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Gay Men's Health team leader Matt Creamer

Sun 11 Nov 2007 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Matt Creamer Former Police Diversity Liasion Officier Matt Creamer is now one of the new kids on the block at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Congrats on your new job! So what's your official title, and what does the role entail? Matt Creamer: Thanks so much! I'm the Team Leader for the Gay Men's Health Promotion Team at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. This includes overseeing the Pacific People's Project and the Out THERE! programme. It's a newly created role, designed to coordinate the national GMH team's approach to reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS amongst the most at-risk community – ours! Tell us about your work experience leading up to this important job. Prior to coming to NZAF, I worked as a Project Officer in Equity and Diversity Issues at Police National Headquarters in Wellington. The thing I am most proud of is helping to set up the Police Diversity Liaison Officer network in 2004. Before that I was working in the Police Communications Centre in Auckland coordinating Police's response to critical incidents. The ethos of protecting individuals, whilst helping enable communities to take better care of each other through support and education, is one that runs through both the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. I'm also most of the way through my Law Degree and my Arts Degree, majoring in Sociology. What's your background, and where did you grew up? We moved around loads! I'm a fourth generation New Zealander, and I grew up mostly in South Auckland (Papatoetoe and Mangere), Rotorua and Cairns in Queensland. Several years as the only gay ginga at good ol' Rotorua Boys High School certainly was, uh, character building. What's your relationship status? I'm living with my partner of four some years in a lovely old bungalow in Sandringham. And yes, we have the compulsory little gay doggie! What do you think are the most pressing issues currently facing the NZ's gay community? Complacency and ignorance of our gay heritage. Forgetting who and what came before us. And for many who I come across, a blatant unwillingness to learn. Our pioneers must be remembered, for as we lose sight of them, we lose sight of the communities that they built, and the strength, love, pride and cohesion that came with those communities. Matt (right) with a Police collegue and the Prime Minister at the Big Gay Out Which LGBT people do you most look up to? I respect and admire all LGBT people that have the strength and courage to be themselves, particularly in the face of adversity. I admire all of our gay and lesbian Police officers who sometimes without even knowing it make things so much better for the rest of us. I especially respect those GLBT people who help others along their journey towards being happy, with no expectation of reward. What's your worst habit? Mr Wilde once said that the greatest of faults is to be conscious of none. I'm conscious of dozens and dozens. Choosing just one is a challenge! Uh… wanting everything all my own way? (That noise is my partner's head nodding furiously). Which books are you currently reading and recommending? Hmm … Have just finished Children of Men (much better than the film) and World Atlas – brilliant writing. Currently onto the second book by gay writer Allan Hollinghurst called The Folding Star. He has provided the best description of urgent anonymous beat sex that I've read yet! Your favourite music at the moment? Anything playing on George usually satisfies me. Your favourite movies? Twelve Angry Men is my all-time favourite – a old black and white film set entirely in a jury room. It's one of the few examples I've seen of people being reasoned out a position they didn't reason themselves into – a practical impossibility. But mostly I like anything with car chases and especially helicopter crashes. Your favourite TV programmes? Any British comedies will satisfy me. I'm loving Bonkers on Friday nights, although I've missed it twice now due to being unexpectedly (but momentarily) popular and engaged. Naturally, Desperate Housewives, The L Word and Home and Away are staples. But that goes without saying, right? Your favourite website? NZ Herald. God I'm dull! Who in the world (including NZ) would you most like to have a coffee and a chat with and why? Justice Michael Kirby, High Court Judge of Australia. A openly gay man (since 1999) in an industry where sometimes it seems that even women are simply tolerated, he exhibits compassion and thoughtfulness in most of his rulings. He often speaks out internationally in support of gay rights issues from his position of considerable authority. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? Man, there's so much bad stuff I'd love to see eliminated… HIV, crime, domestic violence, hatred, intolerance, unhappiness – what about if I wish for a world where can all live without risk? Of course, like everyone, I really would like to not have to wonder if the EFTPOS terminal was going to ACCEPT or DECLINE me and my need to eat, drink and look fabulous. - 11th November 2007


First published: Sunday, 11th November 2007 - 10:12pm

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