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Wednesday 14 April 2010


The OurFest Awards: Why the winners won

Posted in: Community, Events
By GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 20th February 2010

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2010's OurFest winners

As it celebrated the achievements and contribution of people within Auckland's LGBT community, last night's inaugural OurFest Awards reflected, in microcosm, the city's diverse but united communities.

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OurFest 2010's Supreme Winner: Rainbow Youth's Executive Director Thomas Hamilton
The Supreme Winner, chosen from all the other category winners, was Thomas Hamilton, who was earlier in the evening named Transperson Of The Year. Hamilton is the Executive Director of Rainbow Youth, serves on the committee of Gender Bridge and has been an active member of those organisations for many years. As part of the Trans community he provides support and is a great advocate. At Rainbow Youth he provides the day to day push to support young people throughout the glbt community. Hamilton motivates youth group facilitators, organises events and and helps motivate special interest groups.

At last night's ceremony MC Michelle A'Court told the audience that the owners of Business Of The Year Urge Bar and their staff have an unreserved friendliness and they're forever willing to lay a hand wherever required to support the community. Urge has donated over $15,000 back to the community across a number of charities.

Community Hero Of The Year Michael Bancroft was nominated for supporting the community as guardian the AIDS Memorial Quilt and as one of the final trustees for Hero. He is a JP available to glbt people, regularly supports the community through involvement in a range of fundraisers and is often called on to provide support or solace in times of personal stress.

Gay Male Of The Year Steven Oates is a regular MC at community events including the Big Gay Out. He also MCs Civil Unions and DJs at several venues. He's the Quiz Master at the Naval and Family pub and has presented a variety of glbt-themed television items.

Lesbian Of The Year Miriam Saphira was described last night as an outstanding volunteer who works tirelessly for the greater good of lesbians in Auckland and around the country. A published author and researcher she was the driving force behind the setting up of the Charlotte Museum of lesbian artworks, artefacts, books and audio resources.

Performers Of The Year The Topp Twins are unabashedly lesbian icons of the NZ entertainment scene who have won a place in the nation's collective heart for their talent, wit and activism. Last year they were the stars of a record-breaking movie documentary Untouchable Girls.

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Personality of the Year: The outrageous Miss Ribena
Personality Of The Year, drag star Miss Ribena, has a flamboyant out-there style which ensures everyone knows who she is and where she is with her extravagant costumes and gigawatt persona. She has been a major promoter of community events and helps generate awareness of events and activities in the Auckland community.

Sportsperson/group Of The Year is the Auckland Gay Bowling Team which was formed in the 1980s, promoting a sense of community and providing a social meeting forum for gays and lesbians of all ages. It is one of the longest running glbt sports groups in the country.

Young Person Of The Year Clint Woolly has shown a coming-of-age with his support of the queer and questioning. He has been the spearhead and driving force behind many initiatives at Rainbow Youth as well as being involved in many other events within Auckland's glbt community. Woolly continues to put a huge amount of his own time into maintaining Rainbow Youth's website and facilitates a youth group every Sunday.

(Compiled by GayNZ.com, based on profile notes used by OurFest Awards MC Michelle A'Court)

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GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 20th February 2010