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50+ LGBTIQ organisations and Allies support affirming Religious Discrimination Bill

Originally published by Equality Australia, 16 July 2019


More than 50 LGBTIQ+ and ally organisations from all over Australia have released a joint statement in support of an affirming Religious Discrimination Act.

Anna Brown*, CEO of Equality Australia, has called on the Government to follow through on their federal election promises and ensure that the as-yet-unseen Religious Discrimination Bill does not take Australia backwards on equality.

“We support protections from discrimination for people of all faiths, and for people who don’t hold religious beliefs, provided these laws do not sanction new forms of discrimination against others”, said Ms Brown.

“Conservative religious groups, like the Australian Christian Lobby, are trying to use this protection from discrimination as payback for marriage equality. But we cannot let their cynical politics divide us when we are seeing the rise of vilification and hate crimes against others, such as Muslim or Jewish Australians.

“Our anti-discrimination laws should be a shield against discrimination, not a sword to attack others. We call on the Parliament to ensure that protections against religious discrimination cannot be used to harm others or undermine existing anti-discrimination protections.

“Australians consistently show that we value equality. We saw it in the overwhelming majority who voted YES for marriage equality, including people of faith”, concluded Ms Brown.

*Uses she/her pronouns

MEDIA CONTACT: Hayley Conway, 0484 313 466

Joint LGBTIQ+ community statement in support of religious discrimination protections

We, the undersigned LGBTIQ+ advocates, organisations and allies, place on the public record our support for protections from discrimination for people of all faiths, and for people who don’t hold religious beliefs, provided these laws do not sanction new forms of discrimination against others.

As members of LGBTIQ+ communities, we have seen and experienced firsthand the immense harm discrimination causes. Discrimination has a devastating impact on physical and mental health, and an individual’s sense of acceptance and belonging.

We strongly believe that no one should be treated as ‘less than’ because of who you are or what you believe.

For more than forty years, we have advocated for the removal of discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics. We have stood in solidarity with women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability and many others in their fight for equal treatment under the law.

So too we stand with all people of faith in their fight against discrimination because of their religious beliefs, including discrimination against people because they don’t hold religious beliefs. We recognise and acknowledge the many LGBTIQ+ people of faith, and the positive steps taken by many faith groups and schools to model genuine inclusion, showing how the rights of all can be integrated harmoniously.

We call on the Australian Parliament to introduce laws that appropriately strengthen that shield of protection for people facing discrimination because of their religious beliefs or because they don’t hold religious beliefs.

Equally, we caution the Australian Parliament against laws that would give some people within society a ‘sword’ to use their beliefs to harm others by cutting through existing anti-discrimination protections.

We will oppose any new laws which would give religious groups a license to discriminate against others in a way that would sanction mistreatment or wind back the clock on equality.

And we will continue to call for the removal of existing laws which allow religious schools to exclude and discriminate against LGBTQ students and teachers across the country, and from critical government funded services.

Australia has long prided itself as being the land of the fair go. Australians have consistently demonstrated that they value equality before the law – as shown by the overwhelming majority who voted YES during the marriage equality postal survey, including people of faith.

Australia is well on the path towards becoming a more equal place, and we support fair and balanced protections from discrimination for all people which move us forward on this journey.


  1. ACON
  2. ACT LGBTIQ Ministerial Advisory Council
  3. Activate Church
  4. AIDS Action Council
  5. AIS Support Group Australia
  6. Aleph Melbourne
  7. Amnesty International Australia
  8. Australian Catholics for Equality
  9. Australian Council of Social Services
  10. Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council
  11. Australian Marriage Equality
  12. Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland
  13. Bisexual Community Perth
  14. Curtin University Centre for Human Rights Education
  15. Democracy in Colour
  16. Equal Voices
  17. Equality Australia
  18. Equality Gilmore
  19. Equality Tasmania
  20. Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW
  21. GLBTI Rights in Ageing
  22. Goulburn Valley Pride
  23. Human Rights Law Centre
  24. Intersex Human Rights Australia
  25. Just Equal
  26. LGBTI Legal Service
  27. Minus 18
  28. National LGBTI Health Alliance
  29. Parents of Gender Diverse Children
  30. PFLAG Tasmania
  31. Public Interest Advocacy Centre
  32. Queensland AIDS Council
  33. Queer Society
  34. Rainbow Families NSW
  35. Rainbow Families Victoria
  36. Rainbow Territory
  37. Social Justice Commission of the Uniting Church of Western Australia
  38. South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance
  39. Stonewall
  40. Switchboard
  41. The Equality Project
  42. Thorne Harbour Health
  43. Trans Folk of WA
  44. Trans Health Australia
  45. Transcend Support
  46. Transgender Victoria
  47. Twenty10
  48. Uniting Church LGBTIQ Network
  49. Victorian Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby
  50. Welcoming Australia
  51. Zoe Belle Gender Collective

I’m the gay grandson of a persecuted Jew; freedom of religion is not freedom to harm

Originally published by Justin Koonin, 15 July 2019 | Sydney Morning Herald 


A few months ago, while researching my family history, I came across a letter addressed to my grandfather, Walter Mankiewicz, from his employer, the Reichs-Kredit-Gesellschaft, one of Germany’s large state-owned banks.

Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg in 1933, the year that Jews such as Walter Mankiewicz were told that their jobs were being terminated.
Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg in 1933, the year that Jews such as Walter Mankiewicz were told that their jobs were being terminated.

Dated July 29, 1933, a few months after Adolf Hitler had come to power, the letter informed my grandfather that on the basis of the recently passed Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, the banks was obliged to terminate his employment, and thanked him for his services.

My grandfather’s employment was terminated for no other reason than that he was Jewish. Shortly after, he fled Germany for South Africa as a refugee.

In the midst of the current rancorous debate about freedom of religion, there is a misconception of a grand feud between lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people on the one hand, and people of faith on the other.

The reality is far more complex, not least because many LGBTQI people come from a faith background themselves. Perhaps more than most, we are sensitised to the harm that is caused when any group in society is marginalised on account of their identity.

Illustration: Simon Bosch


We support laws that shield people from discrimination on account of their religious beliefs precisely because we have experienced discrimination ourselves.

However, we should not confuse freedom of belief and worship with the freedom to cause harm on the basis of those beliefs.

While health data for people of diverse sexuality and gender remains woefully incomplete, that which does exist does not paint a pretty picture. According to statistics from the National LGBTI Health Alliance, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime than the general population. Transgender people aged 18 and over are nearly 11 times more likely – and more than a third of this cohort has attempted suicide in their lifetime.

Statistics around self-harm, depression and anxiety are similarly troubling. There is nothing inherently wrong with these people. Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation removed transgender and gender identity-related issues from its manual of mental health disorders, as it did with homosexuality in 1990. Rather, mental health concerns arise as a result of repeated exposure to societal messaging that tells people they are inadequate, incomplete or flawed.

When gay or transgender children, without a solid system of community support, hear that their existence is the work of the devil, and that they are going to hell as a result, it does not take much foresight to envision the mental health consequences.

So when we challenge the public expression of views that have the potential to cause harm, it is not because we are trying to limit freedom of religion. We do it because we are trying to keep people alive.

As the government prepares to introduce a Religious Discrimination Bill, it is critical that we have a mature national conversation about the vibrant, pluralistic country that we can be – a country that respects difference, sees our diversity as our strength, and seeks to build people up rather than tear them down.

If we can’t, the cost will be measured in lives.

Dr Justin Koonin is the President of ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTQI health organisation.

Gold employers: PM&C and ATO recognised at LGBTI inclusion awards

by David Donaldson, The Mandarin, 28 May 2019


The Australian Tax Office and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet have been named among Australia’s best employers for LGBTI inclusion.

Both were included on the list of 14 gold employers at last week’s Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity — the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

The awards are based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index — an evidence-based benchmarking tool that annually assesses workplaces in their progress and impact on LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

PM&C was also named most improved.

RMIT University took out the top spot as employer of the year — the first time the award has not gone to a private sector business. RMIT also won best on trans and gender diverse inclusion, acknowledging the support offered via the gender transition guide, including special leave for staff transitioning genders.

Andrea Kenafake, divisional manager city planning and sustainability at Brisbane City Council, took the executive leadership award, while her employer was included on the gold list. Nicholas Steepe from Charles Sturt University won the out role model award.

The inclusive service provider of the year is Uniting, which is also a gold employer. The full list of gold employers includes:

  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Clayton Utz
  • Deakin University
  • Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet
  • EY
  • Macquarie Bank Limited
  • MinterEllison
  • NAB
  • PwC
  • QBE Insurance Australia
  • RMIT University
  • Uniting
  • Woolworths Group

Four employers were awarded platinum status for longevity in high performance — Accenture, LendLease, ANZ and the University of Western Australia. Two employers have qualified for platinum status next year — EY and the Macquarie Group.

There has been continued growth in participation in the index since its launch in 2010, said Dawn Hough, director of ACON’s pride inclusion programs.

“This is the ninth year of the AWEI and, once again, we have record numbers of employers across all sectors and states participating in the index. The accompanying employee survey elicited a staggering 27,349 responses, which underscores the importance of LGBTI inclusion in the workplace,” Hough said.

“Practice is continuing to shift significantly in this space with employers across Australia not only maintaining their commitment to LGBTI inclusion but in fact strengthening their inclusion initiatives and activities. Scores required to obtain the various tiers of recognition have continued to increase.”

Pride in Diversity is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion programs delivered by ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation.

Microsoft celebrates Pride, takes action for equity and visibility

 |   Chris Capossela – Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer


Fifty years ago, on June 28, LGBTQI+ patrons and allies at New York City’s Stonewall Inn stood up for justice demanding an equal life free of persecution. This year, as more than 4,000 Microsoft employees march in Pride parades in more than 60 cities and 30 countries around the world, we invite you to join us in pushing inclusion forward.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, we’re taking action for equity by donating to LGBTQI+ nonprofits. Plus, we’re releasing limited-edition products designed with and by the LGBTQI+ community.


YouTube Video


Microsoft has a history of LGBTQI+ inclusion

For us, Pride is an opportunity to reflect on our past and galvanize for action. We started our inclusion journey early in the company’s history, introducing sexual orientation in our non-discrimination policies in 1989. In 1993, we were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex domestic partners. In 2004, we added gender identity to our Equal Employment Opportunity statement and started providing gender affirming healthcare services. Since 2005, Microsoft has attained a top  score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which indicates that Microsoft is establishing and applying policies to protect the LGBTQI+ community.

Our journey is just beginning

Today, Microsoft operates in over 120 countries, most of which still don’t provide legal protections for LGBTQI+ individuals. This year, Microsoft’s Pride campaign is all about the actions that our employees and customers are taking to advance inclusion. GLEAM (Global LGBTQI+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft), our LGBTQI+ resource group, worked with many of our teams to develop products to create visibility into the LGBTQI+ community.

In designing this year’s Pride campaign, LGBTQI+ designers and allies at Microsoft reflected on the LGBTQI+ rights movement of the 1970s. Dozens of LGBTQI+ community members and their allies submitted designs for campaign buttons displaying everything from personal statements to political slogans. These buttons reflect actions that people at Microsoft are taking and are encouraging others to take.

Microsoft is releasing all the button designs as a downloadable archive so everyone can use them, add to them and share their Pride with everyone, wherever they are.

Several Pride-related buttons

For the first time, we’ve also created limited-edition products and curated content to show our continued support for the LGBTQI+ community.

  • Surface – Inspired by the rich and varied tapestry of the LGBTQI+ community, make a more colorful impact with the limited-edition Surface Pro Pride Type Cover and Pride Skin available in the US, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. (only Type Cover).

YouTube Video

  • Windows PrideWindows – This Windows 10 special-edition theme was inspired by the many LGBTQI+ flags. Download the Windows Pride theme pack from the Microsoft Store.
  • Mixer – Discover Pride on Mixer with dedicated streams from select partners, unique stickers, and exclusive programs. Tune in on June 30th to live stream the Seattle Pride Parade!
  • Bing – Learn more about Stonewall on Bing with uniquely curated content featuring LGBTQI+ Bing Prideactivismdating back to 1969 with this quiz. And see Pride take over the Bing homepage in select countries around the world.
  • Office – Show your Pride colors with the exclusive Office theme and unique Pride templates for PowerPoint.
  • Skype – Celebrate Pride with Skype’s new LGBTQI+ flag emoticons, stickers, and more.
  • Xbox – Show your colors and celebrate your love of gaming with the Xbox Pride Sphere Pin available at Pride
  • Microsoft Rewards – Support LGBTQI+ youth in crisis by donating to The Trevor Project in June, and we’ll match it. Not a Microsoft Rewards member? Join today and we’ll give you $1 free to donate.
  • Microsoft Store – Visit your local Microsoft Store to take part in a Pride celebration, march with us, or learn more at educational workshops, events, and other activities.

Actions speak louder than words!

We’re donating $100,000 to the following nonprofits in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States to celebrate and support their work on LGBTQI+ equity:

  • Established in 1985, ACON is Australia’s largest health promotion organization specializing in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTQ health.
  • Egale works to improve the lives of LGBTQI2S people in Canada and to enhance the global response to LGBTQI2S issues. They do this by informing public policy, inspiring cultural change, and promoting human rights and inclusion.
  • Mermaids is the only U.K.-wide charity working to support transgender or gender non-conforming children, young people, and their families. Their goal is to create a world where gender-diverse children and young people can be themselves and thrive. Mermaids promotes education and awareness, and offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences to those in need.
  •  The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people under 25.

We’re also happy to announce that LGBTQI+ nonprofit, Destination Tomorrow, was awarded a grant from the Microsoft Store to support their inclusion efforts for people of color. See what happened when we took action to help them thrive.

YouTube Video

We invite everyone to join us in taking action for equality. Microsoft Pride 2019 products launch today! Follow along with our stories all month and learn more about actions you can take for equality by joining the social conversation using #MicrosoftPride.

Media agency Initiative scores two national awards for LGBTI inclusion at AWEI Awards


Media communications agency Initiative has been awarded two of the top honours at the 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Awards, celebrating LGBTI Inclusion. AWEI is a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking program that annually assesses workplaces on the progress and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

The awards are hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity, the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

Initiative was awarded Gold in the Small Employer (less than 200 people) category and was also named Small Employer of the Year. The agency was among many of Australia’s largest and high-profile corporate entities recognised for their LGBTI inclusion programs, such as Macquarie Bank, Australian Taxation Office, ANZ, LendLease, Woolworths, PwC, Brisbane City Council and RMIT University.

Initiative Australia has focused its LGBTI inclusion through the agency’s bespoke Rainbow Elephant program that includes developing HR policy and diversity practice, strategy and accountability, LGBTI training, network and champion initiatives, visibility and inclusion, community engagement and advocacy. The program is led by the agency’s head of studio Olivia Warren and national director of people and culture, Scott Laird.

Says Warren: “This award fills me with a lot of pride. I feel very fortunate to work in an environment that not only accepts me for who I am but fosters an environment that is supportive and inclusive for all.”

Initiative’s national CEO Melissa Fein said the LGBTI inclusion awards were a massive highlight for the business: “The whole agency has supported our progress in being a more inclusive and welcoming workplace, especially for the LGBTI community. Olivia and Scott have also been inspirational leaders for a group of agency volunteers and these awards prove how popular and effective our Rainbow Elephant program has been.”

There were just 17 employers, Australia wide, who received Gold standard in LGBTI inclusion, three of which were in the small-employer category (less than 200 employees) where Initiative was recognised. The agency’s Rainbow Elephant program continues to be an important internal program.

View the winners here.

Sapphire Inspire Award Winner 2019

12 June 2016

The Sapphire inspire Award celebrates the achievements of an LGBTIQ+ Woman, from their impact on workplace inclusion and support of other out women, to contributions they’ve made to promote and encourage such visibility. It is an individual award nomination that is part of the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and announced at The Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

With some outstanding achievements from several women nominated for this year’s award, the 2019 winner is Caitlin Monnery–Korving from ANZ. The award was announced by Pride in Diversity Relationship Managers Sarah Cox and Nicki Elkin, who govern the Sapphire Initiative.

Caitlin impressed the judges with the inspiring number of activities she delivered throughout 2018. In particular, she was instrumental in the development and creation of Women in Pride, a network for LGBTIQ+ women and allies within ANZ, and co-creator of Rainbow Women, an external network in Melbourne. Caitlin also drove ANZ’s early endorsement of the Darlington Statement for Intersex People.

The name of the award stems from Pride in Diversity’s Sapphire Initiative, developed to generate greater awareness of the unique challenges faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTIQ+) women in the workplace. The Sapphire initiative seeks to provide women with an opportunity to openly express and discuss some of these challenges in a safe, non-confrontational professional environment.

The initiative seeks to engage LGBTIQ+ women (regardless of whether or not they are out at work) who feel passionate about wanting to see a more inclusive workplace, one in which LGBTIQ+ women can freely be themselves at work and one in which there is a greater visibility of  ‘out’ female role models.

The dual impacts of being an out LGBTIQ+ female role model in the workplace is often referred to as the double-glass ceiling. Caitlin’s work in this area has certainly had a major impact, progressing towards equality, inclusion and visibility of LGBTIQ+ women in the workplace.

Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Inititative or become a member.

This year, ANZ was also recognised as a Platinum Employer of the AWEI, having achieved Gold Employer Status for the past four years. In recent years, ANZ has previously been recipients of:

  • Employer of the Year (2017)
  • The Sally Webster Ally Award (Melissa Tandy, 2016 & 2018)
  • External Media Campaign (2018)
  • Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion (2017)
  • Out Role Model Award (Dave Beks, 2017)

ANZ is a Pride in Diversity member.

University of Sydney awarded Silver at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards

University of Sydney, 27 May 2019



The University of Sydney has been named as a Silver Employer at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, up from last year’s Bronze award. The awards are based on the results of submissions to the Australian Workplace Equality Index.

Dr Matt Pye, Academic Fellow in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Co-Chair of the University’s Pride Network described what the award meant to him: “It means validation for the work that the whole team does, in addition to our own jobs, trying to instil a set of behaviours, policies and procedures to influence change, with equity for all being our ultimate goal. This kind of award means being recognised by external bodies in competition a range of other impressive high-profile organisations, all held to an extremely high standard. For a University to achieve this status is no mean feat and I am so proud of all of the work we have achieved over such a short period of time.”

Christie Adamson, School Manager of Sydney Nursing School and Co-Chair of the Pride Network, said, “I am delighted that our work in trying to improve LGBTIQ inclusion at the University has been recognised in this way. It recognises the importance of providing a safe and supportive environment for our LGBTIQ staff and students. With a highly engaged Pride Network, we will continue to see further growth and improvement in this space. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for this achievement.”

I would like to congratulate everyone who contributed to the success of the University in winning this award. Professor Stephen Garton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Step up to silver

Silver recognition is given to employers that have obtained high scores on the AWEI and provided evidence of a substantial amount of sustained or new work in LGBTI inclusion. The recognition is difficult to obtain and quite often, the score differences between silver and gold recognition are minimal.

Submissions are marked according to a set of stringent criteria and given a total score out of 200. In 2018, the University received 107 points and this year we received 153. The scores required to achieve each level have gone up year on year, making it harder to achieve the same level – a reflection of the strides being made in this area by organisations across Australia.

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Garton, who is executive sponsor of the Pride Network, said that the results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many of our staff.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who contributed to the success of the University in winning this award, which recognises our deep commitment to enabling all of our LGBTIQ staff and students to bring their whole selves to work and to their University study. It is so important to the culture of our institution that we create space for all of us to do our best work,” Professor Garton said.

Australia’s top organisations for LGBTI inclusion announced

ACON, 24 May 2019


RMIT University has been named the 2019 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity – the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion in Australia.

More than 730 business leaders, diversity champions and HR professionals representing all sectors and employer sizes came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking tool that annually assesses workplaces in the progress and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

This year reflects the greatest diversity of top employers achieving Platinum and Gold Employer Status in the history of the AWEI. It is also the first time that a non-private commercial organisation has been awarded Employer of the Year status.

This year top employers spanned public, private, higher education and not-for-profit sectors:

  • Four employers have been awarded Platinum Status for longevity in high performance (Accenture, LendLease, ANZ, UWA).
  • Two employers have qualified for Platinum Status next year (EY, Macquarie Group).
  • 14 employers have been awarded Gold Status for highest results within the current year.
  • The Small Employer component of the index also saw an increase in participation and scores with Initiative Media taking out the Small Employer of the Year.

 The year’s awards were attended by a record number of CEOs and business leaders with Qantas CEO and Patron, Alan Joyce, providing this year’s keynote address.

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said there has been continued growth in participation in the index since its launch in 2010.

“This is the ninth year of the AWEI and, once again, we have record numbers of employers across all sectors and states participating in the index. The accompanying employee survey elicited a staggering 27,349 responses, which underscores the importance of LGBTI inclusion in the workplace,” Hough said.

“Practice is continuing to shift significantly in this space with employers across Australia not only maintaining their commitment to LGBTI inclusion but in fact strengthening their inclusion initiatives and activities. Scores required to obtain the various tiers of recognition have continued to increase. We are delighted with the continual growth and focus exercised within this area of diversity and inclusion,” Hough said.

Pride in Diversity is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion programs delivered by ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation. Pride Inclusion Programs also includes Pride In Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing.

This year awards also celebrated the results of the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI) focusing on LGBT inclusive service provision. The award for Inclusive Service Provider of the Year went to Uniting, which is also a Gold Employer in the AWEI.

“LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, and is starting to make a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors as well,” Hough said.

“Congratulations to all award winners recognised today on their significant achievements and for showing great leadership in LGBTI inclusion.”

Pride Inclusion Programs will next celebrate LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport at the second Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne on 12 June. Held at Cargo Hall, the event will be hosted by NITV’s Matty Webb and attended by Pride in Sport co-patrons Alex Blackwell and Daniel Kowalski, along with several other leading sporting and community figures.

For more information on ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, go to

Pictured: Pride In Diversity Co-Patron Alan Joyce with representatives from RMIT, 2019 Employer of the Year


2019 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards


2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index Award Recipients


Employer of the Year        

RMIT University


LGBTI Employee Network of the Year           

LGBTI ERG, LendLease


Platinum Employers (Long-term Gold Employers)      




University of Western Australia


Platinum Qualifiers for 2020            


Macquarie Group


Gold Employers   

Australian Taxation Office

Brisbane City Council

Clayton Utz

Deakin University

Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet


Macquarie Bank Limited




QBE Insurance Australia

RMIT University


Woolworths Group


Small Employer Gold

Initiative Media

Oliver Wyman

BlackRock Investment Management Australia


Small Employer of the Year              

Initiative Media


Most Improved Employer

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet


Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion

RMIT University


External Media Campaign

‘The Road to Broken Hill’ AAMI, Suncorp


Executive Leadership

Andrea Kenafake, Brisbane City Council


Network Leader of the Year

Cameron Tirendi, BHP


Out Role Model

Nicholas Steepe, Charles Sturt University


Sapphire Inspire

Caitlin Monnery-Korving, ANZ


The Sally Webster Ally Award          

Joint winners: Ian Bennett (PwC) & Superintendent Richard Roberts (AFP – posthumously awarded)


2019 Health + Wellbeing Equality Index Award Recipients


LGBTI Inclusive Service Provider of the Year



Gold Service Providers

Reliant Healthcare

Flourish Australia


What did EY do, to be named the most inclusive employer in Australia?

OUT IN PERTH – 28 May, 2018

Professional services firm EY was named Australia’s most inclusive employer at the Pride in Diversity Awards last week.

Lynn Kraus, Managing Partner for Advisory – and the executive sponsor for Unity, the organisation’s LGBTIQ network, chatted to OUTinPerth about what the organisation has done to change their workplaces over the last few years.

“We are super excited and absolutely humbled,” Kraus said of the organisation’s achievement in the awards. “Its an amazing group of organisations every year when we go to the awards, and this year what they are all doing is really inspiring.”

Kraus said the EY team were surprised to be named as the winner in 2018 but its a goal they’d been working towards for a long time.

“It’s been five years of really hard work.” Kraus said noting that back in 2013 the company landed in the 35th position nationally.  “To get from where we were five years ago to where we are today has been a lot of hard work, a lot of resilience and a lot of persistence.”

Kraus said the organisation had invested a lot of time into making sure that EY was not only an attractive workplace for LGBTI employees but also ensuring that the entire workplace was inclusive of everybody.

“We’ve done a lot of awareness training and education, but also brought in some partners that have helped us focus on that journey.” Kraus said citing a collaboration with mental health group Reach Out as a key ingredient in the company’s change management process.

The process of bringing in change at EY has involved everything from having a great time marching in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, to holding awareness sessions for staff members, and sponsoring Sydney’s gay rugby team The Convicts.

“It’s not just for employees who identify as LGBTIQ.” Kraus said, “There are also parents among our staff who have children who are coming out, and it’s created a support network for them too.”

EY have also been eager to share there experiences with other companies in their industry, encouraging their competitors and collaborates to also embrace diversity.

“There’s not just one thing you can do that’s going to make a different, its got to be everything and its got to be constant.”

Kraus said she was particularly proud of the fact that EY had been one of the first large companies to voice support for marriage equality.

“That was tough because as an organisation we went out early on and said we were supportive, when maybe that’s not where everyone was at. We had a lot of people challenge us, and question us.” Kraus said.

“We did know that we could speak on behalf of our employees and say that they wanted an inclusive workplace, and that’s what we try to create everyday.”

The Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, are hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity – the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

More than 700 business leaders, diversity champions, HR professionals and many more actively working on LGBTI inclusion came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI); a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking instrument that assesses workplaces in the work and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

2018 AWEI awards Uniting for commitment to LGTBIQ inclusion


Uniting has won three awards in the 2018 Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI), recognising the faith-based organisation for its commitment to inclusivity and support for the LGBTIQ community.

The AWEI awards are an independent benchmark of the actions taken by Australian organisations as LGBTIQ-inclusive employers. More than 130 organisations entered the 2018 AWEI awards by demonstrating their inclusiveness in the previous calendar year, which are then benchmarked against other organisations.

“All Uniting community services, including youth services, aged care and chaplaincy, are backed by an organisation-wide commitment to inclusion and diversity. We welcome all people irrespective of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or intersex status,” Uniting Director Customer, People and Systems, Jill Reich said.

The three AWEI awards presented to Uniting in 2018 are:

  1. A gold employer award, one of only 12 awarded and the only non-government not­ for-profit to receive the award this year;
  2. The award for Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion; and
  3. Uniting team member, Kimberly Olsen, was awarded the Sapphire Inspire Award for lesbian, bi or trans women of influence in the workforce.

In the last two years Uniting has also won the following AWEI awards;  the Pride in Diversity gold employer award and Best Not-For-Profit in 2016, and a silver employer award in 2017.

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW/ACT General Secretary, Rev. Jane Fry congratulated Uniting for their achievements.

“How fantastic to see Uniting recognised (again) for its inspiring work and ongoing commitment to inclusivity in all its operations. This is a real example of what it means to recognise the image of God in all people,” said Rev. Fry.

Ms Reich said that confronting injustice in order to create an inclusive and just world is one of the major aims of Uniting.

“This includes advocating for compassion and inclusivity for all Australians, including the many LGBTIQ members of our community,” Ms Reich said.

“These awards recognise Uniting’s ethos of welcoming people exactly as they are. In addition to promoting inclusivity within the workplace, Uniting teams also proudly participate in LGBTIQ community events across the state, including the Broken Heel Festival in Broken Hill, Fruitopia Festival in Lismore, and Pride Marches in Dubbo.

“Uniting Church members have also participated in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 1998, and have marched alongside Uniting in recent years.”

In addition to being the only faith based organisation to receive the AWEI awards, Uniting was also the first faith-based organisation in Australia to receive Rainbow Tick accreditation, which it first received in 2015 for aged care and corporate services.