2013 Annual General Meeting awards

On Thursday 10 October 2013 at Living Positive Victoria’s Annual General Meeting, a selection of awards were presented to recognise outstanding individuals, groups and organisations in six categories. Descriptions of the awards, photographs from the presentations and award citations are listed below.

President’s Award

awarded to: David Menadue

This is presented at the discretion of the President to an individual, group or organisation that has demonstrated visionary ledership in improving the quality of life for HIV-positive people. Often the recipient will have served over a long period and contributed to high level improvements in services for HIV-positive people and to an increased awareness of HIV issues.

Sam Venning with David Menadue

Over many years David Menadue has been a strong and consistent representative speaking with a wide variety of stakeholders to support the interests and priorities of PLHIV.

He was a past Board member of Living Positive Victoria in the roles of Vice President 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, Secretary 2006/2007. Director 2007/2008, Resigned in October 2008 and a member of the Positive Speakers Bureau since the early 1990’s.

He is a current board member of the VAC/GMHC.

David also sits on the Alfred Health Community Advisory Committee. He was part of a skilled group of consumers mainly from the Port Phillip area who work with hospital management to ensure patients and carers are provided with the best possible care. 

He also helped Bayside Medicare Local to get the perspective of people with HIV included in forums they offer for local medical providers, including GPs. – citation by Sam Venning

Research Progress Award

awarded to: Sharon Lewin (accepted in absentia)

This award is presented to an individual, group or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the positive community through research they have undertaken. General features of this award are the innovative, quality research that leads to a significantly enhanced understanding of the positive community that feeds the development of quality care initiatives or services.

Ian Muchamore

The 2013 Research Progress Award is made to Professor Sharon Lewin.

Professor Sharon Lewin is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist and a National Medical Research Council of Australia Practitioner Fellow. 

Sharon is Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at The Alfred Hospital and Monash University; co-head of the Centre for Biomedical Research at the Burnet Institute.

She is a past president of the Australian Society for HIV Medicine  from 2005 to 2007. She is a member of the Australian government’s  Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Her laboratory focuses on strategies to achieve a cure for HIV, immune recovery post-treatment for HIV and HIV-hepatitis B co-infection.

Sharon and her research collaborators are conducting world-leading research with the aim to completely eliminate HIV from the body. Current antiretroviral treatments have difficultly penetrating some parts of the body. Even in those people who have an undetectable viral load in their blood reservoirs of HIV infected cells persist.

Over the last 18 months the team at The Alfred have been conducting early clinical trials examining how compounds might be used to flush out HIV from these remaining cells. Some initial and promising results were published earlier this year and further studies are currently underway. 

Whilst it is early days and years of further clinical studies may be necessary this is just one of the developments in medical research that mean some of us now think a cure for HIV is achievable within our lifetime.

Professor Lewin is also the local co-chair for the 20th International AIDS Conference to will be held here in Melbourne in July 2014. – citation by Ian Muchamore

Speakers Bureau Award

awarded to: Craig Burgess (accepted in absentia)

This award is presented to an organisation, sponsor or individual that has made an outstanding contribution to the further development of the Positive Speakers Bureau. The recipient will have strengthened the capacity of the Bureau to deliver its vitally important work of reducing HIV stigma and discrimination in the wider community and raising awareness of the issues of living with HIV.

Max Niggl

His rapid development as a trainee speaker is an example of the empowerment of speakers through comprehensive training and is a remarkable personal achievement. He has demonstrated an extraordinary voluntary commitment to the Bureau. He has ensured that the voices of the new generation of PLHIV speaker were being heard in the community and he has actively encouraged other younger speakers to join the Bureau to address stigma and discrimination. He now mentors our male and female trainee speakers and encourages them to find their unique voices.

Craig quickly became one of our most in demand speakers talking about HIV and sexual health in Victorian secondary schools – particularly in rural schools.

Craig believes in the involvement of PLHIV at all levels in the HIV response.

Craig states that when he educates others about HIV not only does he have the opportunity to bring awareness to what HIV is now, but little-by-little he challenges the stigma surrounding others living with HIV.  This has given him a sense of self-worth that has been profoundly healing.  Speaking publicly about HIV has radically changed for the better how Craig feels about living with HIV.

Craig was one of the keynote speakers at the 2013 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and his powerful speech allowed the audience to understand the realities of living with HIV as a younger man.

Living Positive Victoria commends Craig’s involvement in the development of the Positive Speakers Bureau and this award recognises how exemplary his talent and commitment has been. – citation by Max Niggl

Community Endeavour Award

awarded to: Dean Beck

This award is presented to an individual, group or organisation in the community who through their endeavours has made a substantial and important contribution to the recognition of the issues and needs of HIV-positive patients.

Richard Keane with Dean Beck

Dean Beck has committed tremendous energy and passion to support the human rights  and wellbeing of PLHIV while broadcasting a range of radio programs on Joy 94.9 including Word for Word, Hide and Seek as well as other special broadcasts. Dean’s generously gave even more of his time and energy to support Victorian PLHIV by becoming an ENUF ambassador. Dean shows tremendous initiative to raise awareness of HIV stigma in many different interactions with community. Dean has also presented at Living Positive Victoria HCV/HIV workshop. – citation by Richard Keane

Clinical Excellence Award

awarded to: Jenny McDonald

This award is presented to an individual, group or organisation that has made a prominent and exceptionally distinguished contribution to the treatment and care of HIV-positive patients.

Greg Mutter with Jenny McDonald

She is a well-respected leader in her field, with previous roles as Chief Dietician at St. Georges Hospital, Chief Dietician at Fairfield Hospital, and Dietician at Prince Henry’s Hospital. 

Jenny regularly lectures on nutrition and HIV at Deakin University, and at GP courses within Victoria and interstate.  She is a regular presenter on nutrition for groups such as PLHIV and various AIDS Council Support Groups. – citation by Greg Mutter

HIV Awareness Award

awarded to: Hide and Seek, Joy 94.9

This award is presented to an individual, group or organisation that has made a remarkable and striking contribution to significantly improve awareness inthe community through the means of the media.

Avi Miller with Andrew Thorp and Dean Beck

It is with great pride and honour that Living Positive Victoria presents this year’s HIV Awareness Award to Dean Beck and Andrew the Apprentice, the co-hosts of Hide and Seek for the past two and a half years. And it’s even more special to be bestowing this award tonight, which marks the farewell of Dean Beck from the program.

Dean and Andrew have been instrumental in raising awareness of living with HIV as well as unceasing commitment to safer sex education, for both positive and negative members of our communities.

In their capacity on Hide and Seek, Dean and Andrew have been stalwart supporters of Living Positive Victoria and Dean was one of our first ENUF Ambassadors.  Hide and Seek have been key participants in ensuring equal access to HIV medication and treatment in Victoria.

As the awareness of the effect of HIV-related stigma becomes more apparent, it is remarkable to have such a supportive and dedicated team at Australia’s only Gay & Lesbian community radio station.

It is with great honour and pride that I award this year’s HIV Awareness Award to Dean Beck and Andrew the Apprentice from Hide and Seek on JOY 94.9. I also invite you to tune into a very special tribute episode to Dean Beck tonight from 9pm. – citation by Avi Miller

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