Congratulations to Leonard Vary and Ryan Phillips for King’s Birthday Honours List recognition

10 June 2024 - National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia has congratulated its co-chair Leonard Vary and board member Ryan Phillips on being recognised in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List.  

“It’s incredible to see two of our valued board members recognised today. It’s a wonderful moment for them and their families, and a proud moment for our team at Equality Australia,” said CEO Anna Brown. 

Equality Australia co-chair Leonard Vary, who is CEO of The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the philanthropic sector, to the LGBTIQA+ community and to the arts. 

Leonard was closely involved with the Australian Marriage Equality campaign and in 2016 was named as one of Australia’s 50 outstanding LGBTI role models. 

“I am personally delighted but in a real way this is a recognition of the groundbreaking work undertaken by Equality Australia in its ongoing efforts to secure equality for our communities,” Mr Vary said. 

Ryan Phillips, who has been on Equality Australia’s board since 2019, was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding service during his 14-year career in the public service.  

He is a proud trans man from Western Australia and was promoted to Associate Secretary at the Department of Justice in October 2023.  

"I'm delighted to receive a Public Service Medal which recognises my efforts to foster a safe and equitable justice system,” he said.  

“It is a privilege to contribute to the tireless work of the Victorian Public Service on delivering outcomes for our most vulnerable populations, including LGBTIQ+ people. This work sits at the heart of a just and equal society".  

Ms Brown said it was well-deserved recognition for both Mr Vary and Mr Phillips.  

“They are exemplary and inspiring leaders and role model for our communities, and it is wonderful to see their impressive contributions and commitment recognised,” she said.  

“They have contributed significantly to the growth and development of Equality Australia and our broader movement and are dedicated and effective advocates for equality and inclusion.”