Stars gather for Australian LGBTI Awards

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Hundreds of LGBTI community leaders, celebrities and organisations attended the second annual Australian LGBTI Awards in Sydney.

Dubbed the “Gay Oscars”, the Australian LGBTI Awards were held in Sydney on Friday.

They were a chance to recognise the contributions and commitment of individuals and businesses to the LGBTI community in Australia. 

More than 1000 people were nominated by the public across 16 different categories.

Magda Szubanski won the LGBTI Celebrity Award, Joel Creasey won the Presenter Award and Bindi Irwin won the Ally Award.

Other winners included: pioneer activist Peter De Waal, who took home the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award; Orange Is the New Black won the Award for Film, TV and Web Series; the Marketing Campaign Award went to Airbnb; and SBS took out the Brand Award.

The red carpet.
The red carpet.
SBS

"A huge congratulations to all of our fantastic award winners tonight," said Australian LGBTI Awards Director, Silke Bader.

"These past months, it's been amazing to finally start to see some traction towards equality, opportunity and fair treatment for all. Such great strides would be impossible without their tireless contributions."

Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham was one of many openly gay Australian athletes at the event.

Speaking to SBS on the red carpet, Mitcham said the awards are an important way to acknowledge the variety of people who have contributed to the community in different ways.

"Whether it be corporate - and what they've done within their organisations to make it a more LGBTI friendly workplace, or celebrities who have really done a lot to bring the LGBTI movement forwards, it's a really great way to acknowledge people who've done really great things."

Prominent advocate for same-sex marriage and sister of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Christine Forster also attended alongside her new wife Virginia Flitcroft. 

Christine Forster and Virginia Flitcroft at Australian LGBTI Awards 2018.
Christine Forster and Virginia Flitcroft at Australian LGBTI Awards 2018.
SBS

"There are so many people that contribute so much all year round, Mardi Gras is just the icing on the cake where we get to celebrate and have a party," Ms Forster said. 

"It's really important that people are recognised for the hard work that they do and the contribution that they make. Awards nights like these are a great, public way to do that." 

Transgender comedian Jordan Raskopoulos told SBS the awards night is another example of how far Australia has come in recent decades.  

Australian comedian Jordan Raskopoulos at Australian LGBTI Awards 2018.
Australian comedian Jordan Raskopoulos at Australian LGBTI Awards 2018.
SBS

"I think it's great to take stock of all the work that everybody is doing and the support that has come out for LGBTQIA+ people, and it's wonderful to see how much the world has changed in the last 40 years."

Public Award Winners

Brand: SBS

Destination: Vienna

International Celebrity: Conchita Wurst

Ally: Bindi Irwin

Film, TV & Web series: Orange Is the New Black

Presenter: Joel Creasey

Community Initiative/Charity: Sydney Swans

Hero: Kerryn Phelps

LGBTI Celebrity: Magda Szubanski

Marketing Campaign: Airbnb

Music Artist: Beccy Cole

Sports Personality: Casey Dellacqua

Politician: Alex Greenwich

Organisation: Brown-Forman

Corporate Award Winners

Diversity Champion: Ross Wetherbee – CBA

LGBTI Employee Network Group: Australia Post – Post Pride

Inspirational Role Model: Alan Joyce – Qantas

Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter De Waal

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