Dean Beck and Joy GM Conrad BowneJOY 94.9 held its annual general meeting on Sunday afternoon where they elected six new board members as well as recognised a number of individuals for their various contributions to the radio station.

Dean Beck was also recognised and given the 2013 Adam Stobbs Award for Broadcast Excellence. During his four years of on-air time, Beck has opened up important dialogues about sex, sexuality and the transmission of HIV including controversially dealing with drug use and its links to HIV/AIDS. Aside from his role at JOY, Beck is also an ENUF Ambassador and contributor to Living Positive Victoria. This year, LPV gave Beck two honours including the Community Endeavour Award and the HIV Awareness Award. LPV said that “Dean is well known to the community for tirelessly tackling HIV stigma and discrimination and opening up the conversation about HIV both on and off air.”

“HIV is something we must talk about openly, clearly and honestly,” said Beck. “Being scared to discuss it reinforces the shame and stigma that currently exists in the lives of those living with HIV.”

Beck was also nominated for his contribution to the ENUF campaign at the 2013 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards.

When asked about his recent recognitions, Beck explained that “since agreeing to be an ENUF ambassador for their HIV stigma campaign, it has helped raise a profile of the issues – but the work that [the radio program] ‘Hide and Seek’ has been doing to communicate issues of sexual health, they are the conversations that need to be happening.”

His programs ‘Word for Word’ and ‘On The Line’ can be heard every week on JOY 94.9.

Richard Walters and Dennis Muir were presented honorary lifetime membership. Walters and Muir have been volunteers for over 11 years in both on-air and off-air capacities and according to JOY, their “commitment and contribution can be directly translated into our listeners having access to a range of GLBTIQ music, the training of hundreds of volunteers, and on-air together as a couple they are a wonderful representation of a loving long-lasting relationship for our community.”

Bek Savic and Avi Miller were awarded the Anne Hamilton Award for Volunteering Excellence. Savic was recognised for her role as Radiothon Special Projects Coordinator and Miller for his single-handed redevelopment of the JOY website.

JOY General Manager Conrad Browne said that “the overall tone of the meeting was very positive – the organisation recorded a surplus for the 3rd year running and over the past year there has been a dedicated focus to building capacity around infrastructure, technology and sustainability.”

This year’s AGM comes just before an important milestone for the organisation as December 1st will mark their 20th birthday. President David McCarthy noted that “it’s easy for all of us to take for granted the huge effort and commitment that it takes to stay on-air twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. We have some exciting initiatives planned to celebrate this birthday.”

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