Kath Leane - Convenor
Kath has been part of a various community member organisations such as NAPWHA, HIV Women's Project SA, PLSA, ACSA, WAD/AAW National Reference Committee. Positive Speaker with PLSA. Numerous Child Care Centres during my first career prior to a connection with HIV. She is also known for her 17 years work as the women's HIV peer support worker at Women's Health State-wide auspiced under the Women's and Childrens Hospital Adelaide.
She is professionally trained Child Care Worker with a Bachelor of Social Science in Childcare specialisation. She has been a part time worker and also volunteer in the HIV sector since 1997.As well as being a positive speaker at PLSA I hold the position of Vice President. I have chaired the NAPWHA National Network of Women Living with HIV since approx 2002. In 2014 we introduced a co-chair role as work load increased and representation.
She believes that as a long-time advocate for WLWHIV I can be a voice for women who are for many reasons unable to speak out openly about living with HIV. There is still much HIV related stigma surrounding HIV and too risky for some women to speak out.
Michelle Tobin is an Aboriginal woman of the Yorta Yorta Nation; she is also a descendant of the Stolen Generation. Michelle has lived with HIV for over 26 years, lost her husband to HIV and experienced many levels of stigma and discrimination. None of this has stopped her, instead it has driven Michelle to become very passionate and a vocal advocate for HIV issues. Michelle is supported by her partner, two daughters aged 22 and 26 and 3 beautiful granddaughters, living on the Central Coast, NSW.
Since her diagnosis in 1990, Michelle has spent many years working with the HIV Speakers Bureau nationally. She has served on several HIV board and committees, at a State and National level. She currently sits on the Board of The Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance, as the HIVpositive Rep and is also a community member with the PATSIN and Femfetales networks of NAPWA. At present she is one of 2 women who advocate for Aboriginal & Torres Strait islander people living with HIV nationally.
Straight out of high school Diane did the sales assistant thing for many years then studied and worked in child care which she loved. She has been a Volunteer Co-ordinator for people with disabilities and at the W. A. AIDS Council. She now works at WASUA- Western Australian Substance User’s Association where her role is Community Development and at the front desk for our Needle Exchange.
Diane has now been at WASUA for 6.5 years and she hopes to be there until she retires. She also really enjoys interacting daily with people who inject drugs, to educate on Harm Reduction and BBV’s.
At the moment she is still a volunteer with the WA AIDS Council and past Community Rep for NAPWHA and for many years been on FEMFATALES. Since she was diagnosed she has been trying to bring Women’s issues to the forefront and our issues recognised.
Since 2012, soon after her arrival to Australia, Sharon has been part of the Board of Directors of Queensland Positive (QPP) as the secretary. She is also part of the Public Speakers Bureau at QPP. What excites Sharon the most about her work and the contribution she makes to the body positive is the fact that she can give hope to people living with HIV so they can stand up against stigma and discrimination. She loves her husband, family, friends and making the most of everyday.
I was diagnosed with HIV in 2008 but have really been living with it since 2014. Through engaging in the HIV community I found the key to dealing with my HIV and stigma. I am now the chair of Positive Women Victoria, part of the speaker’s bureau, a facilitator of Phoenix for women and PLDI and the latest addition to the NAPWHA board.
I believe in inclusion and community; that all minority populations have a voice, and speak for those who don’t.
My journey as a HIV activist will never be over and I hope to grow on this journey and learn from those before.
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