“Comedian, breakfast radio presenter and GLBT Youth advocate has achieved so much at only 21. I can't think of any performer more deserving to be in this list.”
Australia’s largest youth broadcaster's career and going wonderfully, from his early morning radio broadcasts to his hilarious stand-up comedy shows. In April 2009, Tom brought his debut solo show, Tom Ballard Is What He Is to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was the youngest person EVER to take out the prestigious Melbourne Airport Best Newcomer award. His show was also nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award; an award that recognises independent shows that "buck trends and pursue the artist's ideas more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure."
Growing up and coming out in regional Victoria wasn't too bad, he reflects. "I didn’t come out until I was in Year 12, so I was never the ‘gay kid’ at school," he told the Gay News Network last year. "But there were certainly a lot of times where you’d feel like you couldn’t talk about it.
"Everyone assumes you’re straight, particularly when you’re not an overly camp and obviously gay guy. I’d never had a girlfriend but I think people were kind of surprised in their own way, then they got used to the idea."
Tom Ballard is heading for a busy 2011 of touring his comedy to funny festivals around Australia.
The Same Same 25 is an annual celebration of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians. They are publicly nominated, and chosen by a panel of community leaders.
For the past two years, the announcement of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians has attracted widespread national media attention and focused on the achievements and influence of a varied and inspirational group of people.