Nominations for the 2018 Out for Australia role model awards have opened.

The awards, now in their third year, celebrate and honour LGBTIQ role models, from students to industry veterans across Australia’s LGBTIQ community.

Out for Australia is a national mentoring organisation for LGBTIQ students and young professionals as they navigate their way through the early stages of their career.

The group aims to bring the community together, to offer a supportive environment in which people can network, build relationships and assist each other in their professional journeys.

Its mission is to provide visible role models, mentors and other support to aspiring LGBTIQ professionals and to strengthen the sense of community among professionals and students.

The 2018 awards come as the first major event for the LGBTIQ student and young professional organisation since marriage equality became law in December.

“2017 was a turbulent year for the LGBTIQ community. Yet, we saw LGBTIQ people bravely step up all across the country to face our challenges,” said Out for Australia chair Matthew Yeldham.

“Out for Australia wants to highlight these unsung heroes of our community.”

The Role Model Awards feature three categories: student, young professional and established professional awards.

“The LGBTIQ community is diverse not just in gender identity and sexual orientation, but also in professional experience and potential,” said CEO Luke Furness.

“Our awards celebrate the unique contributions of those who have helped everyday LGBTIQ people feel they can be their authentic self at work and in their careers.”

Past award winners include Western Australian student Simon Thuijs, New South Wales young professionals Kate McLaren and Chelsea McPhail-Rosenberg, and Queensland established professional David Mahon.

Nominations are open until January 31 and can be submitted online.

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