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Award Winners for Workplace LGBTQ Inclusion Announced as Landmark Survey Released

Investment firm JP Morgan and technology tertiary institution RMIT both took home the award for LGBTQ Employee Network of the Year at the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards held today at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

The 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards is Australia’s leading annual celebration of LGBTQ workplace inclusion. It is hosted by ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, the national not-for-profit LGBTQ inclusion support program for employers, sporting organisations and service providers.

Usually held in May, the awards luncheon was re-scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of awards have already been presented at a previous virtual event in earlier in the year.

Among the awards announced today were individual honours for LGBTQ inclusion including Executive Leadership (Alicia Albury, Maddocks), Network Leader of the Year (Ben Brown, QBE and Nathan Eastwood, Clifford Chance) and Out Role Model of the Year (Cathy Gassick, Australian Federal Police).

RMIT University was also recognised for its work in trans and gender diverse inclusion. This follows RMIT being named Employer of the Year at the preliminary awards announcement earlier in June.

The awards are based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – which is now in its tenth year – and the second Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). The AWEI and HWEI are rigorous and evidence-based benchmarking tools that annually assesses workplaces in the progress and impact of LGBTQ inclusion initiatives.

The awards also coincide with the release of Australia’s largest annual LGBTQ Inclusion Report that assesses the views of Australian employees from a wide variety of industries on LGBTQ inclusion initiatives within their workplaces and sports. This year the report features over 33,000 responses from employees and around 600 people involved in sport.

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said she was excited to have been able to share all of the results of the indices and the wonderful achievements of various organisations in LGBTQ inclusion.

“This year marks an important milestone for the AWEI, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. Over the past decade, we have seen incredible advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion. As we progress further, it remains critical that not only efforts are acknowledged and congratulated, but pressure continues to be applied to maintain and build upon what has been achieved,” Hough said.

“The employee survey that accompanied the AWEI elicited an incredible response, which underscores the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace.”

Highlights from this year’s survey results include significant support for LGBTQ inclusion amongst c-suite leaders within participating organisations; the visibility and positive impact of allies and LGBTQ inclusion on organisational culture in the workplace; and that LGBTQ inclusion training should be mandatory for all managers.

Discouraging findings included less people feeling comfortable to be out at work, with two of the main reasons being that it would not be accepted by some members of their team, or simply not being comfortable enough within themselves to be out at work.

Hough added: “The report also shows that LGBTQ people continue to be the target of negative commentary and innuendo as well as more serious bullying and harassment. So even as we have taken some big steps forward in improving inclusion within workplaces over the past ten years, these results indicate that there is much more to do and no organisation can afford to become complacent in ensuring all Australians are free to be their true selves at work.”

“Congratulations to all the recipients of the tiered awards announced today, including those the received Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum status, as well as those that received organisational awards. I commend all of them on their significant achievements and for showing great leadership in LGBTQ inclusion.” 

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.

“In 2020, Pride in Diversity celebrates its tenth year. After a decade, LGBTQ inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda and is making more of a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors every year as well,” Hough said.

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

This year’s luncheon was hosted by SBS World News presenter Ricardo Goncalves and featured winner of The Voice 2016, singer/songwriter Alfie Arcuri.

Click here to download a PDF version of the 2020 Awards Results booklet.

For more information on the Pride In Sport Awards, go to

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

Winners from the Australian Workplace Equality Index

Employer of the YearRMIT University
Platinum Employers (Long Term Gold Employers)Commonwealth Bank
University of Western Australia
Platinum ProjectsAccenture
Macquarie Group
Platinum Qualifiers for 2020Clayton Utz
RMIT University
Gold EmployersAGL Energy
Brisbane City Council
Clayton Utz
Deloitte Australia
Department of Agriculture
J.P. Morgan
Queensland Department of Education
QBE Insurance Australia
RMIT University
University of NSW
Woolworths Group
Silver EmployersAlcoa of Australia
Deakin University
Department of Social Services
DLA Piper
Energy Australia
Hollard Insurance
HSBC Australia
KPMG Australia
Macquarie University
Monash University
NSW Police Force
University of QLD
University of Sydney
Bronze EmployersABC
Australian Federal Police
Australian Taxation Office
Department of Defence
Department Education & Training, Victoria
Department of Health
Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria
Department of Industry, Innovation & Science
Griffith University
John Holland
Services Australia
Settlement Services International
The Star Entertainment Group
University of Wollongong
Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water & Planning
Most Improved Employer John Holland
Small Employer of the YearDentons
Small Employer GoldADSSI Limited
Boston Consulting Group
Clifford Chance
Deutsche Bank
McCullough Robertson Lawyers
Oliver Wyman
Small Employer SilverGilead Sciences
Royal Bank of Canada
Small Employer BronzeAllen & Overy
Key Assets – The Children’s Service Provider
Pinsent Masons
Russell Kennedy Lawyers
The GPT Group
Most Improved Small Employer ADDSI Limited

Individual Awards Categories – Finalists and Winners

Employee Network of the Year Winners:
J.P. Morgan
RMIT University

J.P. Morgan
RMIT University
Trans/Gender Diverse Inclusion Winner:
RMIT University

Deakin University
RMIT University
Executive Leadership Winner:
Alicia Albury, Maddocks

Alicia Albury, Maddocks
Glenn Morgan, Deutsche Bank
Gordon Williams, MinterEllison
Network Leader of the YearWinners:
Ben Brown, QBE
Nathan Eastwood, Clifford Chance

Ben Brown, QBE
Mark Sangiuliano, CBRE
Nathan Eastwood, Clifford Chance
Out Role Model Winner:
Cathy Grassick, Australian Federal Police

Cathy Grassick, Australian Federal Police
Dwayne Mullins, BHP
Steph Sands, Capgemini
Sapphire Inspire Winners:
Alix Sampson, AGL Energy
Meri Machin-Roberts, KPMG

Alix Sampson, AGL Energy
Amelia Kondilios, PwC
Meri Machin-Roberts, KPMG
Sally Webster Ally AwardWinner:
Belinda Young, AGL Energy

Genevieve Hawkins, Coles
Hannah Wright, Energy Australia
Belinda Young, AGL Energy

10 Year Achievement Awards

Achievement (2010 - 2020)Recipient
Organisations who achieved Employer of the Year twicePwC
RMIT University
Organisation who achieved Employee Network of the year twiceUnity, Commonwealth Bank
10 years of participation, Highest Ranking UniversityUniversity of Western Australia
10 year of participation, Highest Ranking Private SectorAccenture
Highest Ranking Public SectorAustralian Federal Police
Highest frequency, Highest Ranking NFP/CharityUniting NSW.ACT
Highest frequency, Small Employer of the YearKey Assets - The Children's Service Provider
Highest Score over any two year periodDepartment of Prime Minister & Cabinet

Winners from the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index

Service Provider of the YearAdvance Diversity Services
Gold Service ProvidersAdvance Diversity Services
Uniting NSW.ACT
Silver Service ProvidersFlourish Australia
NADA: Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies
UnitingCare Qld
Bronze Service ProvidersADSSI Limited
Most Improved Service Provider of the YearADSSI Limited

Click below to download: 2020 AWEI Benchmarking Tables

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For more information on the AWEI and Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards event, please contact the Pride in Diversity office on (02) 9206 2139 or at

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

*LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer