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On October 19, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) was presented with two major awards in the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards held at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

ADS was chosen as the HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year – great tributes to the work it has been doing to improve its services and practices to support people who identify with a diverse gender and/or sexuality (LGBTIQA+).

Anthony Scerri, Manager, Settlement and Community Services, and Michael Cheung, Corporate Services Manager, were proud to receive the awards on behalf of ADS.

Mr Scerri said COVID-19 restrictions meant award recipients were initially announced during a virtual ceremony on June 11, so it was great to attend the more recent ‘live’ ceremony to celebrate ADS’s achievements.

‘In my speech, I was pleased to communicate how just far ADS has come in its journey towards inclusion of LGBTIQA+ people and of our desire to be a lighthouse to other CALD providers.’

Mr Scerri said one example of ADS’ educational leadership was the Pride in My Faith video project ADS is producing to help illustrate how for many people from CALD backgrounds faith and religion are entwined in culture.

‘The project features interviews with CALD LGBTQIA+ people who have embraced their queerness and faith and aims to help service providers make their policies, practices and environments safe and visibly accepting of LGBTIQA+ people.’

Another example of ADS’s commitment to inclusion was its recent partnership with the University of Wollongong in a COVID-19 / LGBTIQA+ research project, which will help ADS target effective inclusiveness training for its staff, Mr Scerri said.

The LGBTQ Inclusion Awards celebrate Australia’s top organisations for LGBTQ inclusion based on the results of the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) and Australian Health + Wellbeing Equality Index (HWEI). They also acknowledge leaders, individuals and networks that have made a significant impact on LGBTQ inclusion within their workplaces.

The awards are run by Pride in Diversity, a social inclusion initiative of ACON.

In 2020, the Covid-safe awards ceremony attracted over 750 CEOs, dignitaries, senior executives, HR and diversity practitioners, employee network leaders and members of LGBTQ employee networks and allies. It was hosted by SBS World News presenter, Ricardo Goncalves, and featured the winner of The Voice 2016, singer/songwriter Alfie Arcuri. 

Caption: Anthony Scerri and Michael Cheung, Corporate Services Manager receive Advance Diversity Services’ HWEI Gold Employer and HWEI Service Provider of the Year awards at the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards in October.