2024 LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards: Winner Statements

The annual Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards are based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), which is Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTQ+ inclusion within Australian workplaces. It is a tool based on the rigorous assessment of evidence submitted annually by nearly 200 organisations.

Below are statements from CEOs of organisations who have obtained Gold and/or Platinum Employer status based on the results of the AWEI.

Also below are statements from winners in our Nominated Award categories, which are not based on the results of the Index Submission but celebrated and acknowledged at the same event.

Platinum Employer Recognition

Platinum Employer recognition acknowledges the highest levels of performance within the AWEI over a sustained period of time. Employers must first qualify for Platinum Tier recognition by achieving an AWEI score within the current Gold range of scores for four out of the last five successive years; or be awarded Employer of the Year twice within that period.

Once an employer qualifies for Platinum Employer recognition, they may then choose to alternate between a workplace project and the AWEI Submission. This reduces the full AWEI benchmarking submission to once every three years should the alternative AWEI project offer be taken up

Platinum Employer recognition must be maintained annually by maintaining the criteria for four of the last five submission cycles. If this criteria is not met, employers drop back to the employer tier dictated by their score. Annual Platinum status is the highest obtainable recognition within the AWEI.

AWEI Platinum Tier Employers (500 or less employees)

AGL Energy

I’m proud AGL has been awarded AWEI Platinum Employer status in recognition of our journey and commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

We recognise a workforce rich in diverse experiences and perspectives is crucial for understanding and engaging with our customers and the communities in which we operate. We believe in creating an environment where everyone, including our LGBTQ+ employees and customers, feel welcome, safe and included.

In 2014, we established AGL Shine, our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, which has been instrumental in advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusion, both within AGL and in the broader community.

An important part of this work includes successfully petitioning the Australian Energy Market Operator to introduce a gender-neutral title – Mx – for customers in the National Electricity Market. This recognition demonstrates our ongoing efforts to promote awareness, educate on inclusive language and build a deeper understanding of gender identity.

AGL's inclusion journey reflects our values and belief in the power of diversity to drive innovation and create an inclusive energy future where everyone is empowered to shine.

 Damien Nicks
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Australian Taxation Office

I’m extremely proud that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has maintained our Platinum Employer Status with AWEI, as it reinforces our existing efforts to increase LGBTQ+ inclusion at the ATO, and allows us to show leadership in the wider APS.

This award celebrates the continued efforts of our people, particularly those in our ATOMIC LGBTQ+ employee network and Inclusion and Diversity team, and our SES Diversity Champions. They work diligently to foster inclusion for our LGBTQ+ employees, and support us as an organisation to provide better service to the Australian community.

At the ATO, we prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion by embracing diversity of experience and perspective to create a workplace where everyone can thrive. We are focused on raising awareness and providing education to our employees, supporting them to call out and acknowledge unconscious bias, and ensuring we have robust policies and processes in place so that all employees feel valued and inspired to progress in their careers in the APS.

We have come a long way, but we still have a lot more to do. We will continue to make the ATO an employer of choice, where our employees feel safe, are empowered to speak up, and can bring their unique and best selves to work.

Rob Heferen
Commissioner

Clayton Utz

At Clayton Utz we are a diverse community strengthened by our culture of inclusion and belonging. Our diversity and inclusion network, Momentum, aims to embrace all diversity streams, with specific programs for gender, LGBTIQA+, cultural diversity, and accessibility and inclusion.

Our Momentum LGBTIQA+ program is an essential part of our diversity agenda and our efforts to create a workplace that fosters the inclusivity which makes our firm what it is. The program empowers our LGBTIQA+ colleagues and allies to bring their whole selves to work, to feel comfortable and free to contribute, and to achieve their full potential.

Importantly, Momentum LGBTIQA+ drives the development of policies, training and other initiatives to assist the LGBTIQA+ program to achieve its objectives, and has done so for many years.

We were the first major law firm to achieve Platinum Employer recognition from AWEI back in 2022, and we are proud our ongoing efforts in this space through our Momentum program have been recognised once more.

There are many members of our LGBTIQA+ community who have devoted countless hours to ensuring we continue to drive change and foster an inclusive culture in our firm. There are many others, too, who are equally devoted to our broader Momentum agenda and offerings. It's only with this goodwill and dedication that we'll continue to be an employer of choice and best celebrate the diverse community of which we are so proud.

Nick Cooper
Deputy Chief Executive Partner
Momentum LGBTIQA+ Executive Sponsor

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is delighted to be recognised as a Platinum Employer for the second year running in this year’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

Platinum Employer recognition highlights the material work and progress undertaken by the bank during the assessment period. Achieving this for the second consecutive year underscores our ongoing commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Each year, the AWEI index gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved, while also considering how we are going to take our efforts in support of the LGBTQ community to the next level. I am incredibly proud that we have once again obtained Platinum status, placing us in the top tier of employers nationally and recognising the outstanding work of our local dbPride team.

dbPride is Deutsche Bank’s global LGBTQ employee network and offers a supportive network for the LGBTQ community and allies within the bank. Its mission is to promote a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees can bring their whole self to work.

In Australia, dbPride regularly runs LGBTQ education and awareness sessions and ally training sessions, as well as a range of events for members and employees. The bank is active in the LGBTQ community, supporting international awareness days and fundraising. Our dbPride Committee and its network do a fantastic job in driving the diversity and inclusion agenda. It is important to recognise and celebrate our efforts but we know that the work does not stop here. There is much more we can do to achieve a supportive, fair and inclusive workplace.

We are aware that the numbers of the LGBTQ community who do not feel comfortable coming out at work continues to rise. It is critical that this remains a high level of focus for us, and we are working incredibly hard to ensure that everyone can feel safe and empowered to bring their whole self to work.

Our sincere thanks to the ACON/Pride in Diversity team for helping us make Deutsche Bank a better place to work for all of our local employees.

Glenn Morgan
CEO Australia & Executive Sponsor dbPride

EY Oceania

I’m incredibly proud to see EY Australia once again achieve AWEI Platinum status. This recognition is a testament to our enduring commitment to creating a workplace where diversity is not just encouraged but celebrated — a place where every individual can confidently bring their whole self to work, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Achieving Platinum status is marked by years of continuous, focused effort. While we take pride in the recognition EY Australia has garnered, the true significance of our achievement lies in the profound impact it has had on our people and the broader LGBTQ+ community. I am particularly grateful to the EY Unity network for their remarkable contributions. Their vision, leadership, and unwavering commitment have been pivotal in cultivating our inclusive culture and enhancing the LGBTQ+ experience.

Future leaders must champion transformation and inclusivity, fostering a culture where everyone feels they truly belong. We are committed to our Purpose of building a Better Working World, where the inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals is integral to our collective success - and celebrated as a cornerstone of our collective identity.

David Larocca
EY Regional Managing Partner and CEO, Oceania

MinterEllison

We're incredibly excited to have been recognised for the first time as a Platinum Employer at this year's LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards.

This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to inclusion and is testament to the hard work and passion of our PRIME committee. Our PRIME network is an integral part of our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion, and our committee members give their time and voices to ensure we're maintaining an inclusive environment for our people, clients and communities.

As one of Australia's largest law firms, we've helped many of our clients with their own diversity and inclusion strategies and have connected them with our community partners to create systemic change and sustainable value.

We champion and advocate for inclusion. We do this because diversity is our greatest strength and we want all our people to feel included, valued, respected and recognised – at work and in our communities.

Our role as the pro bono legal partners for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is one we've proudly held for over 25 years. We were the first law firm to march in the parade from 2020 to 2023 and in 2024, we gave our position in the parade to the LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation to make sure their voice had a platform.

Virginia Briggs
CEO and Managing Partner

PwC Australia

At PwC Australia, we strive to provide an inclusive culture where our people feel safe and valued for who they are. We’re proud to be recognised as a Platinum Employer at the 2024 LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Awards. From implementing local and global LGBTIQ+ strategies, engaging senior executives and developing future LGBTIQ+ leaders, to leading with inclusive policies and supports like our Gender Affirmation/Transition policy and All Gender bathrooms, we’re committed to having a culture where everyone feels they belong.

This recognition wouldn’t be possible without all of our PwC people who contribute to creating an inclusive environment at PwC and in the broader community every day, particularly our Shine LGBTIQ+ inclusion network.

While we were awarded Platinum status in 2016 and 2017, and every year from 2020, we recognise there is still more work to do in creating a workplace where everyone feels safe to be their true selves and knows they belong. We will continue working diligently to achieve this vision.

Kevin Burrowes
CEO

 

UNSW Sydney

The award reflects our ongoing commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion and recognises the unwavering passion, advocacy and leadership of students, staff and UNSW’s Ally Network & Steering Committee who seek to drive significant cultural and systematic change across the University.

UNSW’s success included refreshed LGBTQIA+ Allyship training for students and staff, the launch of the University’s first Gender Equity Strategy with key initiatives for LGBTQIA+ staff, and increased support for non-binary and trans staff in the new Enterprise Agreement.

 The AWEI Platinum Award is a significant achievement that our entire community can be proud of, and we pledge to continue to learn, evolve and work hard to maintain our platinum status.

Professor Attila Brungs
Vice-Chancellor and President

Gold Employer Recognition

Gold Tier recognition is the highest recognition obtainable for the current year outside of the longevity of Platinum Employer recognition. Gold Employers have obtained the highest AWEI submission scores within the current year. This recognition is indicative of a substantial amount of work and activity in the area of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Typically, Gold Employer status recognises organisations sitting within the top scores obtained. Gold recognition is an outstanding achievement and organisations that obtain this recognition should be applauded for their level of activity over the given year.

AWEI Gold Tier Standard Employers (501 or more employees)
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR | DLA Piper

I’m incredibly proud DLA Piper Australia has been awarded ‘2024 Employer of the Year’ in addition to been recognised as a Gold Tier Employer by the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). Having previously held the silver ranking, we were delighted to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to improving LGBTQ+ Inclusion across the firm.

It has taken consistent effort to address the multiple facets which contribute to an inclusive workplace. We could not have achieved this without our LGBTQ+ people network, Iris, and the many dedicated individuals across the firm who contribute their advocacy, expertise and leadership. Their passion and commitment is a constant source of motivation.

At DLA Piper we’re not only focussed on our purpose of making business better, but promoting inclusivity within our extended community and beyond. Additionally, we advance equality through our Iris Represents advocacy work, which involves providing pro bono legal advice on issues affecting LGBT+ people and communities.

We view diversity and inclusion as being critically important, not only at a human level, but also in making our firm more dynamic and successful. Our goal is to provide people with sustainable and rewarding careers in law, which requires everyone to bring their best and whole self to work, and in turn requires an overall culture of respect and wellbeing for everyone.

We’re delighted to be among other top Australian employers recognised by the AWEI. It’s heartening to see the groundswell of support from Australian employers in working towards greater inclusivity. There is much we can continue to learn from each other.

Amber Matthews
Australia Managing Partner

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR | The Star Entertainment Group

The Star Entertainment Group is exceptionally proud to have been recognised as the 2024 Employer of the Year and Finalist for the 2024 Trans and Gender-Diverse Inclusion Award at the recent 2024 Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards. We are honoured to receive our second Gold Employer recognition and humbled to be the first and only organisation recognised as a Gold Employer in Hospitality.

Taking home the 2024 Employer of the Year award and attaining Gold Employer status demonstrates The Star’s ongoing commitment to building a diverse and inclusive team that aligns with our values - Lead with Integrity, Own It, Build Memorable Connections, and Take Good Care.

This prestigious recognition is not just a win for our organisation but also a testament to the collective efforts of our Diversity and Inclusion team and the Proud@TheStar employee network group. Their unwavering commitment and passion have been instrumental in creating a workplace that is welcoming, safe, and genuinely inclusive for all our valued team members and guests. We are incredibly proud of these achievements and remain dedicated to continuously fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and embraces inclusivity at every level.

Paula Hammond
Group Chief People Officer

Allens

I'm incredibly proud to see Allens achieve Gold Employer status in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI). There is enormous strength in the unique backgrounds and life experiences our people bring to Allens and we are all committed to fostering a culture that's safe, supportive, and inclusive for everyone.

Achieving this status is the result of many years of focused effort to support LGBTQ+ inclusion across our organisation. Our LGBTQ+ network ALLin, established in 2011, has been instrumental to this effort, driving policies and practices that celebrate diversity and promote equality, raising awareness of issues facing the community and encouraging allyship and advocacy among our people.

Through partnerships with organisations like the Pinnacle Foundation, awareness raising efforts and pro bono work that has upheld and protected the rights of LGBTQ+ people in our communities, our goal is to make a tangible and lasting difference.

While we take a moment to celebrate this achievement, we also recognise that there is more work to be done. We are committed to continuing our journey towards even greater inclusivity and equality at Allens and beyond.

Richard Spurio
Managing Partner

American Express

We are honoured to receive Gold Employer status in the 2024 Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards. This recognition is testament to American Express’ ongoing commitment to backing its colleagues and communities and supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, marketplace, and society.

We believe that diversity of people and experiences are fuel for the creativity and innovation that make us better as a team and ultimately help us deliver better results.

Our colleagues are what makes American Express’ culture unique, and we are proud to support initiatives and policies that benefit them and the wider community.

Corrina Davison
Managing Director

Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council is extremely proud to be recognised as a Gold Status Employer and again as a top-ranking Local Government employer for LGBTQ+ inclusion. This status recognises our commitment to being a diverse and inclusive city, where our people feel safe, valued, and included.

Diversity is what makes Brisbane great, and our people are as diverse as the communities they serve. We believe people should be able to bring their whole selves to work, regardless of their background, ability, or circumstance and this is cemented in our culture through our Inclusion Blueprint and the Communities of Inclusion that work together to achieve our diversity and inclusion goals.

I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of River City Pride and its broad network of allies and supporters who continuously drive LGBTQ+ inclusion across the organisation.

Tim Wright
A/ Chief Executive Officer

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

We are pleased to have been recognised as a Gold Employer by Pride in Diversity in the Australian Workplace Equality Index.

We are proud of our inclusive culture and remain committed to providing a workplace in which everyone feels connected, valued and empowered to succeed.

In 2024, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of our network for LGBTQ employees and allies, Pride@Corrs, which plays an active role in supporting LGBTQ inclusion among our people, our clients and the broader community.

Gavin MacLaren
Senior Partner and CEO

Fujitsu

Recognition by the AWEI at a Gold level, for our second time, is an incredible outcome for Fujitsu. As the CEO, I am proud that we are an inclusive and welcoming workplace for LGBTI+ people. Fujitsu always seeks to better understand the unique challenges experienced by the Pride community, and our inclusion of LGBTI+ employees and their families is a top priority both in Australia and at a global level. When we are a diverse and inclusive culture our business thrives.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Fujitsu Pride network, Office of Purpose team and all who contributed to our 119-page long submission to the AWEI for the 2023 year. Thanks also to the vital support provided to the team by Nicki Elkin from Pride in Diversity. Here’s to Gold and pushing forward to Platinum!

Graeme Beardsell
CEO

Griffith University

We are delighted to be recognised as an AWEI Gold Employer in the Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards, 2024.

Our Griffith University Strategy, Creating a future for all, commits to excellence, ethical behaviour and engagement, and our achievements in LGBTIQ+ inclusion are a true reflection of these core principles.

Our accomplishments in LGBTIQ+ inclusion are a result of ongoing, dedicated work by the Griffith community, including Griffith Pride Committee members, Griffith Allies, Griffith’s Executive Group, staff, students and alumni.

As we move into our 50th year, this milestone provides an opportunity for us to not only reflect on how far we have come, but also imagine how we create an even brighter future for all.

Professor Carolyn Evans
Vice Chancellor and President

Lion

At Lion we feel incredibly proud that our approach to LGBTQIA+ inclusion has been recognised with a Gold Employer Award in the 2024 AWEI Awards. Fairness for all is a core focus at Lion and achieving Gold Tier status speaks to the importance we place on this. At Lion, we aim to embrace difference, cultivate belonging and foster inclusion. This result doesn't come about without the collective efforts of many through a dedicated and concerted approach. We particularly thank and commend our amazing Pride At Lion group whose significant efforts and leadership have seen us achieve this amazing result.

This important work spans a range of inclusion initiatives and activities including a supportive and engaged Pride at Lion Network, participation in community events, team member education, best practice policies and provision of clear and accessible support and resources for our LGBTQIA+ team members, and allies.

Together, we can continue to champion diversity not just within our company but also in our broader community.

James Brindley and Anubha Sahasrabuddhe
Co-Leaders of Lion Australia

Macquarie Group

As a services business, whose greatest asset is our people, accessing the most diverse pools of talent is a key success factor for us, so we are committed to our journey towards increasing diverse representation at all levels of Macquarie. We are proud to have achieved Gold Employer for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the 2024 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), as we work to strengthen our inclusive culture that welcomes diverse ideas and perspectives, values all identities, and celebrates individuals for being their authentic selves.

We’re particularly proud that Macquarie’s ANZ Pride Employee Network Group (ENG) received the Employee Network of the Year award. Our ENGs are an important example of our purpose in action, empowering our people to build a better future by ensuring the voices of underrepresented people and their allies are heard, amplified and celebrated. Our Pride ENG is active around the world, helping to foster connection and collaboration across our organisation, and create a voice for LGBTQ+ employees and their allies on improving our workplace, policies and environment. Its success has helped to create a blueprint for our ENGs celebrating other dimensions of diversity, including gender equity, culture and neurodiversity, to build upon as we further our ongoing commitment to DEI at Macquarie.

Shemara Wikramanayake
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Monash University

As a university committed to equity, access and excellence, Monash is uniquely placed to drive the social transformations we need to address all forms of discrimination and promote inclusion.

We are deeply grateful for our recognition as a Gold Employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index.

We are committed to building an environment where everyone feels safe, valued and respected, and where members of the LGBTIQA+ community are celebrated and can feel at home. We want all our staff and students to bring their authentic selves to Monash workplaces and campuses. We are proud of our vibrant and diverse community, and the enriching contribution of our LGBTIQA+ community.

I know there is more to be done and I am determined to continue working deliberately and in consultation with our staff, students and communities, to achieve real and sustained change.

Sharon Pickering
Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor 

nbn co

We are honoured that nbn has been awarded the prestigious Gold Employer Status in this year’s AWEI Awards.  It is testament to the hard work of our pride committee, allies, and collective commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.

Achieving Gold recognition for the third consecutive index reflects the progress and achievements over the years for our LGBTQ+ and gender diverse people and LGBTQ+ families. At a time of growing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment we must focus our efforts to ensure all our team, especially our rainbow, trans and gender diverse team members feel included and safe.

At nbn, diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply personal; our team members come from diverse backgrounds, and we celebrate their unique perspectives and contributions. Together, we create an environment where everyone feels valued, accepted, and celebrated.

While our business is around connecting homes and businesses, it’s the people and the human connection that truly make a difference. Each individual brings something special to the table. Whether it’s fresh ideas, diverse experiences, or a passion for positive change, our collective responsibility is to create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Doing what’s right is essential, but recognition along the way is always welcome. Receiving Gold Employer Status validates our efforts and motivates us to continue championing diversity equity and inclusion. We’re proud of our journey and grateful for this acknowledgment.

We will continue to build a workplace that reflects the best of us all.

Sally Kincaid
Chief People and Culture Officer

SAP Australia

We’re incredibly proud that SAP Australia has been recognised as a GOLD Employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index Awards by Pride in Diversity.

At SAP, we’re committed to creating an environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and empowered to bring their whole selves to work, and we recognise that embracing the diverse experiences and perspectives of our LGBTQIA+ community not only enriches our workplace, but also drives innovation and success.

This award is recognition of the passion and commitment of our employees to create a culture of belonging, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all and we are humbled to receive this award.

Angela Colantuono
President and Managing Director

Scentre Group

Our people are the key to our success and to truly succeed together and grow, everyone needs to feel that they belong at Scentre Group. Diversity, equity and inclusion underpins our cultural vision ‘Everyone Belongs’ supporting everyone’s workplace experience to feel heard, valued, supported and motivated to realise their full potential.

We are proud to be named an AWEI Gold Employer because it recognises the work we do to support our team members and the LGBTI+ community more broadly foster safe environments, where they can be themselves and feel they belong is making a difference.

Elliott Rusanow
Chief Executive Officer

Services Australia

Thank you for recognising Services Australia as a Gold Employer in the Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion awards. It’s the third time we’ve picked up the award, which is a testament to our ongoing commitment to equity in our workplaces.

I want our agency to be a model for workplace inclusion – a place where everyone feels respected, valued, supported and empowered. It’s important that everyone can contribute their skills and perspectives to achieve success and personal growth.

Ultimately, success for Services Australia is achieving good outcomes for our customers. Having diversity in our workforce is one of the ways we do that – it helps drive innovation, better customer service and more effective teamwork.

The data we get from the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) Employee Survey is invaluable to us. It helps us gauge staff sentiment around workplace inclusion, see how we’re tracking against our targets and identify areas where we can do better.

Achieving Gold Employer status was made possible by the many teams and outstanding individuals who build a culture of acceptance in our workplace. This includes our LGBTQIA+ staff network, the Rainbow Connection, and our senior allies. I admire their drive and commitment.

I’m proud to be an LGBTQIA+ ally and pleased Services Australia remains a Gold Employer.

David Hazlehurst
Chief Executive Officer

The Department of Health and Aged Care

The Department of Health and Aged Care is proud to have been recognised as a Gold Employer for the first time in the 2024 Australian Workplace Equality Index.

Gold status recognises the significant work we do to progress inclusion for LGBTIQA+ staff and to make our workplace a safe and supportive environment for all.

It also recognises the achievements of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI+) Action Plan 2020-2023, and our continued commitment to becoming an employer of choice for LGBTIQA+ people.

These results are a testament to the hard work of many within our department. Worthy of special mention is our Health Pride Network which, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, demonstrates passionate leadership in progressing initiatives supporting LGBTIQA+ staff. We also acknowledge the Indigenous, Diversity and Inclusion team, which works hand in hand with the Pride Network.

Inclusion in the workplace is our collective responsibility. This means every single one of us is responsible. It is everyone’s duty to make the department a safe, inclusive and accessible for all.

Professor Anthony Lawler
Deputy Secretary, Health Products Regulation Group

The NRMA

The entire team at The NRMA are thrilled to be recognised as a Gold Employer at the Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards. Since launching SHINE, our LGBTQ+ employee network, nearly five years ago, we've made significant strides in creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels they belong, no matter how they identify.

SHINE has been central to our success, driving initiatives that celebrate and support diversity for all NRMA employees right across our operating businesses in roadside assistance, holiday parks & resorts, car rental and marine, as well as all our corporate staff.

A key achievement includes introducing a dedicated leave policy for gender affirmation, supporting team members in their journey. Our commitment to inclusion was also prominently displayed during Sydney World Pride in 2023 through engaging panel discussions on LGBTQ+ workplace equality, the installation of Pride stairs at our Sydney Olympic Park office, and the distribution of Pride lanyards to all our staff. Additionally, we made a visible statement of support by wrapping an NRMA Patrol vehicle, SIXT Truck, and a Ferry in Pride colors.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our partner, Pride in Diversity, for their support in helping us achieve this recognition. While we take pride in our achievements, we acknowledge that our journey is ongoing. The feedback from the Australian Workplace Equality Index is invaluable, helping us to refine our approach and continue to improve.

Matthew Beattie
CEO SIXT Australia
SHINE Executive Sponsor

The University of Queensland

At The University of Queensland (UQ), we’re incredibly proud that our approach to creating an inclusive environment for our community's LGBTQIA+ staff, students, friends, and allies has been recognised at the 2024 Australian LGBTQ+ Inclusion Awards.

We are honoured to be recognised as a Gold Employer for the third consecutive year. And it’s also a great thrill to receive the prestigious Trans and Gender Inclusion Award – as affirmation of the proactive steps we have taken to support and uplift our trans and gender-diverse community members.
These accolades provide well-deserved recognition for the tireless efforts of UQ’s Workplace Diversity & Inclusion team, the Ally Action Committee, the Ally Executive Champions, the Ally Network, and the many individuals and teams who have contributed to making UQ a truly inclusive place for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our wonderful UQ Ally Network, which represents more than 10% of our staff, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and their sustained hard work and commitment has created an environment where diversity is not just accepted but celebrated

To me, it’s really important that we have a culture in which everyone feels free to express themselves, fully and authentically. Winning these awards is a tremendous validation of our efforts to create exactly that kind of supportive culture – a culture that empowers all of our people to thrive.

Professor Deborah Terry AC
Vice-Chancellor and President

The University of Sydney

It is with great pride we can share that University of Sydney has again been counted among the 2024 AWEI Gold Employers for LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion. This is the third time that the university has been awarded this accreditation from Australian Workplace Equality Index.

Consecutive Gold accreditation from the AWEI is no mean feat, and reflects the work and advocacy of many. We particularly thank and commend our University Pride Network Co-Chairs and Steering Committee, whose tireless dedication and meaningful action to support LGBTIQA+ inclusion is largely over and above their demanding day jobs.

This important work spans a range of inclusion initiatives and activities including a supportive and engaged Pride Network, participation in community and University events, education around best practice in a range of relevant contexts, and provision of clear and accessible support and resources for our LGBTIQA+ staff and students, and allies.

As expectations and benchmarks for an inclusive workplace continue to rise, we reaffirm our commitment to continually strive to increase visibility and inclusion of our LGBTIQA+ community, and to ensure all members of our community feel supported and free to contribute fully, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice-Chancellor and President 

Victoria University

On behalf of Victoria University (VU), we are absolutely delighted to be recognised as a Gold Employer in 2024. It is a testament to our committed actions to achieving progressive inclusivity.

This award resulted from a number of strategic initiatives that have brought systemic change across our university. We apply an intersectional lens to our work to ensure the inclusion of everyone in VU’s vibrant community.

Our Chosen Name Initiative, the Development of VU’s award-winning eLearning module, Understanding and Celebrating LGBTIQA+ Identities, and our commitment to support the Trans and Gender Diverse community are just some of the projects we are championing that have had a lasting impact across the university.

Our work does not end here. We will continue to strengthen our learning and development initiatives for staff and students and our commitment to LGBTIQA+ inclusion.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the key contributors who have played a pivotal role in this remarkable achievement.

Professor Adam Shoemaker
Vice-Chancellor

AWEI Gold Tier Small Employers (500 or less employees)

SMALL EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR | McCullough Robertson Lawyers

We are immensely proud and honoured to be recognised as the Gold Small Employer of the Year for 2024. This recognition is a testament to the commitment and efforts of many to foster a culture that recognises the power that comes from everyone feeling included and valued. At the heart of our success are our values and a belief in creating a sense of belonging for everyone in our community.

This award recognises the journey we have been on for the last five years and we are excited to continue our progression in the future.

This accomplishment was made possible by the genuine enthusiasm and dedication of our McColour Committee, and employee ally network. I would like to make special mention of our McColour Committee Chair, Savannah Kuylaars, who together with Partners, Amber Sharp and Ian Hazzard, have championed our LGBTIQ initiatives and continue to foster a diverse, inclusive and thriving workplace culture.

Thank you to our incredible team for your hard work, passion, and commitment. Good people, Good Work, Great Opportunities!

Louise Ferris
Chief People Officer

Clifford Chance

At Clifford Chance, we see inclusion as a core value of the firm and also of the law. We see inclusion as an intrinsic value of our firm. It is a matter of justice. It is also a core part of our identity. Our history as a firm has been anchored in innovative and diverse cultures and approaches which have both disrupted traditional attitudes and set global standards.

Our people are at the heart of what we do – we are proud that our efforts to create a more inclusive environment have been championed at both a leadership level as well as at an employee level. The ongoing conversation and engagement enabled the firm to listen, leading to real policy and cultural change.

As part of the firm's ongoing efforts to support the LGBTQ+ community, our annual Arcus Pride Art Exhibition is one of the largest corporate-supported exhibitions of artworks by LGBTQ+ and supporter artists. The event not only showcases the talent of the artists but also sends a message of support and inclusion to our employees and the wider community. Our ACCEPT Asia Pacific Conference, a ground-breaking virtual event also provides an opportunity for LGBTQ+ students and allies in a career in law to hear from senior role models in the region.

The award is a reflection of all the hard work that our Arcus LGBTQ+ and allies network in Australia have put in – they are the inclusion champions for change and are in many ways role models for the wider firm network. I thank each one of you for your continued dedication and commitment.

Richard Gordon
Managing Partner

Custom Fleet

Custom Fleet are extremely excited to be recognised as a Small Gold Employer at this year’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) awards. Following our Bronze recognition in 2023, the jump to Gold in 2024 reflects the passion, dedication, and tenacity shown through the work of our PRIDE team, as part of our broader Diversity Network, Intersection.

I am incredibly proud to lead a business where diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is part of our DNA – this differentiates us in our industry and speaks to the core of who we are as human beings. In a global climate where the human rights and protections of LGBTQIA+ people are being questioned, and in some cases revoked, we know we need to double down on our inclusion efforts and do all we can not only internally, but externally to ensure we maintain and progress the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

I extend thanks on behalf of the whole Custom Fleet crew to Pride in Diversity for their leadership and advocacy in the business community and offering organisations a clear pathway to progress LGBTQIA+ inclusion in workplaces. Our business becomes better through our partnership, and we look forward to learning more from your expertise.

Chris Tulloch
CEO

Liberty Financial

At Liberty, we are proud of the diverse and inclusive culture we have built while also recognising that there is always more work to do. As our diversity and inclusion journey evolves, we are committed to being open-minded, open-hearted, and vulnerable to learn from and celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community.

The principles of diversity and inclusion are in our DNA. In fact, Liberty was founded on the values of inclusion, with a purpose to provide greater choice to borrowers, providing solutions to customers of all kinds.

To support Liberty’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, Liberty has developed a range of LGBTQIA+ initiatives. These have the full support and backing of our board, senior leaders and have been enthusiastically adopted by the Liberty community.

Initiatives that we’re particularly proud of include:

• Continued LGBTQI+ education and training for all team members.
• LGBTQI+ Support Officers, Domestic Violence Support Officers, and a formal grievance process.
• Added LGBTQIA+ non-profit Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) to our Lend-A-Hand Charity Partners.
• Gender Affirmation Policy, including leave, support, and resources.
• Sponsors of the Vic Pride Awards Inclusion Award.

Our Pride Network executes an annual strategic plan to address and deliver LGBTQIA+ initiatives around key dates and issues of importance, with the full support and help of the business.

Liberty is a member of the Diversity Council of Australia the independent not-for-profit body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with all team members granted access to resources.

Over recent years, Liberty has been on a journey with our commitment to diversity and inclusion. This AWEI award recognition is a confirmation that the good work we are doing is making a difference and will fuel us in our continued quest towards true inclusion.

James Boyle,
CEO

Russell Kennedy Lawyers

Diversity, equity and inclusion are front and centre at Russell Kennedy, and we are proud of the many milestones we have achieved in LGBTQ+ inclusion in the last year.

We are thrilled that the firm has been recognised with a Gold Small Employer Award for the second consecutive year, and our very own Anthony Massaro has been awarded the Sally Webster Ally Award.

As a firm, we are committed to LGBTQ+ inclusion, and we will continue to strive for positive change so that our workplace is and remains a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ staff and clients.

Five years after its establishment, Pride@RK re-branded as the SPARKLE Network earlier this year. The Network now has over 100 members – one third of our workforce.

In the last 12 months, the firm has marched at Midsumma, launched the SPARKLE Quarterly Update (a newsletter distributed to all staff), established a Proud Parents group for staff with LGBTQ+ children and family members, had record engagement in the Australian Workplace Equality Index Survey, and hosted events to mark Wear it Purple Day, Mardi Gras and International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. We also continue to offer LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion seminars to our people leaders and staff with the support of Pride in Diversity.

Paul Gleeson
Managing Director

Nominated Award Acknowledgements

While additional organisational awards or individual awards given at the Awards Luncheon do not form part of the benchmarking data, they are equally assessed against a strict criteria requiring evidence and in many cases, external endorsements. All organisational and individual award submissions are assessed against a predetermined scoring rubric.

Nominated Award Categories

LGBTQ+ ROLE MODEL AWARD | Kim Lee, National Australia Bank

I am deeply honoured to receive the 2024 LGBTQ+ Role Model Award. This recognition, following my 2022 Out Role Model Award, is profoundly significant and humbling.

Reflecting on my journey, I am immensely grateful for the support of my colleagues at NAB. Their encouragement has been crucial in my gender affirmation and advocacy journey. My involvement with NAB Pride and the Trans and Gender Diverse working group has been incredibly fulfilling, allowing me to advocate for equitable experiences for trans and gender diverse individuals within and outside our organization.

Winning this award again highlights the continuous and evolving nature of this work. Despite challenges with the rise of anti-trans movements, the past two years I have seen significant strides in visibility and advocacy. This award is a reflection of my unwavering commitment to fostering a more equitable world for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey. Your belief in my work has been a pillar of strength. To my NAB Pride family, thank you for standing with me and for your relentless commitment to inclusion. Special thanks to those who have shared how my work has impacted your lives—you are the reason I continue to strive for change. Last but not least thank you to my spouse July - for your love, your ever-present support, and always making life work so that I could focus on building seats at tables. In my world you are the true superhero.

While I am proud of the progress we have made, there is still much work to be done. I remain dedicated to being the change that my younger self would have been immensely proud to see, and whom my beloved child will be able to look up to growing up. Here's to continuing this journey together.

Kim Lee (he/they)
NAB Anaylst

NETWORK LEADER OF THE YEAR | Craig Dumas, The Star Entertainment Group

It is an honour to jointly receive the AWEI 2024 Network Leader of the Year award with Luke Nixon.

Joining the LGBTQI+ employee network group at The Star was a momentous step for me. As a cis gay man who, back at that time, had not long been “out” in the business, it offered an invaluable sense of community at work. During the marriage equality debate, I became a more active member and then assumed the Co-Lead role for The Star’s Proud employee network group officially in 2022.

I have had the pleasure of working with and continuing to learn from some of the most inspiring co-leads, network executives, and sponsors. Within the network, I found LGBTQI+ Leaders whom I could look to as role models and inspiration.

The Star's embedding of Diversity and Inclusion into its culture is a real testament to its desire to ensure that all team members feel like they belong. This has been ingrained into our core values and purpose to “Create fun at trusted destinations.”

This recognition would not have been possible without the tireless support and passion of the amazing individuals that make up Proud@TheStar. They are the people who advocate for change, increase visibility, and hold The Star accountable for LGBTQI+ inclusion. As a network, we have accomplished significant milestones - introducing Ally and people leader training, fostering Trans and gender-diverse awareness through the business, enriching our policies and establishing a framework to ensure network succession and sustainability.

Visibility is the key to continual equality. It empowers those yet to find their voice and ensures that we, as a community, remain at the forefront of the conversation. I share this award with immense gratitude to all who have made this journey possible.

Craig Dumas (He/Him)
Proud@TheStar Co-Lead
Gaming Operations Manager

NETWORK LEADER OF THE YEAR | Luke Nixon, Brisbane City Council

I feel privileged to have received the Network Leader of the Year Award and congratulate all of the other award winners, nominees and participants in the AWEI. This award is not only a reflection of my work as Network Leader of the Year, but of our collective achievements of Council’s LGBTQIA+ Network, River City Pride – who have worked tirelessly to ensure LGBTIQ+ staff feel truly included, that they belong, and that diversity is celebrated.

With Council again, was recognised with Gold Employer Status in the index it is important to reflect that when we started River City Pride back in 2013, we never thought we would achieve Gold Employer status once, let alone four times.

While I am no longer with Council, I am beyond proud of everyone from the organisation who has made this happen, in particular David Mahon, Andrea Kenafake, Tash Tobias, Sarah Tell and Councillor Vicki Howard. River City Pride is in good hands and I look forward to seeing what they will achieve next.

As I move into my next chapter, working on inclusion initiatives with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts - I will always reflect positively on my time with Council and the lasting rainbow legacy we have had on this beautiful city.

But for now, every time I see the bridge lit up rainbow, see the rainbow flag flying from city hall, jump on the rainbow City Prider, skip across the rainbow crossing at the Wickham or borrow one of the thousands of books from the Queer Collection. I will be reminded that “the city I love, loves me right back”.

Together we have really made it a better Brisbane.

Luke Nixon (he/him)
Co-Chair, River City Pride

SALLY WEBSTER ALLY AWARD | Anthony Massaro, Russell Kennedy Lawyers
SAPPHIRE INSPIRE AWARD | Maggi Hughes, EY Oceania

It is an amazing privilege to receive this year's Sapphire Inspire Award.

In my ‘day job’, I am a Partner in EY Australia’s Financial Services Consulting practice based in Melbourne. However, I also have what I call my ‘gay job’ as Asia-Pacific Co-Chair of Unity, the EY LGBTQ+, gender diversity and allies network. I am also a member of the EY Global LGBTQ+ Executive Committee. As business leaders, we have a clear responsibility to ensure that our workplaces and broader communities are not just accepting of diversity but actively celebrating it.

In my role, as an EY Partner, I have been a vocal advocate for change for many years in Australia and across the broader Asia-Pacific region. As an out and proud lesbian, I have been a lifelong activist for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ inclusion, both within and beyond EY. This has included speaking at public events and conferences, writing thought leadership pieces and blogs and contributing to research by the NYU Centre for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (Opening Up the World - How Multinational Organisations Can Ascend The Maturity Curve On LGBT+ Rights).

Receiving this award is not just a personal accolade; it's a reflection of the collective progress we've made as well as the ongoing work that lies ahead. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey, particularly the EY Unity team. I would like to also acknowledge all the lesbian, queer and trans women working towards LGBTQ+ inclusion across workplaces across Australia. There is no inclusion until we’re all included.

Maggi Hughes
EY Partner, Financial Services Consulting