ACON acknowledges the traditional owners of the land we operate on across NSW and remind people that we are on Aboriginal land. ACON also acknowledges the Elders and in particular those visiting this website.

Announcing the Winners of the Honour Awards 2023

The winners in NSW’s largest annual LGBTQ Awards are a diverse mix of hardworking individuals and organisations being recognised for their passion and years of service to improve the lives of sexuality and gender diverse people.

Revealed on Wednesday night at the Honour Awards gala event in Sydney’s Ivy Ballroom, the winners were recognised according to categories covering work in in the fields of health, HIV, youth, community, business, entertainment, visual arts, media, and cultural sectors. Over 230 nominations for the Awards were received from the community.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the judging panel was delighted to see so many incredible achievements, community service and unsung talents being recognised.

“I’d like to thank all the people who submitted nominations, our independent judging panel, as well as all our guests for coming along to the Honour Awards and supporting ACON,” said Parkhill.

“People from all walks of life do incredible work to improve the lives of LGBTQ people and their families. We are inspired and so grateful to meet them, hear their stories and see the vibrancy, strength, and resiliency of our communities.

“We thank all the partners whose support made the event possible, including Dowson Turco Lawyers, people2people, OUT@NBCUniversal, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, Positive Life NSW, Friends of Cayte, and the Star Observer. We are also very grateful to all our event partners and supporters, and of course, to all the people and organisations that donated many splendid items to our raffle and silent auction.

“Congratulations once again to all this year’s finalists and award recipients and thank you for everything you do for our communities,” said Parkhill. “See you at next year’s Honour Awards.”




Presented by Dowson Turco Lawyers

WINNER: Giovanni Campolo-Arcidiaco for his decades-long community service and activism. For more than 25 years, Giovanni has been involved in various volunteer roles, with many of NSW’s LGBTQIA+ institutions. Through his passionate efforts, he has helped develop and strengthen vital organisations and events for sexuality and gender diverse communities.


Presented by ACON

WINNER (JOINT): Newcastle Pride
With innovative and inclusive programming, Newcastle Pride is providing vital spaces and social outlets for the Hunter region’s LGBTQIA+ communities.

WINNER (JOINT): Trikone Australia
For over 15 years, Trikone Australia has been raising awareness of, providing support to, and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people from South Asian backgrounds in Australia.


Presented by people2people

WINNER: Bree Mountain
For her dedicated work in championing and elevating the bi+ community in New South Wales. Having founded the grassroots advocacy organisation, Bi+ Visibility, and established the popular event series BiCONIC, Bree has been instrumental in raising the visibility and representation of bi+ people in events, programming, media and community advocacy, both in Australia and overseas.   


Presented by St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney

WINNER: Garrett Prestage
Since 1976, Garrett has worked to support LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing through various roles and projects in research, advocacy and community health. Now retired, Garrett has been nominated for devoting his life and career to LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing and for leaving a legacy of knowledge and excellence for the next generation of LGBTQ+ health and HIV researchers.



WINNER: Jeff McCann
Jeff’s artistic ethos is to create inclusive works that encourage audience involvement and fun. He has been nominated for his striking body of works installed during Sydney WorldPride, which includes activations at Broadway Shopping Centre, The Rocks, Maroubra’s Pacific Square and Lucid Dreams at the Imperial Hotel.


Presented by Positive Life NSW

WINNER: David Polson
For his tireless work as an advocate, speaker and community champion for people living with HIV. As a long-term HIV survivor, David shares his personal story to empower others, provide education, challenge discrimination, and reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS. David has also been nominated for his various community, volunteer, and advocacy roles, including being the co-founder of Sydney’s first queer museum, QTOPIA.


Presented by OUT@NBCUniversal

WINNER: Narelda Jacobs
A Whadjuk Noongar journalist, presenter and commentator, Narelda has appeared on scores of TV programs over the years, including Ten’s The Project; the ABC’s Insiders, Q&A and The Drum; NITV and SBS’s The Point, Going Places and Mardi Gras Parade broadcasts. She is currently a co-host of Studio 10 and presenter of 10 News First: Midday. Narelda is a passionate community advocate and cause ambassador, supporting a range of charities and humanitarian initiatives.


Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

WINNER: Courtney Act
For their various accomplishments as an artist, performer, musician, TV presenter and writer. Multi-talented and internationally renowned, Courtney is an Australian entertainment icon, creative powerhouse, and showbiz trailblazer. As an outspoken advocate, Courtney is also passionate about supporting and elevating LGBTQ causes, charities, and communities through their various platforms.


Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association

WINNERS: Nungala Creative
Established by Warumungu / Wombaya woman Jessica Johnson, Nungala Creative produces innovative content across various platforms and mediums with a distinct Aboriginal voice. Nungala Creative has been nominated for their work in designing the bold and stunning visual identity for the Sydney WorldPride festival.


Presented by ACON

In 2023, the ACON President’s Award was dedicated to the many people who have fought for justice for victims of LGBTQ hate crimes for decades. Representing the efforts of many, the following were honoured:

  • Steve Page
  • Duncan McNab
  • Sue Thompson
  • Rick Feneley
  • Greg Callaghan
  • Garry Wotherspoon
  • Nicholas Stewart
  • Stephen Tomsen
  • Jacqueline Milledge
  • Peter Rolfe
  • Steve Johnson
  • Daniel Glick


In 2023, a special Honour Award was given to Sydney WorldPride in recognition of its impact and legacy as a world-class event that brought diverse global communities together to advance equality, human rights, social justice and inclusion through community engagement, visibility, and celebration.

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