Ian Thorpe joins Amber Heard at the GQ Men of the Year Awards

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HE’S always given good tuxedo but Ian Thorpe never looked sharper or happier as the ‘Yes’ campaigner celebrated at GQ Australia magazine’s stellar Men Of The Year gala.

The champion swim star joined Hollywood siren Amber Heard on the red carpet, with the historic postal survey results on marriage equality adding extra energy and political poignancy to the annual awards.

Thorpe delivered an emotional speech about the impact the same sex marriage debate had had on the LGBTQI community and what it meant for him and his partner, Ryan Channing.

While Channing was unable to attend, Thorpe spoke of why the survey results would be so meaningful to couples now hoping to marry.

Amber Heard attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards in Sydney, Australia.
Camera IconAmber Heard attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards in Sydney, Australia.Picture: Getty Images

The issue has seen the once media-shy Olympian use his star power for the cause, helping to shape a more inclusive Australia.

“Today is a momentous day for Australia…a day when we stand together and know that Australia has taken the step to being a fairer, more just and more equal society for everyone.

Today among all days, I must say, ‘I’m proud to be and call myself an Australian!,” he said.

“It is extraordinary to think that just over a decade ago, support was half of what it is today. We have indeed come a long way.

Actor Ansel Elgort hits the red capret with Violetta Komyshan.
Camera IconActor Ansel Elgort hits the red capret with Violetta Komyshan.Picture: Getty Images

“We won this vote today because Australians know us, we are part of their families and we are part of their communities, right across this country. This campaign was won at dinner tables and barbecues around the nation and we thank each of you for taking the time to show your support.”

Reality TV star Elyse Knowles stuns at the glitzy event.
Camera IconReality TV star Elyse Knowles stuns at the glitzy event.Picture: Getty Images

Before the dinner, Thorpe told News Corp the SSM campaign had “shown me the frustration we have with politicians in general. How they really pass the ball on some issues and on others they’re able to get on with it.”

Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo were typically stylish.
Camera IconAsher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo were typically stylish.Picture: Getty Images

A long-time advocate for indigenous literacy and health, Thorpe said: “it’s all about what Australia wants to be, how we see ourselves and what we want our future to look like. I think the last time the majority voted for a minority in this country to have equal rights was when we gave that to indigenous people. And again, it was a social justice, civil rights issue that was well over due.”

Thorpe captivated a star-studded audience at The Star hotel dinner, where leading men across all industries were acknowledged for their work or social impact.

Acting PM Julie Bishop took time out for fun.
Camera IconActing PM Julie Bishop took time out for fun.Picture: Getty Images

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

FLUME – Solo Artist of the Year

JEFF GOLDBLUM – International icon of the Year

A$AP ROCKY – Man of Style

AMBER HEARD – Woman of the Year

ANSEL ELGORT – International sensation

JON KORTAJARENA – Model of the Year

HEATH LEDGER SCHOLARSHIP – The GQ Legacy Award

JEFF HORN – Sportsman of the Year

HAYDEN COX – Man of Innovation

ALAN JOYCE – Business Leader of the Year

TRAVIS FIMMEL – Actor of the Year

KJ APA – Breakthrough actor of the Year

VIRGIL ABLOH – International Designer of the Year

LUKAS VINCENT – Australian Designer of the Year

CLIENT LIAISON – Band of the Year

TAIKA WAITITI – Director of the Year

LUKE DAVIES – Creative Force

ADAM BRIGGS – Agenda Setter

HELLO SUNDAY – Social Force

All winners feature in the latest issue of GQ Australia, on sale Thursday, November 16.



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