Long-serving gay activists Lex Watson at Sue Wills were named Community Heroes at last night’s Honour Awards, held at The Ivy.
The recognition topped off a great night where some of the community’s best-known individuals and organisations were recognised for their contribution.
Other winners included Out Travel’s Reece Farmilo who took out the business category; Trevor Ashley took out the entertainment category; Queer Screen won the Community Organisation award and Albury’s Robert Lee who took out the Health and Well-being award.
Watson and Wills took over the co-presidency of CAMP (Campaign Against Moral Persecution) at the end of 1971 following the retirement of John Ware, a psychology student, and Christabel Poll, a public servant.
Watson and Wills were responsible for the consolidation of the organisation and instrumental in the anti-psychiatry movement campaigning against aversion therapy and psycho-surgical procedures. Both, long after their involvement in CAMP, remained active in the life of the gay male community or in the lesbian and women’s movement in Australia.
Business award winner Reece Farmilo established Out Travel about three years ago with a vision of providing a quality travel agency service to the GLBT community. The business not only carries out this role, but also sponsors a number of community organisations including the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association, ACON, Sydney Leather Pride and Queer Screen.
Earlier this year Farmilo organised a the city’s first gay travel expo at the Marriott Hotel that brought together some of the world’s biggest travel providers.
Entertainment award winner Trevor Ashley has established himself as one of the most significant and versatile figures in the Australian entertainment industry. He has been nominated for two MO awards, and is the winner of multiple DIVA awards, including being the reigning DIVA Entertainer of the Year. He is an accomplished singer, actor, musician, comedian, impersonator, composer, director, businessman and producer. He is now hitting the heights of professional success, landing the coveted lead role of Edna Turnblad in the mega musical hit Hairspray.
But he will return to Sydney to direct the third annual Worlds AIDS Day Concert for ACON this December.
Community Organisation winner Queer Screen have been providing Sydney with the biggest and best LGBT film festivals in the country for two decades, as well as a whole series of film events (9 in total) in regional areas across the country in support of those local LGBT communities and organisations.
Queer Screen regularly assists Sydney-based LGBT community organisations to fundraise through presenting the best new queer cinema out there.
Robert Lee, who took out the Health and Wellbeing award, has been a committee of Hume Phoenix, a gay social group in Albury, for 10 years and is a long-standing member of several Albury HIV support organisations including ACON and World AIDS Day. He also helps run a GLBT film festival in the city and has been a carer for seven year.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill told Sydney Star Observer the judges had been impressed with both the quality and variety of nominations.
“The judging panel noted selecting the finalists was a difficult process because the achievements and contributions of all the nominees were remarkable in their own way,” Parkhill said.
“However, the judges agreed that the finalists they selected exhibited a truly outstanding commitment to supporting the GLBT community and deserved to be recognised for their efforts.”
HONOUR 2010 WINNERS
Health and Wellbeing Award
Community Organisation Award
Community Hero Award
Lex Watson and Sue Wills