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Five in the running for three NZAF Board places

Wed 31 Oct 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

Five men with a wide variety of skill sets have been nominated for the three available positions on the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s Trust Board. The three elected candidates will replace former Chair Alastair Cameron and Board members Kaine Thompson and Christian Bimbola-Ogbah. Massimo Giola Seeking a place is Tauranga infectious diseases physician Massimo Giola, and openly gay man who moved to New Zealand from Italy with his now civil union partner in 2009. He has been involved with the care of PLWHIV/AIDS since the early 90s, and says he has always had a keen interest in the prevention and in the social aspects of the epidemic. “Being openly gay ... I have a unique point of view and understanding of the profound meanings of the HIV/AIDS crisis for our community,” Giola says. “Several people that I am proud and honoured to have called friends, not just patients, were victims of the disease, and I cherish their memory as one of the most poignant legacies of my professional and personal experience. “I hope to be able to pass to the new generations of gay men this knowledge and historical perspective, while keeping the focus on the target of ‘zero new infections’ in our lifetime,” he finishes. Vaughan Meneses Long-time community worker and volunteer Vaughan Meneses is the former General Manager of OUTLine and OUTLine board member, and was on the steering committee for Auckland Pride. He was co-opted onto NZAF Board in February 2012 to fill a skills gap and is now seeking a nominated position. Now living in Wellington, Meneses is also a person living with HIV. “I am passionate about ensuring that we maintain and develop as a community affected by HIV and that we continue to see a fall in new HIV infections,” he says. Simon Randall Auckland local body politician Simon Randall is hoping for a place on the NZAF Board after being an active member of Auckland’s gay community for over 12 years and working on numerous initiatives, including the Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools and the Auckland Pride Festival Trust. Randall has a Master’s of Science (with first class honours) in Biology, and says his studies and research have given him a deep understanding of virology and epidemiology. “We are at a crucial time in developments of HIV prevention science,” he says. “My knowledge and skill base will complement the current skill set of the NZAF Board as it continues to interpret recent scientific developments and what they mean for the New Zealand HIV epidemic.” Ashley Barratt Management consultant, Body Positive Board member and Chairperson of Auckland’s Gay and Lesbian Singers Ashley Barratt says as an HIV positive gay man, has the personal experience of the work of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation and its role in the community. “My simple desire is to promote the voice of HIV positive people in NZAF strategy and policy,” he says. “I applaud the work of the existing Board and management. As an internationally recognized organization NZAF has a unique role in leading the work of HIV prevention in New Zealand. “NZAF operates in a complex landscape of change that provides many challenges for advocacy and support organisations in this sector. An opportunity exists for NZAF to be courageous in aligning delivery of services to the needs of its stakeholders. My personal belief is that more engagement between advocacy and support groups is positive for stakeholders and I am making my nomination for the Trust Board position for the NZAF on this basis.” Barratt believes his more than 25 years’ experience in strategic and operational management across corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations would be of use to the NZAF Board. David Friar The final candidate is Auckland lawyer and dad David Friar, a gay man who has been active in the LGBT community in Wellington, Auckland and New York for the past 15 years. “I have first-hand experience of the effect of HIV and AIDS on friends and members of our community,” he says. “As a lawyer, I regularly advise boards of listed companies and non-profit entities on governance issues and best practices,” he says, adding he also has a good working knowledge of government processes. Friar was an active member of the Campaign for Civil Unions and is an active member of the Campaign for Marriage Equality. “I welcome the opportunity to give back to the community, and to support the critical work of the Foundation,” he says. There will again be both online and postal ballot voting for NZAF members this year, and forms have been sent out. The successful candidates will be announced the AGM in on Saturday 24 November.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 31st October 2012 - 9:08am

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