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Pacific leaders meet for Love Life Fono

Thu 29 Oct 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Love Life 3 Fono, the third biannual summit of leaders from sexual minority communities around the Pacific begins tonight in Auckland. Hosted by the NZ AIDS Foundation, the three-day event at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland's Point Chevalier will bring together participants from some of the most marginalised groups from within Aotearoa and the Pacific nations. This evening features a powhiri ceremony of welcome, a talk from guest speaker Te Mahurehure Cultural Marae Society chairwoman Whaea Christine Panapa, a meal and sing-a-long songs. Tomorrow is an intensive day of workshops covering health issues, career opportunities, the benefits of quitting smoking, transgender lives, internet safety for youth, and an 'Ask your Aunties' session. Saturday's workshops involve forming action plans for gay men, youth and trans people. The day will also feature indoor netball and a beauty pageant hosted by Buckwheat in the evening. The action plans will be revealed on Sunday morning, and Kevin Hounui will speak about Wellington's Outgames 2011. "The Fono provides a safe, inclusive environment for people from Pacific Sexual Minorities groups from New Zealand and across the Pacific to discuss emerging issues like HIV prevention and health equity," says the Love Life3 Fono's coordinator Phylesha Brown-Acton. Regional delegates from Pacific nations are carefully selected for their experience and ability to lead, and there is a high expectation that skills acquired from the Fono will be transferred to their local communities, she adds. More information about this weekend's Love Life 3 Fono is available on the NZ AIDS Foundation's website.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Thursday, 29th October 2009 - 2:50pm

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