By Rita Bratovich
The LGBTQI community was well represented in this year’s Australia Day Honours List, with people in the arts, public service, science, and activism receiving recognition for their positive contribution to the community.
Transgender actor Georgie Stone, who broke new ground as the first transgender character on Neighbours, was recognised, along with her mother, Rebekah Robertson, for their advocacy on behalf of gender-diverse people.
CEO of The Pinnacle Foundation, Janine Middleton, was acknowledged for her work with helping young LGBTQI adults realise their goals. She also helped lead the successful YES Marriage Equality campaign.
Dr Sarah Midgley was also recognised for her dedication to attaining equality and fairness in the LGBTQI community. She sat on the board of the YES campaign and has also contributed to NSW Pride History Group.
Sydney Festival director and playwright, Wesley Enoch was honoured for his contribution to the performing arts as an indigenous artist. Australia Day celebrations are the peak of the Sydney Festival program.
Bermagui resident, Ludo McFerran, received an honour for her 40 years of raising awareness and bringing action against domestic violence. McFerran is also an RFS volunteer who recently had to fight to save her home and local community.
Tasmania’s Police Commissioner, Darren Hines, has been recognised for outstanding dedication to law enforcement and community work. The highly regarded commissioner is currently a chairperson on the Tasmanian Lesbian Gay Transgender Intersex Committee.
And of course, Carol Spencer, better known around the world as Carlotta, received a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant and continuous contribution to the arts and activism.