Our Patrons

Equality Australia is supported by a diverse group of patrons from across the community. They are distinguished by their exemplary work in the fields of LGBTIQ+ advocacy, law, human rights, the arts, health, sports or business

Courtney Act

He/Him & She/Her

Boy, Girl, Artist, Advocate. Courtney Act is more than just the sum of her parts. Courtney has been a visible queer face in the mainstream for over 20 years with groundbreaking appearances on Australian Idol,  RuPauls Drag Race, Celebrity Big Brother UK, & Dancing With The Stars.

As a patron of Equality Australia Courtney says “I love the opportunity of using my platform to bring attention to the work Equality Australia do. I love the practical, action based approach they take in changing minds and legislation through their front footed approach."

The Hon. Virginia Bell AC


Virginia Bell served on the High Court of Australia for 12 years from February 2009. After graduating in law, she practised as a solicitor for seven years with the Redfern Legal Centre, the first community law centre to be established in New South Wales.

Tony Briffa


Tony has been an LGBTIQ+ activist for over 25 years and is especially known for her intersex human rights work at Intersex Peer Support Australia and Intersex Human Rights Australia,

Tony is an intersex woman (as well as being queer with trans and non-binary lived experience) and was subjected to numerous non-consensual and medically unnecessary surgical and hormonal interventions and intimate examinations as a child and young person.

Deborah Cheetham, AO


Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.

In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG


In 1996 he was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a position he held until 2009. He has served in many United Nations and other posts concerned with universal human rights.

Since 1969, he has lived with his partner Johan van Vloten and they married on the 50th anniversary of their first meeting, in February 2019. Since his engagement with national and international activities in the HIV pandemic, he has been open about his sexuality.