DUBBO Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning and Asexual (LGBTIQA) advocate Nicholas Steepe has been named a finalist in the 2015 Honour Awards, for his work campaigning for improved inclusion of LGBTIQA people.
Mr Steepe, a headspace employee, was nominated for the NSW LGBTI community service young achiever award by Dubbo headspace clinical leader Anne-Marie Hartley for his work supporting, and advocating for, young LGBTIQA people in Dubbo and western NSW.
Mr Steepe said he felt "very honoured" and "excited" to hear he was one of 30 finalists picked from 250 nominees.
On June 22, Mr Steepe stood in front of Dubbo City Council's Finance and Policy Committee meeting and urged council to introduce a motion supporting marriage equality, and to include the LGBTIQA community in the council's 2015/16 Social Plan.
"I did what I did with council because I saw that LGBTIQA young people weren't being included, so I wanted to address that as well as obviously the marriage stuff, because we're not being included in the marriage act," Mr Steepe said.
"There's so much focus on metropolitan areas for me and there's really limited resources within rural areas and that's what I want to try and change because young LGBTI lives matter everywhere.
"At the end of the day I want inclusion and acceptance of absolutely everybody, no matter where you're from, no matter what you're sexuality or gender identity is. In a school setting, in a work setting, in a community setting, I just want societal acceptance and inclusion of all people who identify as LGBTIQA."
LGBTI and HIV health and support organisation ACON raises money through the awards, and CEO Nicolas Parkhill said Mr Steepe deserved recognition for his work.
"Throughout regional and rural NSW there is a real need for services, support groups and resources for LGBTI people, in particular for younger members of the community who may experience social isolation and prejudice," Mr Parkhill said.
"The judging panel felt that Nicholas' pivotal role promoting the health and wellbeing needs of LGBTI people and his work tackling discrimination in Dubbo and its surrounding areas deserved to be recognised and commended."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.