Today Same Same announced the third annual list of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians.
This year’s list includes high-profile names like Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, medical practitioner Kerryn Phelps, performers Sia and Tim Campbell and MTV’s Ruby Rose.
There are also several firsts in the list for 2009, including the first posthumous award given to poet Dorothy Porter, and the first transgender female on the list, activist Stefanie Imbruglia.
The list is compiled from nominations by the Australian public. “It’s always fascinating to look back on the past twelve months at who has been influential,” says Same Same co-founder Tim Duggan, “and every year the breadth of influence continues to amaze us.”
From courtrooms to living rooms, the list covers a wide range of professions and includes former High Court Justice Michael Kirby and Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, the only two people to remain on the list for the past three years.
Other notable members of the 25 include the Choir of Hard Knocks creator Jonathan Welch, Oscar winning filmmaker Adam Elliot, drag queen Vanessa Wagner, and Nathan Hudson, the lead singer of Faker.
The motivation behind the list is to bring together a group of the most inspirational 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 role models.
The criteria for nomination in the Same Same 25 is that the nominated person must be an Australian citizen who has publicly acknowledged that they are gay or lesbian. They could be someone who has a lot of influence over a large number of people, or they could be a behind-the-scenes worker who is highly respected in their chosen profession.