Image for The Same Same 25 Announced - The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians

The Same Same 25 Announced -The 25 Most Influential Gayand Lesbian Australians

In an Australian first, last night announced the 25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians at an event held at the Art Gallery of NSW. What have been nicknamed ‘the Gaylies’ by the mainstream media, the list comprised the likes of pop singer Darren Hayes, musical theatre star iOTA and one of the greatest sportswomen that Australia has produced Hockeyroo Alyson Annan.

The event saw an honest and at times emotional speech from modern day cowboy Adam Sutton that had a crowd including Senior Sergeant Joy Murphy of Victoria Police, Justice of the High Court of Australia Michael Kirby, Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull and lesbian mum and author from Playschool Viki Harding silent and transfixed for ten minutes. Co-founder of Same Same, Tim Duggan says: “A list like this has been a long time coming. Australia is now at a stage where we see gay and lesbian people having a huge amount of influence in lots of different fields. The Same Same 25 is a fascinatingly diverse list of people from all walks of life with one thing in common – they exert a large influence over their chosen profession.”

The 25 were publicly nominated over the course of four weeks, supported by a national media campaign in the gay and lesbian press. Hundreds of nominations were received, sifted through and considered by the eight selected judges, one of which is TV personality Andrew Mercado who also
hosted last night’s event. “It’s a real honour to be involved with the Same Same 25,” says Andrew. “I think it’s really important to have positive gay role models out there. It’s also important for straight people to see gay people excelling in their fields. And of course, it’s great for young gay people out there to have something to aspire to.”

All the members of the 25 are unanimously thrilled at being on the list. It’s a diverse list, a list covering a broad range of ages, locations and fields of endeavour. There are some names people will already know, some others that they won’t but will now – and it’s sure to spark plenty of debate.

To view who made it into the Same Same 25 for 2007, and vote for who you think is the most influential, click here.

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Junior said on the 9th Oct, 2007

Fantastic night! Well done SS!

Mr Azza

Mr Azza said on the 9th Oct, 2007

Pats on the back for all!


MelbLouie said on the 9th Oct, 2007

good list. there are some names i didn't even know were gay like Bob Brown!!!


jackie87 said on the 9th Oct, 2007

good work peoples! Number one story on SMH this morning:


djdrey said on the 9th Oct, 2007

Top work SameSame! What a great night


peterk said on the 9th Oct, 2007

25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians Love the Idea not sure how Influential the majority have been with their voice in and for our community on issues that effect us ? fingers crossed I am wrong


burgjo said on the 10th Oct, 2007

excellent mix on the top 25 and some very inspirational people. Congrats to Tim and the team for such a great initiative and an excellent event.


feralberal said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Congratulations to all the winners!!
Lets hope this brings an exciting amount of positive changes to happen within the different cities queer subcultures!!! What about a night for the best GLBTI arts events and major city attractions! Love to see the healthy competition between Midsumma and New Mardi Gras, we do live in exciting times, don't we!!!
WOO HOO, Enjoy the sunshine today everyone!! ANDREW MERCADO ROCKS MY WORLD!!!!


robbie said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Great list. Sutton's speech was amazing..

Matty Taylor

Matty Taylor said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Nice work. What a bunch of brilliant and beautiful people.


Zakalwe said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Excellent choices!
Though I agree with David Marr, why isnt Alan Jones on the list?!! ;)

Also a surprise for me, I went to school with Alison Annan, always knew she'd do well!


taylor-dayne said on the 10th Oct, 2007

i am pleased to see tom mcfeely up there. a brave soul who has been bashed in the media and made a scapegoat out of, but who has actually stood up for his clientele and has taken back control of his business. he highlighted the importance of gay spaces - one look at the comments being aired in the daily telegraph about the same same 25 and it's pretty easy to see what mcfeely was protecting his clientele from!

it's also pretty apparent why a list like this is important. have a look at these:

"Why can't they simply be honoured for who they are and what they have done, without the 'gay' tag? Does it matter that they are gay? You don't make comments such as 'straight actor wins award'. I just don't understand."

"Who are these people? How have they influenced anybody? They haven't influenced society as a whole so why are they being honoured as "Australian Leaders". Who do they lead? They certainly don't lead me and they certainly don't lead this state nor this country. Its amazing how people in this country would honour a flea on a dog yet let the dog suffer the abuse."

"Being gay is such a small part of who i am. I have blue eyes, should we have an awards show for those with only blue eyes."

"Don't gay people want to be classed as equal? Then why should they get their own list?"

"Just another example of how homosexuals crave the spotlight."

"Imagine the outcry if a list of the most influentual hetrosexuals was named."


david_margeaux said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I'm just wondering how the list managed to be broadcast on before SameSame? Surely SS would've wanted to be the first news agency to report their own list to the world?


aspire_jvidy said on the 10th Oct, 2007

And no one from Western Australia made it?!


alison87 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I have no idea who any of these people are :) Gonna make some good reading.


Cheetah77 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Interesting quotes T-D... all very typical and quite expected though.

The kind of ppl who make comments like that will never uunderstand why we need to acknowledge the ppl who help our community like this list does.

And as tempting as it is, there would be no point trying to explain it to any of them or you'd just get in another argument like the "Letter to str8 guys at Arq" one...

but agree with all of the Kudos for last night too - Well done to Tim and the team for putting on such a great night!!

P.S Christian, I still can't believe you made me eat deep fried chicken at that time of the morning!! :)


Zakalwe said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I just had a look through the picture gallery of the SameSame 25 on the Telegraph website. David Marr is captioned as "former TV host" lol!! Subtle dig, not! ;)

Tim D

Tim D said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Cheers guys, we were thrilled with the event last night and the coverage today shows there's a huge interest in creating debate like this in the media. From the most viewed story on SMH today to a full page in the Tele (lol), The Age and elsewhere, it's been great to get the discussion going.

So is the list who you imagined?


HaleyandJoy said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Have really enjoyed looking at this site. Have added to my favorites.
Thanks for creating it.


ishvari said on the 10th Oct, 2007

was a really great night last night! Interesting to see the full list - good mix of people


robbie said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Where is Ian Roberts? the footy player that came out all those years ago and is still, to this day, the ONLY Australian footy player to do so.


tomcatbondi said on the 10th Oct, 2007

great work all

But you will have to work to include Alan Jones [the broadcaster not the racing driver] in next years list :)


andygisby said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I know I look remarkably young and well kept, however I'm old enough to remember fantastic events held in the late 80's early 90's which were delivered in the same classy style as last nights Awards. The 25 list is crucial in instigating pride, recognition and strength within the community and projecting these attributes into the mainstream. So proud of the event and so proud of how far SameSame has come ! Brilliantly conceived, remarkably well executed !


robbie said on the 10th Oct, 2007

great work all

But you will have to work to include Alan Jones [the broadcaster not the racing driver] in next years list :)

Nobody should have to work to get someone the list. If he's not out and proud, then Alan can stay under his rock. :eek:


morgan said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Hey, well done Tim and everyone else at SameSame who was involved! It all looked really smooth. The speeches were great, and it felt like everyone was enjoying themselves.

The press coverage is also pretty amazing, and it shows the value of the list.


davidb said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Ian Roberts is way more deserving than the asinine Darren Hayes, safely closeted when the world was interested in him - and paying; his attitudes are as cliched as his music...


cactusdude666 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I think there is some confusion here: one does not have to be well known, or popular, to be influential. Where are the teachers, youth workers, trade unionists, disability activists and so on. I don't recognise any gay liberationists from the 70s and 80s without whose struggle this event would not have been possible. By the way, the photo in today's Sydney Morning Herald was disappointing. Both Kirby and Sutton looked like they'd just spent too long in a solarium, and poor Adam Sutton had the look of a roo caught in the headlights.


jackie87 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Another person missing on the list where is John Michael Howson? Annoying and Catholic at best he still deserves a nod.


junglejane said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Over 75% Men - Appalling

When I last checked the population of Australia was pretty much 50/50 women and men, if anything perhaps it leans towards more women than men.

I also thought we were a country of equality.

I was wrong.

Same Same please be progressive enough to show great leadership in our male dominated country and have a list of half men and half women next year!

Surely its time someone stood up.

And Same Same how about a list of judges consisting of half men and half women from a greater range of backgrounds.

There are many amazing women out there who deserved to be on the list and who have personally put themselves on the line for the gay and lesbian community and shown great leadership.

I know quite a few of these women were nominated.

Keryn Phelps
Julie Mccrossin
Dawn O Donnell (deceased)
Silke Bader - LOTL
Liz James - Pink Sofa
Renee Stubbs (tennis player)
Portia de Rossi
Nicci Madden - GirlFest
Blue House - Band
Marie Wilson - Solo Artist

These women have all made a huge difference to the community - musicians, businesswomen, sportswomen, actresses, doctors, event organisers, media personalities etc.

Lets hear of other lesbians out there who deserve recognition....


royal said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I commend the efforts of all involved here. Great to see!


burgjo said on the 10th Oct, 2007

I think you are all missing a very crucial point here. You had your opportunity to vote for who you thought was the most inspirational. The final 25 is comprised from those votes! It isn;t about working to get someone on the list - it's about what you the public consider worthy and the only way to have your say was to vote!


junglejane said on the 10th Oct, 2007

No I didnt miss the point. Quite a few of these women were voted for - they just didnt get a flag.


RodSydney said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Congratulations - great list but where is Rodney Croome?


jackie87 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Yes, apart from Bob Brown there are no other Tasmanians


nathrob said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Actually I agree with JungleJane, it really is a boys club and I'm a boy and felt uncomfortable by the list. I thought Silke Bader was a judge, whey didn't she push for a gender balance?
Me thinks more was afoot....


Weasel said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Thank god there was no Rodney Croome. He is an embarassment nowadays. And newsflash, Tasmania has significantly less than 1/25th of the population of this country so more than one person from Tassie would be an imbalance.

Totally agree about the lack of women - it is a very gay male Sydney-centric list. And from memory it wasn't totally decided on votes - there was a panel too.

Tim D

Tim D said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Hey Jane,

To answer some of your questions, we've been as open as possible with the whole juding process, these were the judges who sifted through the nominations:

There were 8 judges for the Same Same 25, 3 of which were female, and without going into too much detail over what went on behind closed doors over two very long judging days, there was a lot of discussion about this topic. We felt we would be comprimising the list if we included an equal number of women just to make up the numbers.

It's a comment on the current state of the balance of influence that there are only 6 women in the 25. We're not saying that's a good thing, we're not saying that's a bad thing, but we're saying that's where the current influence lies. The fact the list is dominated by Sydney in Melbourne is also refelctive of the fact that there is where most of the gay and lesbian influence is felt in Australia right now.

Everyone is the list is there for a reason, and we're the first to admit that men outnumber women in the Same Same 25 for 2007. We hope that changes in the list next year, depending on who is going to be influential over the next 12 months.


sarahpd said on the 10th Oct, 2007

Having spoken to many people who nominated Kerryn Phelps, including myself, one wonders what on earth would have allowed such a prominent member of the gay and lesbian community could have been excluded from this list? I have to say I am very disappointed.


alison87 said on the 10th Oct, 2007

It's always gonna be the way with lists like this, for every 1 person who says you got it right there'll be 10 who reckon you got it wrong because of their personal experiences and views. I noticed the gender split too, but i just assumed it was because there honestly were less influential lesbians than gay men. That's just the way our society works right now. If you got a list of the top 25 most influential straight people in Australia, i'm sure women would be in the minority there too.


Kara said on the 11th Oct, 2007

I don't really think Kerryn is that influential anymore - just because she's public and out doen't automatically mean she should be in the list. To me she's jumped the shark a little bit with those TV ads she does for Ethical Nutrients or whatever. She's a business woman just living her life I reckon.

I tried really hard to nominate bunches of women too but it's a lot of hard work to try and come up with some. Portia isn't influential just cause she's shagging Ellen.

Mind you I am a bit surprised at Alison Annan. She doesn't even live in Australia any more, her coming out was years ago and she seems to have just gone on to live her life away from the spotlight. I would have liked to see one of our organisers win. Liz/Nicci/the girls from City Lickers maybe?

ps...OOPS. This is Jody Ekert writing. My GF was signed in on my computer. Doh.


amaurice said on the 11th Oct, 2007

Our world (human beings) is not yet at the level of consciousness that would require debate around this celebration. Nothing can say it better than Adam Sutton's speech. Should really get that OUT to all the press

Great work same same


Zakalwe said on the 11th Oct, 2007

I just read the SameSame weekly newsletter, and i'm still annoyed at a lot of the comments on the Telegraph website. Which, I guess, should come as no surprise really.

I posted a comment on the Tele site yesterday stating that most of the posters' idea of equallity was something along the lines of shut up and get back in the closet, it never made it onto the site, shouldnt be surprised at that either, I guess it was moderated for being too abusive or contraversial. And of course I loved the balanced opnions in the letters page of todays paper.

Ghassan summed it up much better than I did with his quote thats in the weekly newsletter and his comments deserve repeating...


Ronny said on the 11th Oct, 2007

I address those who would deny us our A-list and especially those queers who remain closeted but who nonetheless feel marginalised in not being able to nominate.

The straight community avows its sexuality every day, in every area of life. Consider newspaper articles "father of two drowns" and "vote for me I am a grandfather who has lived here for 40 years". Also consider how many times your straight friends have expressed their sexuality by saying "Cor! Have a look at her! Wouldn't you like to bonk her?"

So to James of Mortdale who says "Who are these people? How have they influenced anybody? Who do they lead?" I would answer "Some progressive High Court judges who are the bulwarks of our freedoms, a myriad of Tchaikovskys, dozens of Ian Robertses and athletes, dozens of Bernard Kings, so many actors that I've lost count, a handful of politicians (and no, I don't include those spineless closeted pollies who prefer career to integrity). I could go on and on, but this world would not be where it is now without all those gay leaders of the past. AND of course all those straight ones.

But the straight ones already HAVE their A-lists. Not touted as straight, of course, but straight by convention.

ONYER, A-listers!!!


ronniedeano said on the 11th Oct, 2007

Dr Ron Woods, was born and bred in WA. His family was one of the first to arrive in the colony in 1829 among the "first fleet" and are still there. The Woods came from the same village as their kin-folk the Gallops of which Dr Geoff is also a direct descendent. For more go to his web site


sallyg said on the 11th Oct, 2007

Hi there

While these people all do great work, are all of them neccessary influential?

If it's a list of Australia's (emphasis here) 25 influential G


aspire_jvidy said on the 11th Oct, 2007

Interesting. Well there are many more West Aussies i believe that are worthy of a mention at least. Anyhow, thanks for the info fella. :)


chad_74 said on the 11th Oct, 2007

yeah id prefer he wasnt on the list but hey we gotta have the cliche ones


DrRon said on the 11th Oct, 2007

I had a very kind letter from one of my clients as a result of my nomination in the list. I told all of my clients via an email broadcast. I didn’t go into the details of the G&L bit as corporate fire-walls block messages with “gay” or “lesbian” in them, but I told them where they could read about it if they cared to. I also told them that after more than 25 years and thousands of interviews I have given in the media, I have never discussed personal matters until the SameSame interview. This is part of the email this elderly white-collar, heterosexual grandfather, who had never knowingly met “a gay” sent in reply. I think this shows just what this award can do in the wider community to help them understand what some gays and lesbians have to go through. I hope you can appreciate the spirit in which this was sent, I know I did :
Dr Ron...........

Congratulations on your nomination........I read with interest your interview........and if it's OK to say I had no idea at all regarding your sexuality (in fact I feel pretty stupid even saying it).........what I would like to say is that many times I have sat in the audience where you were the guest speaker and all I was interested in was what you had to say......and on those many occasions what you had to say was enough to lead me to be an early subscriber to your Econoclast email service......which I value immensely.

Being involved in the financial services industry now for 28 years as a financial planner/adviser, it is sad to know that you were treated the way you were (and possibly still are).......being an "old bloke" now perhaps I am a little sheltered and don't quite understand these things and never even thought about until your email.......all I can say Dr Ron is keep up the good work - I and my clients appreciate what you do.

In finishing.......if this short note appears to be condescending in any way please forgive me - it is in no way intended to be so......I have long been an admirer of how you see economics and your ability to deliver your message and that is all it really boils down to.

You have a fan out here Dr Ron!.......

Best Regards
Melbourne, Victoria

Tim D

Tim D said on the 11th Oct, 2007

Ron that is just beautiful. Right there, in that one email, it's mission accomplished from our end.


peterk said on the 11th Oct, 2007

25 Most Influential Gay & Lesbian Australians Love the Idea not sure how Influential the majority have been with their voice in and for our community on issues that effect us ? fingers crossed I am wrong

Christian Taylor

Christian Taylor said on the 11th Oct, 2007

remember folks - the fluidity of the term influential - we've said it all along - a big influence over a large number of people or an important influence over a small number of people. it's about showing a diverse list that shines a spotlight on issues and sparks debate.

i think dr ron is the perfect example of this... positive change happening at grassroots level.


sally88 said on the 12th Oct, 2007

Hello everyone, As one of the judges I would like to say thank you for all the support. We have copped a little grief over the list in some respects but as Tim said, we expected and welcomed the discussion over the inclusions on the list. It was extremely important to us that we included people from many different fields and sectors as more often than not we tend to focus on certain groups both within our community and throughout the wider community. All comments are gladly received.

Thanks again guys.

Sally Horrobin
Sydney Star Observer


chad_74 said on the 13th Oct, 2007

yes I agree alan jones should of been included....perhaps we could remove bob brown...


sally88 said on the 15th Oct, 2007

Hi Chad, the list applies to people who are 'out and proud.'


peeter said on the 15th Oct, 2007

and Alan Jones is simply famous, not someone who would personally motivate me or is influential within our community.

I was shocked that Ian Roberts wasn't included? Then again I'm not sure how influential he is now. I guess if he was a spokesman for the GLBT community - speaking to large organisations about the hardships/discrimination of our community, maybe he would of been recognised.

Some of the stories of the 25 are amazing.

Can't wait to see the list next year! Nice work Same Same.


Ronny said on the 15th Oct, 2007

To Chad74 and Peeter. The expression is "he would have" not "he would of". I appreciate people correcting my grammatical gaffes soI hope you do too. If you don't then heaven help the English language and communication in general.


chad_74 said on the 15th Oct, 2007

Cheers Ronny....another subject
To those complaining about not having enough women included...What the ####?
Stop feeling inferior . Men dont treat women as being unequal so lose the chip.
Perhaps to pander to these people next time it could be 12 most influential gay men and 12 most influential gay women(I didnt use lesbian as its gender bias)


DrRon said on the 16th Oct, 2007

The Peter Principle
That expression has been kicking around my head ever since John Howard announced last month that if reelected he would hand over to Peter Costello and I dont mean to be overtly partisan; in fact I have no particular party preference. Devoutly voting for one party is for me much like barracking for the same football team: you may be loyal but invariably the team you choose will eventually disappoint. A leadership handover or not, it seems inevitable there will be a change of government on Election Day November 24th. For a long time, the opinion polls have been showing the fan base of the incumbent has eroded significantly. Yet many commentators have been scratching their heads about this. They cant understand why because when the economy is strong governments dont usually lose office. Instead they say this election is different to others. Hugh Mackay, for example, a respected columnist recently wrote that this is an unusual election [because] the economy seems robust. I cant be the economy, and instead offers the explanation that Australians are abandoning the government because now they are waking upthis is a retrospective election: we're re-thinking some stuff we let slip by while we were in our little trance... many Australians who have felt powerless will want to punish this Government for sins long past; perhaps but I doubt Australians were just snoozing and skipping retribution for some later election.

I also doubt that because it still remains true today that when the economy sours so too does a governments support base: its the economy stupid. This time is no different. Outside of the Resource related sectors, the economy is not nearly as robust as many say it is; as revealed in regular Updates. Excluding the impact of the resources boom, the economy is well-below average. If there is a change of government, then it probably is due to the economy and the way it has been managed, or moreover, hasnt been managed. That returns me to my theme of the Peter Principle. The main reason for the economy souring is bad monetary policy, including not stopping house price inflation in the early 2000s and especially the last four rate rises which were unnecessary. These four hikes came because the Reserve Bank (RBA) erroneously believes low unemployment causes inflation; thats a myth. The RBA has used the cover of several spikes in food and fuel prices as an excuse to quickly raise the cash rate; and they may well use that reason again if the next CPI due October 24th is above their trigger point (see Flying by the seat of their pants ). The problem with raising rates when there hasnt been inflation is that it risks overkill resulting in an economic downturn or worse. The economy and the governments support soured after the first of the banana-inspired rate rises in May 2006.

The Peter Principle is applicable in several areas. Let me consider just two: firstly you can argue that these four rate rises could have been avoided if the government had continued micro-economic reform and secondly if they had better oversight of the RBA. For example if the government had deregulated banana imports, a simple micro-economic reform, after Cyclone Larry in March 2006, not only would bananas but also other fruit that became substitutes would not have risen nearly as much. Many items in the CPI would have been more contained and the RBA would have had fewer chances to sneak in their rate rises. More importantly however, if the government had been better at overseeing the enactment of monetary policy rather than allowing the internal managers to run it, the myth that low unemployment causes inflation might have been exposed; and the Housing Crisis (the after effect of house price inflation) avoided. The RBA obtained independence in the 1980s long before formal agreements were initiated but independence does not mean lack of oversight. It has been 18 years since an outsider was brought into run the central bank. While internal promotion creates stable career paths, the Peter Principle is not necessarily the most effective way to manage an economy or to run a country. Ominously the alternative government Labor promises to maintain RBA independence. While I wish good luck to all candidates, I suspect it is the rest of us who will need it the most and long after Election Day has past. For regular economic and market Updates go to

Any information contained in this posting or conclusions made, whether express or implied, do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of an individual and does not constitute investment advice or an investment recommendation.

Christian Taylor

Christian Taylor said on the 17th Oct, 2007

there's no denying that alan jones is influential - the only thing keeping him off the list is that he's not out.


pinkyboisyd said on the 17th Oct, 2007

Dr Ron - did u perhaps mean for this to be a new post....?


ginavampire said on the 1st Feb, 2011

It is unaceptable that Josh Thomas is being nominated for any kind of LGBTI award after his outrageous slaging off of Kleinfelter's on Good News Week.

Kleinfelters is a way of being Intersex something Thomas is glad he is not. If he had said he was glad not to be gay there is no chance Same Same would nominate him.


datkindagal said on the 1st Feb, 2011

wow I missed that can you link me?