Rugby league stars Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki win LGBTI award

Drew Darbyshire

Australian Jillaroos stars Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki took out the sports category at the LGBTI awards on Friday.

The pair’s relationship went viral in the days following the women’s State of Origin fixture in 2018 when they shared a kiss after playing against each other in the inaugural clash.

Queensland captain Brown has been in a relationship with NSW representative Foliaki for more than four years.

The couple dedicated the award to those who fought hard for equal rights in past generations.

“It wasn’t about being on television, we didn’t even know the camera was watching,” Brown told

“But the fact I felt safe to be who I want to be I think is the message.

“We’ve had a lot of young people come to us saying we’ve given them a lot of confidence. If we’re showing people that it’s okay to be who we are then we’re doing alright.”