Anthony Venn-Brown awarded Order of Australia for LGBTIQ+ service

Anthony Venn-Brown, Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI), has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Venn-Brown was given the honour for his service to Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community, for his advocacy within Christian and Pentecostal communities for LGBTIQ+ people.

After coming out as gay in 1991, Venn-Brown resigned from his ministry after decades of services in churches and youth ministry, Youth Alive NSW.

In 2012, Venn-Brown founded ABBI, an organisation that aims to create a better world for LGBTIQ+ people, connecting religious organisations with LGBTIQ+ communities, stories and resources.

Venn-Brown says he is deeply humbled and honoured to have been bestowed this award.

“So many in my LGBTIQ tribe work tirelessly to create equality by overcoming ignorance and misinformation,” he said.

“We do it, not for recognition, but because the work is important and often lifesaving. This acknowledgment today is way beyond my expectations.”

In 2012, Venn-Brown was awarded a lifetime membership of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association and was featured with other Freedom2b members in an Australian documentary titled The Cure.

He has released a book about his journey and continues to present lectures and release statements advocating for the acceptance of the Australian LGBTIQ community by the Nation’s churches and various denominations.

“I will continue to work towards the day when LGBTIQ people are no longer rejected or tolerated within faiths, but their contributions accepted and celebrated.”

Anthony Venn-Brown joins a number of high-profile Australians named in the 2020 honours, including three former parliamentarians known for their anti-LGBTIQ+ politics.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), for his “eminent service to the people and parliament of Australia, particularly as Prime Minister, and through significant contributions to trade, border control and to the Indigenous community.” The honour comes just days after Abbott urged Australians not to attend the weekend’s Black Lives Matter rallies.

Other former MPs named include anti-LGBTIQ+ stalwarts Bronwyn Bishop, for her “distinguished service to Parliament, to the people of New South Wales, and to women in politics,” and Philip Ruddock, former Attorney General and architect of Australia’s past ban on same-sex marriage.

You can find out more about Anthony Venn-Brown’s work at

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