APCOM HERO Awards 2022 at Australian Embassy in Thailand, 25 November 2022
The 6th HERO Awards ceremony took place at the Australian Embassy in the center of Bangkok on the night of 25 November 2022 under the theme “Unity & Diversity”. This inspirational event convened multi-national LGBTQI communities, non-profit organizations, embassies, public and private sectors, to celebrate the HEROs of the year who dedicated themselves for LGBTQI communities in Asia Pacific region.
“The Australian Embassy is proud to host the 2022 HERO awards event tonight, which recognises outstanding service in HIV response across Asia and the Pacific. We have supported APCOM’s work over many years. LGBTQI rights are human rights which we will continue to fight for in every forum. The work of human rights defenders and civil society groups like APCOM is crucial to upholding LGBTQI rights across the region,”remarked H.E. Dr Angela Macdonald, Australian Ambassador to Thailand.
Standing for HIV, Equality and Rights, the APCOM HERO Awards is an annual event which acknowledges the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities and outstanding service to the HIV/AIDS response in Asia and the Pacific. The event is also a fundraiser for the APCOM Foundation, a leading NGO which works to fight HIV and advance LGBTQI health, rights and wellbeing across the Asia Pacific region. The Awards are being supported by a range of corporate sponsors, community organisations and diplomatic missions.
APCOM Foundation in partnership with three community organizations,
APN+, APTN and ILGA Asia, we proudly unveil the HEROs of the year 2022 below:
Shivananda Khan Award for Extraordinary Achievement:
Senator Risa Hontiveros
Senator Risa Hontiveros is a health and women’s rights advocate, a proud activist, and a champion of the basic sectors. She is the Philippines’ first socialist woman Senator. Senator Risa Hontiveros is widely known and celebrated for her tireless work in promoting public health, the rights of women and other marginalized groups, including the LGBTQI+ community.
The company that creates home for inclusion for all employees, a safe workplace that fully accepts employees’ identities.
Advisor and Co-Founder of Boutokaan Inaomataia ao Mauriia Binabinaine Association (BIMBA)
supported by ILGA Asia:
The founder and Executive Director of EQUAL GROUND, one of the oldest and truly diverse LGBTIQ advocacy organizations pursuing LGBTIQ rights as part of the larger Human Rights framework in Sri Lanka.
Blue Sky Society Company Limited
An organisation which creates a “home” for people living with HIV in Vietnam and provides necessary services for people who want treatment but do not dare to enroll in a public health treatment program for issues related to confidentiality.
Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APL+)
During the COVID-19 lockdown APL+ collected data and information from key populations to identify the issues to further plan for supporting key populations in the communities.
Health and Wellbeing:
Dr Wong Chen Seong
A Consultant physician who co-created with members of key LGBTQI community-based organisations to provide healthcare workers across various sectors with the training to communicate with and serve LGBTQI patients and clients confidently and competently.
supported by APN+:
Yasir Ali Khan
A well-known person in the HIV sector as a PLHIV activist, who runs a support group with large numbers of key populations living with HIV, with expertise in harm reduction in Pakistan.
Human Rights Campaign Advisor at Manushya Foundation who successfully won a case on uniform justice and set precedent for the legal principle regarding gender identity and expression in Thailand.
supported by APTN:
She is a volunteer at the Transpuan Community in Yogyakarta Indonesia, and help organize communities, strengthen the capacity of organizational administrators and carry out economic empowerment in increasing community resilience from various vulnerabilities.
Health, advocacy, and Youth Officer who empowers health organizations in Malaysia to integrate their healthcare model with HIV services such as testing, counselling, and referral of treatment.
“Our Award recipients tell powerful stories of not giving up by creating a more inclusive, equal and just society. Despite the effect of Covid-19 extraordinary work is being done, and the HERO Awards is the platform to help highlight their efforts,”Midnight, APCOM’s Executive Director says.
The event gathered close to 300 participants physically and brought together celebrities, special guests, community representatives and advocates, members of Bangkok’s diplomatic, corporate and entertainment field to pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organisations who have improved the lives of LGBTQI people and people affected by and living with HIV throughout the Asia Pacific region. This year, Joe Chonlawit came back to be our special MC together with surprising Co-MC Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, Miss Universe Thailand 2021.
Michael Bäk, APCOM’s Private Sector Ambassador explained that
“Today we celebrate to people whose dedication and passion help improve life, give hope, and create a positive impact for people living with HIV and LGBTQI communities across Asia Pacific. Our lives are better, healthier, and happier because the heroes we celebrate today have shown up and they have shown up every day. They should be recognized as the change makers, so let their works, their dedication, and their impact, inspire the policy and social change that we all deserve.”
With fun cocktail reception and delicious canapes accompanied by fine wines, the glamorous evening featured famous stage show artists by Jay Team and Network of Music and Arts of Persons with Disabilities (NMAD), mini-concert by Silvy (Warner Music), extravaganza drag performances by Srimala and Minnie Minage, and Finale with a fashion show by Ton Sirisak. While at the filed guests enjoyed the exhibition of Body Positivity campaign run by APCOM, music in the garden, charitable auction and luck draw, and interactive booths from networks and sponsors.
This HERO Awards ceremony helps acknowledge outstanding LGBTQI and HIV advocates and allies from across Asia and the Pacific, and showcase their inspiring work they have been doing for the LGBTQI communities.
You can also be a HERO to contribute to #CoronaAPCOMpassion COVID-19 Emergency Fund to provide immediate responses needed by the grassroots LGBTQI communities who are significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in Asia Pacific.