The second ALSO Awards delivered on all the glitz and glamour at St Kilda’s grand National Theatre on Monday night.
Speaking to a 700-strong crowd, ALSO Foundation CEO Crusader Hillis said the event was an important milestone for the ALSO Foundation celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010.
“I think this is the biggest crowd since the awards began,” he told Southern Star.
Presenting a number of accolades on the night, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights commissioner Helen Szoke said the awards were an important reminder homophobia is still an issue that needs to be faced.
“Groups such as the ALSO Foundation help to address discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity in Victoria through advocacy and education,” she said.
“The GLBTIQ community as a whole faces a broad range of issues and it is important to acknowledge the huge number of people who voluntarily make an invaluable contribution to addressing some of these issues.”
Szoke was joined on stage by four-time Olympic medallist Daniel Kowlaski to present the award for most outstanding contribution to GLBTI sport, which was jointly won by Victoria University academic Dr Caroline Symons and gay rights advocate Rob Mitchell.
Melbourne GLBTI radio station JOY94.9 and marriage equality activist, Equal Love’s Ali Hogg featured prominently among the winners.
Drag performers Rocco D’Amore and Dulcie Du Jour were crowned king and queen of the Melbourne drag scene and Polly Filla took out Most Outstanding Costumier.
A huge list of entertainers filled the bill, and although the event lasted well into the night, enthusiasm didn’t ebb for the final award — the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Indigenous actor, director and writer Noel Tovey.
During the night, hosts Luke Gallagher and Dolly Diamond led a touching tribute to those in the community who’ve died in recent years.
Former trophy girl at past community awards nights Vivien St James was fondly remembered along with JOY presenter Addam Stobbs, Lesbian and Gay Archives volunteer Colin Billing and Val Eastwood of Val’s Cafe.
St James was awarded a Posthumous Community Recognition Award.