event producer, promoter, DJ, content creator and filmmaker.

BUSINESS AWARD (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.

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.

The Bearded Tit: For providing an inclusive and creative space for queer people to come together and for giving a platform to emerging artists.

Nungala Creative: Established by Warumungu / Wombaya woman Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative produces innovative content across various platforms and mediums with a distinct Aboriginal voice.


Jeremy Smith: Jeremy’s thought-provoking and visually captivating artworks expresses, interprets and explores the experiences, identities and issues within the LGBTQ+ community.

Dylan Mooney: Dylan Mooney is a proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist working across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing. He has been recognised for his large-scale queer-themed mural featuring a young First Nations couple installed in Kings Cross for Sydney WorldPride.

Jeff McCann: 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.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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