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Dr Bob Brown AM

Former Australian politician Bob Brown

Former Tasmanian politician Dr Bob Brown AM came to prominence in the 1980s as a leader of the protests against the damming of the Franklin River. He went on to spearhead the nation’s environmental movement through his leadership of the Australian Greens from the party’s foundation in 1992 until 2012. During this time, he did much to advance environmental consciousness while championing social justice.

Brown was the first Member of Federal Parliament to publicly identify as LGBTQIA+ at a time when it was still illegal to be gay in Tasmania and was the first openly LGBTQIA+ party leader in Australia. Today, Brown remains an outspoken environmental and social activist.

Image: Australian Green Senators © CC BY-SA 2.5 AU

Ita Buttrose AC QBE

Ita Buttrose

A journalist, businesswoman, television personality and author, Ita Buttrose is an iconic Australian figure. She became the founding editor of Cleo in 1972 and later the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1975.

When the AIDS epidemic struck in the mid-1980s, Buttrose was invited by the then Health Minister, Dr Neal Blewett AC, to chair the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS), a position she held from 1984-1988, playing a leading role in the development of AIDS policy. Her role as a communicator in breaking down homophobia and prejudice at a time when fear of HIV and AIDS was prolific, won her the respect and admiration of the LGBTQIA+ community. Buttrose was Chair of the AIDS Trust of Australia from 1990-1994.

Buttrose cut through many barriers for women throughout her career and remains a prominent media personality. She was Australian of the Year in 2013.

Buttrose is a patron of Qtopia Sydney, a new museum committed to empowerment, inclusivity, celebration, challenge and education, which will host permanent and temporary exhibitions that explore the LGBTQIA+ community through the lens of history, culture, art and contemporary issues.

Image: Supplied ©Ita Buttrose

Molly Meldrum AM

Molly Meldrum at the 2014 ARIA Music Awards, Sydney, November 26th, 2014

Producer, journalist and music guru, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum is widely considered the most important person in the Australian pop industry of the last forty years. He changed the face of Australian music with TV show Countdown (1974-1987), hosted the Australian leg of Live Aid in 1985, and became a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the fostering of international relief and to youth.

Meldrum was one of the first openly gay mainstream Australian TV stars and played an important role in breaking down stereotypes, paving the way for those who came after. In 2017 he received The Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Australian LGBTI Awards in recognition of his life and work.

Image: Eva Rinaldi © CC BY-SA 2.0

Kylie Minogue AO OBE

Kylie Minogue performing live at Golden Tour in 2018

Kylie Minogue is the highest-selling Australian music artist of all time. Her career began in acting, playing tomboy Charlene Robinson on the popular soap Neighbours. She quickly moved into music with her first hit song – a cover of Little Eva’s Loco-Motion.

Kylie has championed many causes, including gay rights and breast cancer awareness. Embraced by the LGBTQIA+ community early on in her career, Kylie has become a gay icon, performing at Sydney Mardi Gras in 1994 and 2012, and headlining the Sydney WorldPride opening concert in 2023.

Image: marcen27 © CC BY 2.0