AUSTRALIA’S biggest awards celebrating the LGBTI community, The Australian LGBTI Awards, have announced that nominations for next year’s awards are now open.

The awards are back after a hugely successful inaugural event in 2017, adding three new categories: Music Artist award, International Celebrity award, and Best Media Moment.

Nominations for the 2018 awards are now open online. Winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner in March 2018 at The Star, Sydney, which will be co-hosted by Indigenous youth advocate Casey Conway.

The inaugural Australian LGBTI Awards, held during this year’s Mardi Gras, saw community leaders, celebrities and organisations celebrating the LGBTI community. Among the stars on the night were Molly Meldrum, Lucy Lawless, The Veronicas and Jordan Raskopoulos.

“As a whole the LGBTI community spend a lot of time fighting for equality, it’s nice to be able to take some time out to come together to celebrate one another, and this is what the Australian LGBTI Awards is all about,” said Australian LGBTI Awards director Silke Bader.

“Everyone is welcome to nominate any individual who they think is inspirational to the community and upholds our values. When nominating think of the people that have had a personal effect on you, those individuals who have been an inspiration to you and who continue to fight for the LGBT community.”

There are two main groups to the awards, the public award category and the corporate award category.

The public award categories include Journalist of the Year, Celebrity of the Year, Sports Personality of the Year and even Politician of the Year. Nominees are entirely decided by the public vote. Popular nominees then go through to the shortlist which the public is again allowed to vote on.

The corporate award category looks at CEOs and diversity champions in the business sector. The public also nominates these, with the winners to be decided by a judging panel that includes Les Girls legend Carlotta, LGBTI activist and model Ollie Henderson, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alistair McEwin and more.

“I’ve got so many awards around but this one is in my main room shining because I was so honoured by it,” said Molly Meldrum, winner of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It’s incredibly important and makes me want to fight harder for equality.”

The Australian LGBTI Awards is brought to Australia by OutNews Global and L Media.

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