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Two LGBT icons seek NZAF Board seats

Mon 20 Oct 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Queen of the Whole Universe and Big Gay Out organiser Jonathan Smith, and high-profile transgender Human Rights activist Jacquie Grant, have both confirmed they are candidates for the NZ AIDS Foundation's Executive Board, going to the ballot at next month's Annual General Meeting. New NZAF Board members are required for 2008-09, since Larry Jenkins and Peter Taylor resigned this year. Jonathan Smith Smith says he believes the NZAF Board requires some additional new skill-based trustees to help the Foundation move forward. "With my previous board involvement, community networks, strategic planning skills and governance understanding, I believe I can add to the experience pool that is required," he tells GayNZ.com. The NZAF has been through a major period of change recently, Smith notes, "with more change possibly on the horizon due to the introduction of the new anti-viral treatments, a welcomed continual decrease in HIV related deaths, an increase in the numbers of people living with HIV and thus a required increase in community education, research, and support for those people living with HIV. "Combined with my first-hand knowledge and experience of the communities most affected by the HIV epidemic in New Zealand, I believe I will assist NZAF and our affected communities deal with whatever might be sitting, waiting on the horizon." Jacquie Grant Jacquie Grant announced her intention to run for the NZAF Board on GayNZ.com's Forum at the weekend. "I have had a bit to say on the issues discussed here re the NZAF so I decided to put my money where my mouth is," she typed. Grant, 64, has been involved in the LGBT community for 52 years, and spent the first half of her life as a gay man before gender-transitioning. A Hokitika resident, she served two terms as a Councilor, and is currently a member of the Human Rights Tribunal, the Work and Income New Zealand Benefit Review Panel for the West Coast, a Trustee of Wellington Chrissy Witoko Memorial Trust, and an 'agony aunt' advice-giver on GayNZ.com. "I have followed the work of the NZAF throughout my years, and come to the board with some clear ideas around the foundation's engagement with the diverse groups that make up our community," she explains. "I also have a strong desire to see all members of the community supported with effective safe sex campaigns as well as better practical support networks for positive people." GayNZ.com will advise the close-off dates and other details relating to the NZAF's late November AGM as soon as they are confirmed to us.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff

First published: Monday, 20th October 2008 - 1:21pm

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