Announcing our New Ally Executive Champion and winners of the UQ Ally Awards

12 May 2022

Following the success of the inaugural UQ Ally Award in 2020, the UQ Ally Action Committee are proud to once again present the award to a select group of allies in 2022. These allies were nominated in recognition of their efforts to create a diverse and accepting space for LGBTQIA+ individuals within the wider UQ community. At the event held on 28 March, President of the Academic Board Professor Craig Franklin was also announced as the newest Ally Executive Champion (AEC).

“I am most humbled to be an Ally Executive Champion for the Ally Network and all that it stands for. When I arrived at UQ in 1995, there was no Ally Network and no visibility nor acknowledgement of the LGBTQI+ community in any meaningful way. Thankfully, times have moved on, and the formation of the Ally Network in 2004 provided a giant leap forward,” Professor Franklin said.

Echoing similar sentiments was Elias Blanch, the overall winner of the award, who served tirelessly in their role as the 2021 Queer Officer of the UQ Union and continues to be involved in several initiatives that provide a voice for students and staff with disabilities and/or identifying as LGBTQIA+.

"Receiving the Ally Award was unexpected – not because I don't think I deserve it, but because all of my work was exactly what I expect from a Queer Officer. I am proud of all that I have done for the UQU Queer Collective, and it's nice to have an acknowledgement of that,” Elias said.

“While this award and the Ally Network provides greater visibility for what we have collectively accomplished, there is more to be done at UQ to better support our LGBTQIA+ students.”

One of two runners-up this year was Danielle Harvey from the UQ Art Museum who was instrumental in transforming the Art Museum into a welcoming and respectful space for one and all through the use of pronoun badges. Danielle spearheaded the design of pronoun badges to be worn by staff as a sign of solidarity.

“The Art Museum is a space for the whole UQ community. Everyone is welcome, and we’re always looking for ways to show that – to make our allyship visible. By sharing parts of our identity through simple tools like badges, we ask people not to make assumptions about who we are while inviting staff members and visitors to the Art Museum to bring their whole, true selves when they’re with us.”

The second runner-up award was presented to Professor Rodney Strachan from the School of Economics. Professor Strachan was nominated following his leadership efforts within the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law to support the LGBTQIA+ community and promote inclusiveness.

“I am very honoured that the work in the BEL faculty to support the LGBTQIA+ community at UQ has been recognised with this award. There are many committed allies in BEL as there are throughout UQ who are equally deserving of this award and I share this acknowledgement with them,” Professor Strachan said.

In a final ode to the brilliant efforts of the award recipients, Professor Craig said, “It is through the actions of our award recipients that we can aim for greater equality for all, irrespective of the tribe that our staff and students belong to.”

The following is a list of award winners across all categories:


Elias Blanch

UQ Union Disabilities Officer


Danielle Harvey

Senior Team Leader, Engagement and Training, UQ Art Museum

Professor Rodney Strachan

School of Economics

Highly Commended recipient

Adam Walker

Ross Maclean Fellow

Queensland Brain Institute

Krista Markham

Team Leader - Employability Facilitation

Career Development

Christine Phoenix

Practice Manager, Legal Services


Tanya Lutvey, Senior Manager, HR Workplace Diversity & Inclusion,