The founder of ABBI receives OAM for service to the LGBTIQ community


Today (MON 8 JUN 2020), Anthony Venn-Brown, Founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International (ABBI), has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mr Venn-Brown received the OAM for his service to Australia’s LGBTIQ community due to the work he has done within Christian churches and Pentecostal communities for the LGBTIQ community, and his advocacy for their right to be accepted and respected.

In 1991, after coming out as a gay man, Mr Venn-Brown resigned as a Minister, after decades in Ministry starting churches and also the youth ministry, Youth Alive NSW.

He has since started ABBI (2012) as an organisation that seeks to create a better world for LGBTI people, serving individuals, churches, denominations, leaders and religious organisations in a respectful and non-confrontational way along their journey to understand and respect each other.

Mr Venn-Brown said that he was deeply humbled and honoured to receive the Order of Australia Medal.

“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.”

The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens.

In 2012, Mr 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.”

Mr Venn-Brown will be presented with the insignia at a ceremony to be held at Government House, Sydney later in the year.


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