THE night of nights for Melbourne’s LGBTI community last Friday saw trans* advocate Sally Goldner honoured with the GLBTI Person of the Year at the 2015 GLOBE Community Awards.

The award ceremony was held in Myer’s Mural Hall and recognised the hard work undertaken by those in Victoria’s LGBTI community over the past year.

Goldner is the Executive Director of Transgender Victoria and has dedicated a full-time career to advocacy and activism.

“The win is very motivating,” she told the Star Observer.

“Yes it can be tough going in our community, and it’s also tough being a largely volunteer-run sector, so this is very uplifting.

“This helps me to keep going, and I feel now that I have a sense of responsibility to bring the voices in who don’t get heard.”

Goldner remained humble about receiving the top award of the night, even though it also coincided with her 50th birthday. “I’m indebted to a colleague who said ‘always ask who’s not at the table’,” she said.

“Yes it’s great that a trans* and bisexual and poly person has won this award, but we’ve got to remember that not everyone is getting a voice, like LGBTI sex workers and LGBTI people with disabilities.

“People have helped me get to the table and get to where I am, and I feel that I want to make the proverbial wheel turn wherever I can and as best I can.”

Melbourne-based comedian Hannah Gadsby was the master of ceremonies of the awards event, which is now in its second year.

Other winners during included Jason Ball who won Sports Person of the Year, after becoming the first Aussie Rules footballer at any level of the game to come out.

During a particularly sombre moment, the room fell silent in memory of Victorian AIDS Council volunteer Greig Friday, who lost his life in the Germanwings Flight 9525 tragedy earlier this year, and was recognised as Volunteer of the Year.

Lisa Daniel, who recently retired from her position as Melbourne Queer Film Festival director after 16 years at the helm, won the Artist of the Year award.

Meanwhile, JOY 94.9 community radio station won Connecting Our Community, and Dr Edwina Wright was recognised as Straight Ally of the Year for her invaluable contribution to HIV research.

Full list of 2015 GLOBE Community Award winners:

Healthy Community Award: Switchboard Victoria

Protecting Our Community Award: Kildonan Uniting Care – The Diversity Project

Connecting Our Community: JOY 94.9

Excellence in Business Award: SensWide Employment – WorkingOUT

Media Person of the Year: Rachel Cook

Artist of the Year: Lisa Daniel

Sports Person of the Year: Jason Ball

Straight Ally of the Year: Dr Edwina Wright

Volunteer of the Year: Greig Friday

People’s Choice Award: Dr Graham Willett

GLTBI Person of the Year: Sally Goldner

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