RMIT University has been named this year’s Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards.

The awards ceremony, hosted by ACON’s Pride in Diversity, saw more than 730 business leaders, diversity champions, and HR professionals representing all sectors and employer sizes come together in Sydney to celebrate the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

The Index is an evidence-based benchmarking tool that assess workplace progress in the realm of LGBTI inclusion and diversity initiatives.


This year marked the first time that a non-private commercial organisation was awarded Employer of the Year status.

Four employers were awarded Platinum Status for longevity in high performance (Accenture, LendLease, ANZ, UWA), and 14 were awarded Gold Status for the highest results in the current year.

When the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) was launched by ACON’s Pride in Diversity in 2010, only eight organisations had signed on as members.

Now, in 2019, there are more than 300.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, Dawn Hough, said the accompanying employee survey this year elicited more than 27,000 responses, underscoring the importance of LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

“Practice is continuing to shift significantly in this space with employers across Australia not only maintaining their commitment to LGBTI inclusion but in fact strengthening their inclusion initiatives and activities,” she said.

“Scores required to obtain the various tiers of recognition have continued to increase. We are delighted with the continual growth and focus exercised within this area of diversity and inclusion.”

This year awards also celebrated the results of the Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI), focusing on LGBT inclusive service provision. The award for Inclusive Service Provider of the Year went to Uniting, which is also a Gold Employer in the AWEI.

“LGBTI inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, and is starting to make a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors as well,” Hough said.

“Congratulations to all award winners recognised today on their significant achievements and for showing great leadership in LGBTI inclusion.”

For more information on ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, go to

Below is the full list of 2019 Australian Workplace Equality Index Award Recipients:

Employer of the Year        

RMIT University

LGBTI Employee Network of the Year       

LGBTI ERG, LendLease

Platinum Employers (Long-term Gold Employers)      

University of Western Australia

Platinum Qualifiers for 2020          

Macquarie Group

Gold Employers   

Australian Taxation Office
Brisbane City Council
Clayton Utz
Deakin University
Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet
Macquarie Bank Limited
QBE Insurance Australia
RMIT University
Woolworths Group

Small Employer Gold

Initiative Media
Oliver Wyman
BlackRock Investment Management Australia

Small Employer of the Year     

Initiative Media

Most Improved Employer

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion

RMIT University

External Media Campaign

‘The Road to Broken Hill’ AAMI, Suncorp

Executive Leadership

Andrea Kenafake, Brisbane City Council

Network Leader of the Year

Cameron Tirendi, BHP

Out Role Model

Nicholas Steepe, Charles Sturt University

Sapphire Inspire

Caitlin Monnery-Korving, ANZ

The Sally Webster Ally Award          

Joint winners: Ian Bennett (PwC) & Superintendent Richard Roberts (AFP – posthumously awarded)

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