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Positive Musings: Reflections of HIV in Modern Australia

When

Tuesday 28 February from 6pm to 7pm

We take a closer look at Australia’s history of dealing with HIV and its representations in media and literature over the decades in comparison with international representations of the AIDS crisis. 

 As we enter an era where treatments are becoming more effective, the concept of U=U (Undetectable = Untransmissible) is common knowledge in queer circles, and mRNA vaccines show promise for preventative measures, our relationship with HIV is evolving. 

The panel discusses the impact this has had on how HIV is represented in the media in Australia, while looking to international representations of the AIDs crisis and how well they serve Australia given our unique positioning in the history of the pandemic.

SPEAKERS

Nic Holas (he/him) is an activist, writer, and co-founder of The Institute of Many, an advocacy platform for People Living with HIV that has been identified as a major player in the nation’s modern-day HIV response, delivering digital campaignsresources, events, and digital community spaces since 2012. Nic’s writing has appeared in the ABC, Archer Magazine,  The GuardianSydney Morning Herald, SBS, Hello Mr., The Lifted Brow, and Junkee, as well as in international and local queer media. He has appeared on Q&A, Lateline, Radio National, and Triple J. Nic has also worked extensively in media and communications for non-profits and digital agencies.

Emil Cañita, (he, she and they), is a Trans, Filipino HIV-Advocate, Sex Worker and artist anand a Peer Navigator at Living Positive Victoria, a peer-based HIV organisation by and for people living with HIV, particularly those with a migrant experience who are newly diagnosed and or just coming to terms with their HIV diagnosis. As an active member of Positive Asian Network Australia, they also work in areas to address health inequities experienced by all HIV+ Asians nationally.

Dr Shirleene Robinson AM is Director of Curatorial and Collection Research at the National Library of Australia. Shirleene is the author, co-author or editor of In the Eye of the Storm: Volunteers and Australia's Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis (2021) and Pride in Defence: The Australian Military and LGBTI Service Since 1945 (2020). She curated A City Responds to Crisis: Volunteers and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Sydney 1980s-1990s. In 2022, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the LGBTIQ community, to marriage equality, and to history.

Tommy Murphy's stage adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s memoirs, Holding The Man, is regularly produced around the world including Florence, Chicago, Nashville and London. It has won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Philip Parsons Award. His screenplay for Holding the Man also won the Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay and is on Netflix. His other plays include Strangers in Between, Packer & Sons, Mark Colvin's Kidney and Troy's House. In 2020 he received the National Theatre prize from the Australia Council for the Arts.

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City of Sydney

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