Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) is proud to announce the appointment of Ita Buttrose AC, OBE as Patron, in recognition of her contribution to public health policy and Australia’s response to HIV/AIDS over the past 40 years.
With an illustrious media career and a deep commitment to the HIV sector, Ms Buttrose’s appointment as BGF's Patron strengthens the Foundation’s mission to help people living with HIV to thrive.
Ms Buttrose has consistently used her platform to raise awareness, fight HIV stigma and advocate for people living with HIV since the early days of the pandemic. Her unwavering dedication to the cause and tireless work in improving healthcare policies and increasing funding for HIV/AIDS research, prevention and treatment has had a profound impact on the HIV sector and community.
Bobby Goldsmith Foundation is Australia’s oldest community-based HIV charity. Since 1984, they have been at the forefront of providing essential physical, emotional and financial support to people living with HIV.
BGF’s CEO Nick Lawson said, “We are incredibly honoured to appoint Ita Buttrose as our esteemed Patron for our organisation. For decades, Ita has stood as a steadfast pillar of support for people living with HIV, tirelessly championing social justice. She is an exceptional advocate for our cause and with her support, we are confident in our ability to continue improving the quality of life for all people living with HIV.”
Ms Buttrose had a leading role in the development of Australia’s HIV/AIDS policy in the 1980’s as the Chair of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACAIDS). Her contribution was critical in shaping the national conversation surrounding the pandemic and she helped reduce HIV/AIDS stigma through challenging misconceptions and promoting compassion, understanding and acceptance for all people who were living with HIV.
On her appointment as Patron, Ms Buttrose said, “I am delighted to accept the role of Patron of BGF to help guide the organisation into the future. I believe that all people living with HIV deserve love, as well as help and care and I am committed to helping BGF do just that.”
As Patron, Ms Buttrose will actively engage with BGF in a variety of initiatives, including public awareness campaigns, fundraising events, and strategic advocacy efforts. Her involvement will enhance the Foundation's ability to empower individuals, promote inclusivity, and improve the quality of life for those living with HIV.
Ms Buttrose will join The Hon. Michael Kirby and his partner Johan van Vloten as Co-Patrons of BGF. Michael and Johan have been BGF’s Patrons since 2002. On Ms Buttrose’s appointment as Patron, Michael said, “Those of us who lived through the dark years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic will never forget the quiet, sane and inclusive contributions of Ita Buttrose. No one could deserve this appointment as richly as she does.”
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