While all the accolades at DIVA are indeed highly coveted, there is one honour that brings more than just praise and prestige and is close to many of our hearts: DIVA Hall of Fame.
I can absolutely assure you, choosing an inductee is about the most serious and important task a board, a judging panel, a community of peers – even a tribe of drag queens – can do.
Look at our list. It includes the pioneers Rose Jackson, Robyn Lee and Simone Troy. Those that gave us our most notable playgrounds: Leigh Jennings with the Albury and Dawn O’Donnell with the Newtown and the Imperial. The famous household names Carlotta and Carmen. Those we lost, way too young, who despite illness shone: Leggs Galore and Fanny Farquhar. And of course, the many talented queens who made a mark: Mogadonna, Mitzi, Chelsea and others – there all on our roll.
As we celebrate this the 2015 inductee, I caught up with a medley of our treasure to reflect on their special moment in the Hall of Fame spotlight.
Resident at the Albury Hotel in the 90s, she was one of the performers behind the famous Scary Fairies who literally changed the face of drag, creating what is now fondly referred to as the Sydney drag style.
Cindy entered the DIVA Hall of Fame in 1995.
“I remember the night. It was in the RHI at the showgrounds and I sat with my son, Adam,” Cindy recalls.
“We had just finished doing the opening of the second half for the Best Costume Award. He played the preacher in ‘Sugar Baby Love’ by The Rubettes, used in the 1994 film Muriel’s Wedding, while I actually was in a wheelchair playing Rachel Griffith. Benina Bodd was Muriel and Lana Turnip did the big line, ‘You’re terrible, Muriel’, while hoeing down a hotdog.
“It was a very special time with the old girl and son present as the community saluted me for my work,” Cindy said.