Celebrating LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Sport: Finalists Announced for the 2023 Australian Pride in Sport Awards

Finalists for the 2023 Australian Pride in Sport Awards have been announced ahead of the sixth annual awards ceremony that will see sporting identities, clubs and codes across the country gather to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion in Australian sport on 10 May in Melbourne.

First held in 2018, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards is a national event dedicated to recognising exceptional efforts in making sport more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. It is produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s largest LGBTQ+ health organisation ACON.

The Awards will feature keynote speakers from experts within the industry, as well as the much-anticipated award ceremony.

One of the leading events on the LGBTQ+ sporting calendar, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards honours athletes, employees, volunteers, and organisations as it showcases the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) – the national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTQ+ inclusion within Australian sport.

In addition to the recipients of this year’s awards, additional awards will be presented based on the results from the 2022 Pride in Sport Index, including Sporting Organisation of the Year, Community Sporting Organisation of the Year, Most Improved PSI Results, as well as Gold, Silver and Bronze tier sporting organisations.

Pride in Sport National Program Manager, Beau Newell said: “The PSI allows sporting organisations and clubs to benchmark their LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices annually, and the Australian Pride in Sport Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those that have demonstrated very real efforts towards making sport welcoming of everyone.”

“Over the past decade, the shift in focus towards LGBTQ inclusion, zero tolerance of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, not only within the corporate sector via their diversity and inclusion practices, but also within sport and society as a whole has been inspiring and very encouraging.

“Many of Australia’s sporting organisations and clubs are recognising positive steps need to be taken to ensure your sexuality and gender identity does not impact your ability to play, watch or be involved with sport at any level.

“Since its inaugural year, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards have been acknowledging and celebrating this significant shift in practice with LGBTQ+ inclusion work in Australian sport.

“With each year that the PSI and Awards have existed, we have observed a sustained growth in the number of, and range of, sporting organisations participating, as well as stronger commitments by sporting bodies to provide safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for LGBTQ+ people.

“This is fundamentally what the Pride in Sport Awards is all about and we couldn’t be happier to come together and celebrate these achievements.”


The 2023 Australian Pride in Sport Awards is on Wednesday 10 May 2023 6pm – 10pm at CENTREPOINT at Melbourne Park, Olympic Boulevarde, Melbourne VIC.  

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.




2023 Australian Pride in Sport Awards Finalists




LGBTQ Ally of the Year Award

- Luke Heckendorf, Touch Football

- Kristen Stone Hutchinson, Lacrosse Victoria

- Kerry Tavrou, Tennis Australia

- Marius Zanin, Adelaide United

LGBTQ Out Role Model Award

- Isaac Humphries, Melbourne United/NBL

- Matthew Mitcham, Diving Australia

- Alexander Smyth, Cycling, RMIT Sport

- Sharni Williams, Rugby Australia

- Darcy Vescio, AFL (Carlton Football Club)

LGBTQ Inclusive Coach of the Year

- Sam Dengate, T Generation

- Connor Evans, Melbourne Wranglers Wrestling Club

- Lil Waters, Mt Alexander Football Club

- Rowie Webster, Water Polo Australia

LGBTQ Positive Media Award

- Jacqueline Shields, Q-mmunity Network News (QNN) Joy 94.9

- ‘Melbourne United supports and celebrates Isaac Humphries courageous decision’, National Basketball League (NBL)

- ‘Why community sport matters so much to me as a trans woman’ - Roxy Tickle, SBS News

- ‘How Manly’s jersey predicament taught sport an unintended lesson about inclusion’ - Samantha Lewis, ABC News

LGBTQ Inclusion Initiative Award

- AO Pride, Tennis Australia

- QSA x Champion: Q League

- SLSA Pride Surf Rescue Board, Surf Life Saving Australia

- UQ Rebels Touch Football - Pride Round, Touch Football

LGBTQ Executive Leader Award

- Angela Colless, A-Leagues

- Tanya Gamble, Netball Victoria

- Mick Garnett, Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT

- Jamie O'Connor, Touch Football Australia

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