Award Winners for Workplace LGBTQ Inclusion Announced as Landmark Survey Released

Investment firm JP Morgan and technology tertiary institution RMIT both took home the award for LGBTQ Employee Network of the Year at the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards held today at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

The 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards is Australia’s leading annual celebration of LGBTQ workplace inclusion. It is hosted by ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, the national not-for-profit LGBTQ inclusion support program for employers, sporting organisations and service providers.

Usually held in May, the awards luncheon was re-scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of awards have already been presented at a previous virtual event in earlier in the year.

Among the awards announced today were individual honours for LGBTQ inclusion including Executive Leadership (Alicia Albury, Maddocks), Network Leader of the Year (Ben Brown, QBE and Nathan Eastwood, Clifford Chance) and Out Role Model of the Year (Cathy Gassick, Australian Federal Police).

RMIT University was also recognised for its work in trans and gender diverse inclusion. This follows RMIT being named Employer of the Year at the preliminary awards announcement earlier in June. 

The awards are based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) – which is now in its tenth year – and the second Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). The AWEI and HWEI are rigorous and evidence-based benchmarking tools that annually assesses workplaces in the progress and impact of LGBTQ inclusion initiatives.

The awards also coincide with the release of Australia’s largest annual LGBTQ Inclusion Report that assesses the views of Australian employees from a wide variety of industries on LGBTQ inclusion initiatives within their workplaces and sports. This year the report features over 33,000 responses from employees and around 600 people involved in sport.

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, said she was excited to have been able to share all of the results of the indices and the wonderful achievements of various organisations in LGBTQ inclusion.

“This year marks an important milestone for the AWEI, as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. Over the past decade, we have seen incredible advancements in workplace diversity and inclusion. As we progress further, it remains critical that not only efforts are acknowledged and congratulated, but pressure continues to be applied to maintain and build upon what has been achieved,” Hough said.

“The employee survey that accompanied the AWEI elicited an incredible response, which underscores the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace.”

Highlights from this year’s survey results include significant support for LGBTQ inclusion amongst c-suite leaders within participating organisations; the visibility and positive impact of allies and LGBTQ inclusion on organisational culture in the workplace; and that LGBTQ inclusion training should be mandatory for all managers.

Discouraging findings included less people feeling comfortable to be out at work, with two of the main reasons being that it would not be accepted by some members of their team, or simply not being comfortable enough within themselves to be out at work.

Hough added: “The report also shows that LGBTQ people continue to be the target of negative commentary and innuendo as well as more serious bullying and harassment. So even as we have taken some big steps forward in improving inclusion within workplaces over the past ten years, these results indicate that there is much more to do and no organisation can afford to become complacent in ensuring all Australians are free to be their true selves at work.”

“Congratulations to all the recipients of the tiered awards announced today, including those the received Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum status, as well as those that received organisational awards. I commend all of them on their significant achievements and for showing great leadership in LGBTQ inclusion.” 

Pride in Diversity is part of Pride Inclusion Programs, a suite of social inclusion programs delivered by ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation. Pride Inclusion Programs also includes Pride In Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing.

“In 2020, Pride in Diversity celebrates its tenth year. After a decade, LGBTQ inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda and is making more of a mark in the sporting and service provider sectors every year as well,” Hough said.

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

This year’s luncheon was hosted by SBS World News presenter Ricardo Goncalves and featured winner of The Voice 2016, singer/songwriter Alfie Arcuri.


For more information on the Pride In Sport Awards, go to

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



For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E: [email protected]   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042


2020 Australian Inclusion Award Recipients


AWEI Award


Employer of the Year

RMIT University

Most Improved

John Holland

Platinum employers

·       Commonwealth Bank

·       PwC

·       UWA

Gold employers

·       Brisbane City Council                                  

·       Capgemini

·       Clayton Utz                        

·       CSIRO                                                        

·       Deloitte

·       Department of Agriculture 

·       IBM                                                           

·       J.P. Morgan

·       NAB                                               

·       QBE Insurance                                           

·       SBS

·       Queensland Dept Education

·       RMIT University                             

·       UNSW                                           

·       Woolworths

Silver employers

·       Alcoa of Australia

·       ASIO

·       CBRE

·       Deakin University

·       Department of Social Sciences

·       DLA Piper

·       Energy Australia

·       Hollard Insurance

·       HSBC Australia

·       KPMG Australia

·       Macquarie University

·       Monash University

·       NSW Police Force

·       Qantas

·       ScentreGroup

·       University of QLD

·       University of Sydney

·       Westpac

Bronze employers

·       ABC

·       Allens

·       Allianz

·       Aurecon

·       Australian Federal Police

·       Australian Taxation Office

·       Coles

·       Department of Defence

·       Dept Education & Training

·       Department of Health

·       Department of Health & Human Services

·       Department of Industry, Innovation & Science

·       Griffith University

·       IAG

·       Jacobs

·       John Holland

·       Maddocks

·       Mercer

·       NBN Co

·       Salesforce

·       Services Australia

·       Settlement Services International

·       Stockland

·       The Star Entertainment Group

·       Uniting

·       University of Wollongong

·       Victorian Department of Environment, Land Water & Planning

Small Employer of the Year


Achievement Award for Most Improved Small Employer

ADSSI Limited

Gold Small Employers

·       ADSSI

·       Boston Consulting Group

·       Clifford Chance

·       Dentons

·       McCullough Robertson Lawyers

·       Oliver Wyman

·       PageGroup

Small Silver employers

·       Deutsche Bank

·       Gilead Sciences

Small Bronze employers


·       Allen & Overy

·       Pinsent Masons

·       Russell Kennedy Lawyers

Employee Network of the Year

JP Morgan

RMIT University

Trans/Gender Diverse Inclusion

RMIT University

Executive Leadership

Alicia Albury, Maddocks

Network Leader of the Year

Ben Brown, QBE

Nathan Eastwood, Clifford Chance

Out Role Model

Cathy Grassick, Australian Federal Police

Sapphire Inspire

Alix Sampson, AGL Energy

Meri Machin-Roberts, KPMG

Sally Webster Ally Award

Belinda Young, AGL Energy


HWEI Award


Service Provider of the Year

Advance Diversity Services

Most Improved of the Year


Gold employers

·       Advance Diversity Services

·       Medibank

·       Uniting NSW/ACT

Silver employers

·       Flourish Australia

·       NADA: Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies

·       UnitingCare Qld

Bronze employer

·       ADSSI Ltd


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