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Same Same 25 Announced

From a 20 year-old to an 80 year-old, a diverse group of Australians from across the nation were last night named as the year’s 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians at the second annual Same Same 25 awards.

Nicknamed the “Gaylies”, the list includes well known names like 20 year-old Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, singer Sam Sparro, MTV host Ruby Rose and actress Portia de Rossi, as well as unsung heroes like Alice Springs policewoman Melinda Edwards, GetUp! Director Meredith Turnbull and 80 year-old activist John Challis.

According to Same Same co-founder Tim Duggan, the list was created to bring together a group of the most inspirational, aspirational and influential gays and lesbians in Australia, shining a spotlight on people and issues that should be talked about and debated, while creating the next generation of gay and lesbian role models.

“The Same Same 25 is a very important list,” he said. “The sheer range of the people who have shaped 2008 is a real testament to the year we’ve had. From inspirational feats at the Olympics to equality before the law, no matter what their age or occupation, the 25 Australians on this list have all influenced the wider community in a big way.”

The Same Same 25 was announced at a red carpet cocktail event at the Cell Block Theatre at the National Art School in Darlinghurst last night, attended by many of the 25. A heartfelt speech from the youngest member of the Same Same 25, gold medalist Matthew Mitcham was followed by one from the oldest member, 80 year-old John Challis, who spoke of the changes he has seen in his lifetime.

The awards were publicly nominated through SameSame.com.au before a panel of community leaders, including the publishers of Same Same, DNA Magazine, LOTL and Evolution Publishing, selected the 25 winners. The criteria for nomination in the Same Same 25 was that the nominated person must be an Australian citizen who has publicly acknowledged that they are gay or lesbian. They could be someone in the public eye, or a behind-the-scenes worker who is highly respected in their chosen profession.

Only four names re-appear on the Same Same 25 list for the second year in a row – Justice Michael Kirby, politicians Penny Wong and Bob Brown and author David Marr.

“Australia is at a stage where gay and lesbian people have a huge amount of influence across a number of different fields,” said Duggan. “Whether in sport, entertainment or politics, recognition for the men and women on the Same Same 25 list helps to not only applaud these individuals for their contribution to Australia in 2008, but to show the rest of society how strong, vibrant and unique our gay and lesbian community really is.”

The full 2008 list is very diverse, covering a broad range of ages, locations and fields of endeavour. There are some names people will already know and others that they won’t – but whatever the case, the Same Same 25 for 2008 is destined to once again enlighten, fascinate and spark plenty of debate.

Check out the full Same Same 25 list for 2008 by clicking here.

Vote for who you think is the most influential by clicking here.

Check out photos from the announcement event by clicking here.

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Comments

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Jody Ekert

Jody Ekert said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Fantastic night! Very well done and classy. Of course we took it down a notch by ending up eating pizza on Oxford St in our cocktail outfits. Tragic.

weathervain

weathervain said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Can I get a list of who they were and why they were awarded, I mean it might be nice for all of us who weren't there

sarahanne

sarahanne said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Such a well rounded list too!

Jody Ekert

Jody Ekert said on the 16th Dec, 2008



The link is in the article. Has all the details and pictures etc.

gnosis

gnosis said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Was an excellent night! Well done Same Same

The speeches were great and it was quite a diverse list of people.

Yes, Pizza and watching (not participating, despite pleas from Brodie) karaoke in Stonewall was a good notch to go down. Though my four hours of sleep is killing me this morning.

weathervain

weathervain said on the 16th Dec, 2008

cool the links were fucked when I went on last night to look, it kept telling me I couldn't vote anymore

GenesisInVain

GenesisInVain said on the 16th Dec, 2008

HAHAHAH! Yes we truly outclassed ourselves with pizza and kareoke at Stonewall. Great Event! Omg meeting Matt Mitcham and Suri!!!!

weathervain

weathervain said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Oh I could have bought greencard out for one last night of karaoke

damn!

pantone801

pantone801 said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Well done guys! This is a great idea and it is great to see the community recognising those who put in a a bit more effort and deserve thanks.

gnosis

gnosis said on the 16th Dec, 2008

Meeting Fran Kelly and telling her how great The Howard Years was is another highlight. :D

weathervain

weathervain said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Rod Sydney Took some shots that are up on Facebook FYI

Weasel

Weasel said on the 17th Dec, 2008

A really good list - some effort has obviously been made to address gender balance, and this has had the bonus effect of meaning that a few more community contributors with lower public profiles have been included. Next year's challenge: ethnic diversity :)

VPGLLO

VPGLLO said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Congratulations is extended by Victoria Police to former employee Senior Constable Melinda Edwards on her listing within the samesame 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians for 2008.

Melinda was the first person to take on the role of a full time Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer within Victoria Police in 2000 and later as the State Co-ordinator Gay and Lesbian Liaison. This was ground breaking work undertaken by Melinda and undertaken at a time when GLBTI community trust of Victoria Police was at a very low point. It came just 6 years after the Tasty Nightclub raid and just 4 years after comments were made by the then police minister about the suitability for Victoria Police to employ GLBTI people.

Melinda took on the role with flair, dignity, passion and pride and this gong is most deserved. Whilst Melinda moved interstate in 2006, her work and influence within Victoria Police remains strong until today and will continue into the future. Congratulations Melinda.

Scott Davis | Sergeant

Manager | Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit | Victoria Police |
phone: 9247 6944 | mobile: 0409 534 154 | email: melbourne.gllo@police.vic.gov.au
address: Victoria Police Centre. Level 7. Yarra Tower. 637 Flinders Street, Melbourne. 3005.
web: www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=741
prevent homophobic crime: www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10906
speak up against homophobic crime: www.speakup.asn.au

RoryFlynn

RoryFlynn said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Please tell me that there will be a video of Matthew's speech. That would be a great Christmas gift :) Here in the US we keep reading about him winning awards and giving good speeches but there is only a handful of photos and never any video. YouTube is a blessing!

Snuff

Snuff said on the 17th Dec, 2008

i find it a little strange the penny wong was on the list instead of louise pratt.

Jimmy978

Jimmy978 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

For the life of me I cannot fathom why, on such a great list, Ruby Rose is mentioned. Influential to me also means a positive role model for our community. An MTV presenter, who occasionally dates a singer, and does no shows at charity events (preferring a party instead) does exactly inspire a positive image. Odd choice guys, very odd choice.

Jimmy978

Jimmy978 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

And Fran Kelly is an absolute deadset legend. Great singing voice too!!

HaleyandJoy

HaleyandJoy said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Congratulations is extended by Victoria Police to former employee Senior Constable Melinda Edwards on her listing within the samesame 25 most influential gay and lesbian Australians for 2008.

Melinda was the first person to take on the role of a full time Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer within Victoria Police in 2000 and later as the State Co-ordinator Gay and Lesbian Liaison. This was ground breaking work undertaken by Melinda and undertaken at a time when GLBTI community trust of Victoria Police was at a very low point. It came just 6 years after the Tasty Nightclub raid and just 4 years after comments were made by the then police minister about the suitability for Victoria Police to employ GLBTI people.

Melinda took on the role with flair, dignity, passion and pride and this gong is most deserved. Whilst Melinda moved interstate in 2006, her work and influence within Victoria Police remains strong until today and will continue into the future. Congratulations Melinda.

Scott Davis | Sergeant

Manager | Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit | Victoria Police |
phone: 9247 6944 | mobile: 0409 534 154 | email: melbourne.gllo@police.vic.gov.au
address: Victoria Police Centre. Level 7. Yarra Tower. 637 Flinders Street, Melbourne. 3005.
web: www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=741
prevent homophobic crime: www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=10906
speak up against homophobic crime: www.speakup.asn.au
I too would like to pass on my congratulations to Melinda Edwards. A deserved honour indeed. She is now strutting her stuff in the Northern Territory and leading the way. A great loss to Victoria Police but an asset to Northern Territory. Well done Melinda!!!
Joy Murphy

dreadcircus

dreadcircus said on the 17th Dec, 2008

What a fantastic event. Congrats to the winners for their contributions and inspiration. To be surrounded by such amazing people has been the highlight of the year. The see the SS 25 grow from last years results to a more balanced group of individuals from all aspects of our community is great and leaves me even more excited for next years event which should continue to broaden and diversify as does our community.

Congrats to Christian, Tim, Robbie and Cam for really putting in the hard yards throughout this event. As a contributor many of us have noticed the boys have been run ragged the last couple of months preparing this event and have succeeded yet again. To everybody who voted this is your top 25 for those who didn't make sure you vote next year.

Truly inspirational! Raise a glass "Cheers"

jackie87

jackie87 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Penny Wong was on the list again?? Why? She hasn't really done her job that well...

I would have nominated Giz Watson, WA Greens leader

pete1000

pete1000 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

PLEASE gay top 25 in fact why not a gay 100...FACT IS Australia is BEHIND about LIKE SO MANY countries for GAY marriage and rights LIKE SOOOOOOOO behind..HUH gay politicians lesbian politicians please!!! penny wong please what a joke..if SOUTH AFRICA can get gay marriage then I think we all need to take a valium and have biGGGGG think about it all love youse all maybe time to emigrate like 5 years ago....

pete1000

pete1000 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

PS:Oh yeh sorry meant to mention Mardi Gras.. i think in the context of it all it has all lost a bit of relevance wouldnt you say
1oooooo people march/peformance and NO equal gay and lesbian rights why bother..i think someone has lost the steering wheel a long time ago

trevleen

trevleen said on the 17th Dec, 2008

I wonder whether ANY of these elite mentioned the gay pensioners who are about to have their lives destroyed....enough back patting, do something to prevent a great chunk of the community from sinking in the deep water we left them in while riding our happy wave of change.
Shameful self congratulatory crap.
As a 78er I find this insulting.
How about awards nights for those with below poverty line incomes who have survived against the odds despite that, and are now facing frightening prospects of centrelink investigations.
Wong won't refer to her 'private life' in public, so today's paper says. What on earth.

robbie

robbie said on the 17th Dec, 2008

I believe an award not only rewards those that have achieved, but inspires others to do the same.

pete1000

pete1000 said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Well hopefully it will inspire some changes to G and L rights because gee when i last looked it was 2008..and still we have to listen to debates on gay and lesbian rights in Australia...phew like are we so f@cking behind the times or what

darrard

darrard said on the 17th Dec, 2008

So the gayly gongs are announced and we can all feel we are a wonderful diverse and contributing bunch of citizens and no doubt we are. Something to feel good about and to celebrate is always worthwhile.

It is interesting though, that while Same Same is promoting its style of society there is another aspect to being gay in Australia that also has a lot of energy and achievement. There are people struggling and building depth in our community that this kind of poll cannot find, let alone celebrate. At the same time as we have mutual back patting in one corner of the world we have people, ordinary gay citizens, the building blocks of our community, struggling to stay together as part of their community, living on or close to the poverty line and currently re-doing their household budgets to try and find a way to cope with anticipated proportionately huge gaps in their incomes.

Old folks who haven't climbed to top of corporate desks, judicial benches or diving boards but have salted their community as "the boys". "the girls" or that lovely couple. Old folks who are too old to be part of the "out" generations, forced further into the closet to survive the uncaring world of heterosexually based care. Disabled folks whose ideas, humour and sheer guts should be an inspiration to all.

There are heroes galore, who might not even have heard of many of the "gayly" recipients. But we all know that even though you might not have heard of them, doesn't mean they don't exist.

D

Phil Walcott

Phil Walcott said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Outstanding effort by Melinda Edwards - local Alice Springs (according to your report) cop who is continuing to help build positive relationships across all sectors of the community. Alice is proud of you, Melinda!!

Weasel

Weasel said on the 17th Dec, 2008

Penny Wong is open about her sexuality - if she wishes to keep the rest to herself that's her right. Why do we feel the need to tell others how they should go about the business of being themselves?

As for whether she's influential or not, she and Bob Brown are almost certainly the two most powerful gay/lesbian people in this country - the ETS being a total failure doesn't change that!

kath_white

kath_white said on the 18th Dec, 2008



If you read John Challis' speech you would see that he spoke on the night about gay pensioners being given equal rights.

pete1000

pete1000 said on the 18th Dec, 2008

I dont care if penny wong or who ever want to keep their lives to themselves.Point is these people have been around for years>and Australian gay and lesbian reform is behind so many countries>this should have been changed years ago.Rudd and his mob are still stalling and thats a problem !

darrard

darrard said on the 18th Dec, 2008



Katherine, having a look at John Challis' speech I think he mentioned death benefits of superannuation for partners, not pensioners. Unfortunately it is not really the high achievers who will lose benefits as a result of the same new laws that will allow me to leave a government superannuation benefit to my partner if I die before him. John Challis may be 80 but he has aged peers who no longer have any capacity to earn and who will lose a substantial portion of their aged pension or their disability pension at a time in their lives when their daily budgets will now have to be totally revamped. Some will have to leave their homes which they will not longer be able to afford.

The old gay people thus affected are not necessarily high achievers or high profile in the sense that John Challis was mentioning but they are giants of the gay community, every day John and Johns and Joan and Joans who have been out their being the gay part of the backbone of heterosexual land all their long lives.

And yes they are being treated equally with heterosexual couples but the rules have been shifted under their feet and many of them have no capacity to pick themselves up and move on. They are not young and capable people or the self funded retirees (like me) who will do OK from all this. If we all don't do something to prevent these people becoming the collateral damage of a very worthwhile change for an equal society then in 2009 they will not only be the heroes worthy of the Top25 but I fear some of them will also become reluctant martyrs to the cause.

Let us absolutely celebrate and cultivate our high achievers that is something that Australia is thankfully getting better at doing. But let us also be vigilant as John Challis has warned in his speech, not just of the law changes that can erode our equality but of the uncaring implementation of those laws which gives equality via a ham fist.

Darryl

largs girl

largs girl said on the 18th Dec, 2008

Darryl is right. I'm glad that the laws have changed so that my partner of 30 plus years will get my Commonwealth superanuation pension if I die (and our child will be counted as a dependent). This change to the law need to be made to remove discrimination. Before I could have met a man and got married and he would have imeadiately got access to my super if I died and not the person who stood with me through all those year when our relationship did not officially count.
However we should not forget our brothers and sisters on the aged pension and DSP or who had every intention of being eligible but for the changes.
Our next fight is for some 'grandparenting' of the changes so that those who dealt with discrimination in the past and will had to deny their relationship and be treated as 'single' should not now be treated as a 'couple' if it means that this will impoverish them.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 18th Dec, 2008

Congratulations, it's a great list, balancing celebrity with overt/covert power and some of the unsung volunteers who make a huge impact on our community.

However... at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it would be great if next year this was a public event, rather than invitation-only. I know Same Same is a private business, but it would be nice if next year this was a community celebration, rather than just the usual suspects and their mates.

trevleen

trevleen said on the 19th Dec, 2008

Penny Wong has let us all down seriously. She said in the senate that the new laws defined a couple but NOT for the purposes of social security - they get to define us themselves. I do not call that equality I call it a sell out.
And as for her privacy, why award someone who can barely utter the word lesbian in public.
how can anyone compare her to louise pratt who got up in the senate and spoke against her own party, in favour of gay marriage, when wong told us all to forget it.
who on earth judges these awards.
and how many pensioners got awards anyway, or they are busy wondering how to eat in 2009 while you all celebrate.
vile.

trevleen

trevleen said on the 19th Dec, 2008

I have read John Challis' speech, I don'tknow how anyone else defined a pensioner, but I do not regard someone getting their partner's super as a pensioner, I am talking about people living on 200 dollars a week.
People dependent on centrelink, people currently in fear and seeing psychiatrists due to anxiety created by these 'wonderful' reforms.
If we do not ALL and I mean ALL speak out now we really have shown that the elite don't give a shit about those who are elderly and poor amongst us, shame shame shame.

trevleen

trevleen said on the 19th Dec, 2008

I wonder when same same will ask for an article on the plight of pensioners who have been left floundering in the water while we celebrate riding the wave of change. Did anyone read Adel Horin's article in the SMH on 6/12/08, this is deplorable and the govt should be ashamed. So should those of us who are patting each other on the back while our own are sold out and preparing to suffer.

trevleen

trevleen said on the 19th Dec, 2008

the entire premise of a 'couple' in centrelink or dss terms is based on a heterosexist model, it's an insult to any of us to be put into that category.
why are none of you shouting this from the rooftops. that a couple gets leless money is based on the idea of a mmale and female, one the breadwinner. how outrageous we allowed them to apply that to us.
When will someone who has won speak out. Harvey Milk would be appalled.

CeeJay

CeeJay said on the 19th Dec, 2008

Although I have a great deal of compassion for those who have been caught by the changes in legislatsion, in terms of social equity - a gay pensionser couple is now no worse off than a straight one. If the pension is inadequate, it's inadequate for ALL pensioners. Perhaps that's where out focus should be - how we treat our aged and vulnerable of any sexual persuasion.

And if there's too much red tape, maybe we need more compassion in the way social security is administered, but that should be an across the board thing, not a gay/straight thing.

trevleen

trevleen said on the 21st Dec, 2008

NO matter how hard I try I can't find the end of your message CeeJay, which is a shame. Suffice to say that if you are saying the pension is inadequate for all, I couldn't agree more. Further, the way it rates 'couples' and 'singles' is archaic clap trap. We should all be joining with the pensioners seeking to change the system, outdated as it is.
A gay pensioner couple is no worse off than a straight one - what about the context of their history, are you serious that a 90 year old gay couple being forced out of the closet is OK? It is unconscionable and probably against UN charters.
That DSS do not have to stick to the definition of a couple in the new legislation is outrageous, unfair and a sell out. Superannuants got their benefits backdated - easy for some.