Seven volunteers of various ages wearing their Queer Screen Volunteers t-shirts stand outside a cinema

Queer Screen Volunteers of the Year

Every year we celebrate our volunteers in many ways, but none more than at the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Queer Screen as an organisation thrives because of our volunteers. Without the countless people putting their best foot forward, we wouldn’t be able to host our events and bring the best of Australian and international queer films to cinemas.

Our Volunteer of the Year Award nominations come from our dedicated cohort of staff, Board members (who are of course also volunteers) and all the other people involved with Queer Screen.

Queer Screen volunteers

We have two annual awards, dedicated to the memory of two Queer Screen volunteers;

The Frank Wells New Volunteer Award

The Yunus Zeed Returning Volunteer Award

Dedication Award (not an annual award)

List of recipients

Join us in congratulating all of our volunteers and our winners. We are so grateful and humbled by your daily, weekly, and annual support. Thank you!

Queer Screen Board Director Finn O'Keefe with Queer Screen Member Yunus Zeed.
Queer Screen Board Member Finn O'Keefe (left) with Queer Screen Member Yunus Zeed (right)

Yunus Zeed Returning Volunteer of the Year

In June 2021, Queer Screen lost one of Queer Screen’s much-loved members, Yunus Zeed. Yunus was a passionate Queer Screen volunteer who dedicated his life to volunteering, and participated in a phenomenal number of volunteer events and causes across Sydney for almost two decades.

The Queer Screen Board announced they would rename the Franks Wells Award to the Volunteer of the Year Awards, with two categories: the Yunus Zeed Returning Volunteer of the Year to honour the memory of a Yunus, while the New Volunteer of the Year would be renamed to the Frank Wells New Volunteer Award.


Five Queer Screen volunteers at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2023
Scott Middleton second from left

2023: Scott Middleton
For their continued dedication and work as a pink shirt volunteer for Queer Screen throughout the years, who has always brought thought and care to every festival and truly encapsulates the Queer Screen community. Read the awards announcement.

2022: Aaron Siu
2021: Graham Mc Corkell

Frank Wells New Volunteer of the Year

Frank Wells was born in Wisconsin on 21 June 1943. A journalist and editor by trade, he moved to Sydney in 1974 after a few years living in Greece. Generous with his time and skills, Frank volunteered for a number of organisations until his love for movies brought him to Queer Screen in 2012. He became the heart of the Boiler Room (our admin team) and with his enthusiasm and good nature won over everyone he has worked with.

The Volunteer Thank You party on 17 March 2013 was the last social event that Frank attended, before suffering a stroke the following day. His commitment to volunteering was such that while in hospital he was still concerned that admin routines were followed as usual. Frank unexpectedly passed away on 5 April 2013.

In honour of Frank’s memory and of the generous input of all volunteers, the Board decided to establish the Frank Wells Volunteer Award.


Four Queer Screen volunteers at the 2023 Mardi Gras Film Festival
Jiri Vrba to the far left

2023: Jiri Vrba

For their dedication to volunteering for MGFF23 and truly encapsulating their role as an accessibility marshall with so much love, care and passion in ensuring each event was a safe space. Read the awards announcement.

2022: Jess Cheng
2021: Marlene Velecky
2020: Hamish Elliot
2019: Jac Leong
2018: Jude Gonzales
2017: Adrik Kemp
2016: Kevin Ryan
2015: Ronaldo McCullagh
2014: Susie Griffin

Dedication Award

The Volunteer Dedication award is presented to volunteers who are recognised by the Board for the contributions to Queer Screen across years of service, and the unique perspective and energy they bring. The Dedication Award is not an annual award.


2022: David Blanco
2020: Jude Gonzales
2019: Kyle Goldfinch