Report from the Indigenous Portfolio to the NAPWHA Special General Meeting held on 29-30 April 2006.
Firstly I would like to thank Michelle Tobin and Neville Fazulla, for their time as convenors on behalf of PATSINPositive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network. A NAPWHA-auspiced national membership-based network of Indigenous people living with HIV/AIDS.. At our elections held in February, for those not aware, Rodney Junga-Williams and I were elected into these positions. We both look forward to the continuing support of PATSINIndigenous Positive Network. Now known as PATSIN (Positive Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Network). and NAPWHA.
Michelle Tobin and I attended the Pan Pacific Conference held in Auckland, in November 2005. Michelle Tobin displayed, our then, recently produced poster, which was a great success and we were able to build networks with the local community, women’s network and other indigenous communities that attended. Michelle and myself were interviewed, for a production on indigenous HIV positive people, to be aired in New Zealand. The atmosphere and welcoming they provided was an incredible experience. We look forward to building stronger networks with these communities.
World Aids Day saw several of PATSIN members involved in events or interviews in their individual state regions.
At our February face-to-face meeting it was decided that a communications package would be designed to include the production of a PATSIN logo, website and discussion board. We hope to secure funding, to assist us with getting this up and running as soon as possible. This package will allow a direct conduit of communication between our members and the community, strengthening our ability to work on a community needs basis. We have also designated one of our member’s to be the PATSIN communications liaison role, to keep the internal communication strong between members.
All members were also assisted in completing scholarship applications for the AIDS2006 Conference to be held 13th-18th August in Toronto, Canada. Rodney and myself have been sponsored as spokespersons to the International Indigenous Satellite meeting to be held 12th August. At the last NAPWHA Board meeting, it was confirmed that NAPWHA would support one member from PATSIN to this conference.
Anwernekenhe 4 Conference, being held 25th to 28th April in Mylor Adelaide, is looking like it will be a fabulous experience. Rodney and I have been on the Planning and Organising Committee with ISAIndigenous Strategic Alliance. and AFAOAustralian Federation of AIDS Organisations. AFAO is the peak non-government organisation representing Australia's community-based response to HIV/AIDS. AFAO's work includes education, policy, advocacy and international projects. , as the current convenors. It was decide that Michelle would remain on this committee. Her input was valued and was supported by PATSIN members. We have 6 members attending this conference, and 4 of those presenting and/or facilitating workshops.
There will be a NSW community forum held in Sydney on Tuesday 18th April. The forum will be facilitated by Rodney and myself and supported by Shane Burgess, Kooncha Brown and Michelle Sparks, the workers of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit workers at ACON. This forum has been made possible through collaboration with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit and Unit Manager, Stephen Scott at ACON. They have also expressed their keenness to work more closely with PATSIN in the future.
Through these forums, we hope to inform the community of PATSIN and our intentions to broaden our membership in the near future. This gives the community the opportunity to have input into this process. We hope to gain support to hold these forums in each state, to help promote PATSIN and consult with communities on a national level. This will enable us to continue work, in the future, on a community needs basis.
I have been welcomed onto both the ISA and NAPWHA Women’s networks as the Women’s Convenor of PATSIN.
I have recently assisted a student doing an internship with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Unit at ACON. She is currently interviewing and researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heterosexual women.
I am collaborating with the Family and Women’s Co-ordinator of ACON in organising local women’s events. I am the Editor of a Women and Families newsletter the project is producing, that give women and families a centralised calendar of events being held in Sydney, We hope that this will broaden in the future to include all state events held in NSW. The information for this is being gained from several organizations, regular through interagency meetings and will be distributed state-wide.
I will be attending the Educator’s Conference being held in Wollongong 17th-19th May, as a member of PATSIN and the AFAO National Training Agenda (NTA) network. The NTA network plan to hold a face-to -face meeting in conjunction with this conference, to be held 18th May.
On behalf of PATSIN, and our male Convenor Rodney Junga –Williams, I would like to take this opportunity to thank PATSIN and NAPWHA for their ongoing support.
Terrilee Simpson and Rodney Junga-Williams