Last Friday, Melbourne’s LGBTI community and its allies gathered at the swanky Myer Mural Hall to hear the winners of the annual GLOBE community awards, held by the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business Enterprise to commemorate those who have inspired and achieved in the past year. The community choice award went to Roz Ward, who didn’t mince words in her acceptance speech.
“It’s been a fucking rough year,” she told the crowd (and hasn’t it just). “We’re here, we’re still queer, and we’re not going anywhere.” Ward has been under attack from many in the Liberal Party, as well as News Corp, for her involvement in the Safe Schools program. She was also suspended and then reinstated from La Trobe University, where she works, after she called the Australian flag “racist” on Facebook. We don’t know what attendee Robert Doyle, re-elected Liberal lord mayor of Melbourne, thought of Ward’s speech, but spies report him clapping enthusiastically at the announcement of the nominees for the excellence in business award, particularly when the GH Hotel was announced. Had the lord mayor ever been at the famous gay bar, someone at his table queried? “Forty years ago,” Doyle responded. Doyle was there after a busy week of campaigning for the Victorian council elections. Also making a notable appearance was St Kilda FC boss Matt Finnis, who beat out Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for Straight Ally of the Year (for his role in the AFL’s first pride match). Sources say he celebrated his win by tearing up the dance floor.