The Living Positive Victoria (LPV) October AGM was an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding service, practice and support of individuals, groups and organisations with the presentation of their annual Positive Community Awards.
“The awards reflect our efforts to advance the human rights and wellbeing of people living with HIV and empower all people affected by HIV to be part of the response that seeks to end the epidemic,” said CEO Richard Keane of the four awards presented this year.
Craig Duncan, a respected member of the LGBTI and HIV community in Victoria, received the Volunteer of the Year Award at the 24 October event, eliciting an emotional response from the membership for his personal story of resilience and growth.
An active volunteer, Duncan has participated in several programs and events, is a member of the HIV Positive Speakers Bureau and has completed the Positive Leadership Development Institute workshop. He is now is a co-facilitator in the HIV Peer Support Network, which is part of LPVs HIV & ageing project, TAKING CHARGE.
The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society received the Positive Health and Wellbeing Award for their work around the implementation of LPV’s Peer Navigation Program, a clinic and community partnership that places peers at the centre of the care and support for people living with HIV.
It is one of the first programs of its kind in Australia and is a tremendous undertaking that has presented many challenges and unknowns throughout its delivery for the organisation.
David Menadue received the President’s Award for his long-term engagement with and advocacy for LPV over a 30-year history. An outstanding role model for the HIV sector, Menadue is a crucial and valued mentor for staff and the LPV board.
“He models values of inclusion and collaboration within the local HIV sector partnership, which has been and remains key to our success historically and in the years ahead of us,” LPV president Adam Ehm said.
A Special Acknowledgment Award went to the late Bruce Mckenzie, for being a much loved and respected friend of the HIV community. He was remembered as the ever friendly face of welcome to participants of Planet Positive social afternoons held at DTs Hotel in Richmond for many years.
“Bruce’s unfailing ability to bring a smile to the faces of the Planet Positive crew can never be underestimated and his can-do approach made him a pleasure to work with and an honour to know as a friend to our community,” said Suzy Malhotra, Director of Programs and People at LPV.