Co-presented by Alex Greenwich, member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing the seat of Sydney, and APCOM Regional Advisory Group Chair, Bryan Choong.
Standing for HIV Equality and Rights, the HERO Awards is an annual APCOM Awards event which acknowledges outstanding service to the region’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities and the HIV response in Asia and the Pacific. In 2022, it was hosted by the Australian Embassy in Bangkok.
Due to the pandemic, many of the Awards were not able to be given to their rightful Recipients.
“Our community across Asia and the Pacific has always been an integral part of progressing to equality – to call to account, to make noise by going to the streets, to bring the evidence of the real and lived experiences of LGBTQI, people living with HIV, key populations, and other marginalized groups. Our work is far from over, and I am honoured to have been able to present the Awards to two extraordinary individuals who pushed through in the face of adversities, and for being a shining example for our region.”Commented Bryan Choong, APCOM Regional Advisory Group Chair.
Ahead of the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, two Recipients were able to receive their Awards.
Dennis Altman from Australia who received the 2021 Shivananda Khan Award for Extraordinary Achievement:
“When I received this Award I thought back to the beginning, thirty years ago, at an early AIDS Conference in Delhi, when the gay caucus was banned from the official meeting rooms and retired to a nearby park, where the two great leaders, Ashok Row Kavi and Shivananda Khan, opened up a world that led to so many of the changes and collaborations that formed APCOM.”
Tebeio Tamton from Kiribati who received the 2022 Community Ally Award:
“Social stigma against HIV/AIDS and people living with HIV/AIDS can negatively affect people’s mental health in our local communities. Therefore, mental health needs to be in the front and center for advocacy, awareness and action campaigns for HIV/AIDS in the Pacific and around the World.
I would like to commend the work being done by APCOM on HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region, especially the recognition of individuals and communities that contribute towards ‘Ending the epidemic: 95-95-95’ through the HERO Awards.”