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Picture: Board Members from Positive Women Inc. say thank you to Karen Ritchie (centre).
By Caroline Bree, Board Chair.
The Positive Women Inc Board is feeling refreshed and re-energised heading into Spring. Firstly and very fortunately because we have three wonderful new members. Enatha was voted on at our AGM and since then we have been joined by Jan and Fatima, both from the South Island. Regional representation is very important so that we can hear about our members’ experiences from all over Aotearoa. We are looking forward to all getting together at our November meeting in Wellington. We also hope to have a dinner with our Wellington members on Saturday November 2nd, let Jane know if you are able to attend.
Enatha and I enjoyed overseas holidays in August, so thank you to Heather and Raewyn for taking care of Board business over that time. Heather has also been meeting with the media as the face of the new HIV Testing Campaign and featured in a TV3 news item, along with our NCO Jane, talking about the Stigma Index Project.
Finally in September we celebrated two exceptional women and their achievements.
In her fifteen years as National Coordinator Jane has grown Positive Women Inc. from a small support group to being a Nationally recognised organisation for the significant contribution it makes to the well-being of women and families living with HIV and public health promotion of HIV and women.
During the sad and difficult early years of the HIV epidemic Karen Ritchie saw a need to mark the lives of those passing away from AIDS. She used her network of friends and associates to fundraise for funerals for people with limited resources. As treatment options improved the Cartier Bereavement Trust was called on less often, so the remaining funds have been donated to Positive Women and Body Positive to continue that support.