Bangkok, 1 Dec 2018
Heroes of HIV prevention, LGBT rights and community health were among nine people and organisations who were honoured at the 2018 Asia Pacific HERO Awards gala in Bangkok last night.
Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards acknowledges outstanding service to the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific, and to the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Over 300 people attended the gala World AIDS Day event at the British Embassy in Bangkok which raised over US$20,000 for the Bangkok-based APCOM Foundation, a leading NGO which works to fight HIV and advance LGBT health and rights across the Asia Pacific region. The Awards were supported by a range of corporate sponsors, community organisations and diplomatic missions.
The award recipients came from Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Oceania, Malaysia, India and Japan were selected from 24 finalists who were chosen from over 200 nominations that were received from across the region. Among the winners was one of Asia’s leading LGBT rights campaigners Jean Chong from Singapore who was named Community Hero for 20 years of exceptional service. India’s esteemed transgender activist Simran Shaikh was named Transgender Hero for over 20 years of dedicated service to transgender rights and health. The HIV Hero award went to Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Phong for 10 year of service as an outstanding HIV activist and care provider.
Australia’s Ken Moala was deemed Social Justice Hero for his pioneering LGBT advocacy across Oceania while Dr Yogi Prasetia from Indonesia was declared the Health & Wellbeing Hero for his outstanding work with gay men and other people affected by HIV in Bali. Thailand’s Surang Janyam received the Community Ally Award for protecting the health and rights of female and male sex workers in Thailand, and Malaysia’s PT Foundation was recognized with the Community Organisation Award for providing exceptional support for people affected by HIV. The Young Achiever Award went to Justin Francis Bionat from the Philippines.
Japanese politician and LGBT health and rights advocate Taiga Ishikawa received the Shivananda Khan Award for Extraordinary Achievement following 20 years of groundbreaking activism. The award, presented by APCOM, is named after the late Shivananda Khan, APCOM’s founder and a pioneering hero of the Asia Pacific response to HIV and LGBT health and rights.
APCOM’s Regional Advisory Committee Chair Dede Oetomo: “On behalf of APCOM, I congratulate the winners and all the finalists on their achievements and community service. Last night’s event was a truly inspirational and thoroughly entertaining evening and a great celebration of the dynamic spirit of our community. I’d like to thank all the people who submitted nominations, our independent judging panels, our community and event partners, our fundraising auction donors and all our guests for coming along and supporting APCOM’s work by raising money to fund programs and services that are helping improve the health and wellbeing of our community,” Mr Oetomo said.
British Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Brian Davidson: “I’m delighted that the British Embassy in Bangkok was able to host this year’s HERO Awards. These prestigious awards shine a light on the extraordinary work done by everyday heroes across the Asia Pacific region in their local communities to improve the lives of others. World AIDS Day provides a valuable opportunity to show how the remarkable people and organisations we are rewarding can bring people together to make a difference and inspire others. I’d like to send my congratulations to these impressive awardees”