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Australian business, sport and health leaders to champion LGBTI inclusion

Six extraordinary and influential LGBTI Australians, internationally-recognised as leaders in their respective fields, have been appointed patrons of landmark LGBTI inclusion initiatives spearheaded by ACON: Alan Joyce AC, Daniel Kowalski OAM, Alex Blackwell, Kerryn Phelps AM, Michael Ebeid AM and Jennifer Westacott

Established in 2009 by NSW’s leading LGBTI health organisation ACON, Pride Inclusion Programs comprise a suite of initiatives that assists employers, sporting organisations and healthcare service providers with all aspects of LGBTI inclusion. These include Pride in Diversity, Pride in Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing.

In recognition of their outstanding contributions towards progressing LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport – on and off the field – Olympic champion Daniel Kowalski and world-leading cricketer Alex Blackwell have become the inaugural patrons of Pride in Sport.

Professor Kerryn Phelps, a City of Sydney Councillor and leading LGBTI health advocate, joins SBS CEO and Managing Director Michael Ebeid as inaugural patrons of Pride in Health+Wellbeing, a program that provides support to organisations in the health sector in delivering LGBTI inclusive services.

They join recently appointed patrons to workplace inclusion program Pride in Diversity, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia Jennifer Westacott, both of whom take over from founding patron the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, who is stepping down from his role after eight years.

In welcoming the new patrons, ACON President Dr Justin Koonin said each extraordinary appointee brings a wealth of experience in leadership from the corporate, health and sporting sectors, and their appointments as patrons will combine to build energy and momentum to Pride Inclusion Programs’ ongoing efforts in advancing LGBTI inclusion.

“Even with the successful passage of marriage equality legislation in 2017, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in ensuring our workplaces, sporting environments and health services are welcoming and inclusive of LGBTI people,” Dr Koonin said.

“The appointments of these outstanding Australians will go a great way in providing additional expertise. As corporate, sporting and health leaders and prominent champions for diversity, their involvement will galvanise support for a more inclusive environment for all Australians.

“I wish to both congratulate and thank all of our new patrons for their leadership, their wisdom and their commitment to our Pride Inclusion Programs, and wish them every success as new patrons of these vital social inclusion initiatives.”

Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, added: “It is a privilege for me to welcome each one of these incredible LGBTI leaders as patrons of our Pride Inclusion Programs. I believe all of our programs will benefit greatly from the added capabilities they will all bring.”

Media enquiries:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E: dalexander@acon.org.au | T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 | M: +61 (0)428 477 042

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