TV star Erika Heynatz has helped support a landmark cultural project to raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV/AIDS.
The winner of the inaugural season of Channel 7’s talent contest “It Takes Two” chose to have the proceeds from phone votes supporting her donated to the AIDS Trust of Australia to help Indigenous Australians, and part of those proceeds have gone towards the presentation of a unique musical collaboration to highlight the impact of HIV/AIDS on Indigenous communities.
The CD Two Songs for Healing features the work of Sam Barsah and Tim Bishop, two Sydney-based performers who have worked to raise awareness of Indigenous HIV issues for many years. Produced by Tanya Bowra, the CD features two original songs – ‘Earth Mother’ and ‘His Spirit Flies’ – which acknowledge the devastating impact of HIV on Indigenous communities and celebrate their survival. It has been produced as a project of the Positive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network (PATSINPositive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network. A NAPWHA-auspiced national membership-based network of Indigenous people living with HIV/AIDS.), a national alliance of Indigenous people.
“We are really grateful to Erika for her support,” said PATSINIndigenous Positive Network. Now known as PATSIN (Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network). convenor Terrilee Simpson. “The launch of this CD is an important milestone for our network, and Erika’s generous support has helped make this possible. PATSIN is empowering indigenous people to speak out about HIV in their communities, raising awareness of the impact of HIV on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and working to end the AIDS epidemic through grass-roots action which directly involves people living with and affected by HIV. Erika’s support makes her a partner in that process.”
The CD is available for sale from the NAPWHA website (www.napwa.org.au).