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Current Facilitators

Abby has been working in the sexual and reproductive health, and rights sector, ever since returning from living and working in Uganda at the peak of the African AIDS epidemic. She is currently the coordinator for the NZ Positive Speakers’ Bureau and is the co-author and designer of the HIV Essentials online course. Her background in adult education and design, programme management, strategy, and change leadership fuels her passion for the meaningful and greater involvement of people living with HIV.  He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Andrew - bio coming soon

Bev has been living well with HIV for 15 years. She experienced internalised stigma for 8 years that held her back and kept her diagnosis quiet, but she has worked hard to dismantle those feelings and thrive as a HIV activist for the last 4 years. Bev is a PLDI graduate, a co-facilitator of Phoenix for women and a previous board member of Positive Women Victoria. She is also an active member of the positive speakers bureau with Living Positive Victoria and has spoken at the candlelight memorial service. Bev is a registered nurse, mum, daughter, sister, niece, aunty & nan. She is honest and humorous and is passionate about family and community.

Brent is a Senior Project Officer at the National Association of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) where he oversees activities, policies and programs on HIV treatment and quality of life. Brent recently graduates from UNSW with a MOPH from the Kirby Institute, Brent has held numerous peer support and management roles in the NSW HIV sector, across a range of programs, initiatives and research partnerships focused on people living with HIV including those who are recently diagnosed, people who inject drugs and gay men and other men who have sex with men living with HIV.

Jane has been a PLDI facilitator since 2019 after having graduated herself in 2018. Jane has been living with HIV since 1988 and has been involved in the HIV response for nearly 30 years. Since 2004, Jane has been the National Coordinator of Positive Women Inc. in New Zealand. Jane achieved an Honours for her Masters degree in Social Practise with her thesis on Stigma and Women living with HIV. She was the UNAIDS Asia Pacific delegate from 2010-13 on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, which she ranks as one of the top 10 most amazing experiences in her life.  In 2018, Jane was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her contribution towards the HIV response and women.  Jane is a strong believer of  people living with HIV being self-determined and leading the HIV response, which is why she is an avid supporter of the PLDI course, as the training is focused on providing a space for people to discover their leadership potential.
Justin Xiao is a Chinese Australian who spent the last fifteen years living in Australia and Canada. Over the years Justin has been involved in a number of community organisations supporting people living with HIV and people who have sought out support for their substance use. Justin currently works as a Community Health Promotion Officer at ACON in Sydney. He is also a Board Director at the National Association of People with HIV Australia. Last year, he supported the launch of a new advisory group called Positive Asian Network Australia, which aims to provide support and advocacy to Asian people who live with HIV nationally.

Kurt valued the way the PLDI Who Am I As A Leader? workshop hones participants' existing leadership skills and styles so much that after completing it in 2020 he joined the facilitation team, bringing decades of teaching and coaching experience from vocational, creative and spiritual communities. A Living Positive Victoria PSB speaker since 2010, Body Positive board secretary, co-founder of Club Phoenix and more recently Social+ Coffee peer support groups, the Express magazine safe sex ad judging panel, sewing costumes for QWU and spin flags for positive picnics outline Kurt's broad involvement in the community and a champion for MIPA principles. Becoming a biodad through Sperm Positive led to his contribution to their book The Baby Who Changed The World and continued support, advocacy, and policy change for other donors and recipients both through fertility clinics and privately in New Zealand and Australia.

Past facilitators

Jesse was the Peer Support & Communications Officer for Queensland Positive People (QPP) from 2013-2015. Jesse has represented people living with HIV at local, national and international levels. He was on the QPP Board of Directors from 2011-2013, and has been a speaker with the Queensland Positive Speakers Bureau (QPSB), for 5 years. Since joining the QPSB he has developed a passion for supporting PLHIV to share their stories of living with HIV - humanising HIV to combat stigma and discrimination. In his role as Peer Support & Communications Officer, he facilitated support groups and activities for PLHIV in Queensland, including the AWARE: Recently Diagnosed Workshops throughout the year. Jesse is a graduate of the first PLDI Australia workshop in August 2013.

Karl currently works as a Health Promotion Officer at ACON working with HIV Health Programs, the Sexually Adventurous Men’s Project and within the community rapid HIV testing service, a[Test]. Karl started as volunteer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City in 2008. Karl joined ACON in July of 2013 with a lead role in the delivery of the Genesis program, a workshop for gay men newly diagnosed with HIV. Karl has also had a key role in developing educational resources for people living with HIV, covering topics like HIV stigma and resilience, HIV Disclosure and is also a member of the treatment officer network. Karl attended PLDI in March 2015.

Nic is a writer/activist and co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), an international social umbrella for HIV positive people. As a writer focusing on living with HIV, the contemporary gay experience and sex-positivity, Nic has been published in Hello Mr. magazine,, Junkee, Gay News Network, Star Observer, Cosmopolitan and more. Nic has made countless appearances on national television, documentaries, radio and online discussing HIV and in December 2013 delivered the shared keynote at Sydney World AIDS Day. Nic is also a peer educator, an ENUF Ambassador, an ENDING HIV ambassador, and a facilitator for the Positive Leadership Development Institute. Nic is a graduate of the one of the first PLDI Australia workshops in August 2013.

Paula is an experienced and passionate educator who has worked as a teacher and trainer in variety of educational settings over the last twenty years. In addition to being a language teacher and scuba diving instructor, she has six years’ experience working in the HIV sector. In the US she trained and coordinated the volunteers for Project Inform’s National Treatment Information Hotline in San Francisco. She worked as a Peer Advocate for HIV+ youth and women in California and lobbied in Washington DC for HIV program funding. She was a trainer for the California State-wide Treatment Education Program and the Training Manager for the East Bay AIDS Education and Training Centre (AETC). In Australia she worked as a Senior Project Officer in the National Policy and Education Division of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine. She has presented and delivered training at numerous national and local conferences, workshops and retreats. She has also been engaged as a public speaker for various events and groups. Paula is a graduate of the PLDI Australia workshop in October 2014.
Richard has been living with HIV since 1990 and has over 20 years of involvement within the HIV/AIDS sector. As a member of the AIDS Ministerial Advisory Committee (1991-1993) Richard saw first-hand the early effects that HIV had on the Australian community. Richard has had a long history of grass roots community engagement for marginalised ‘at risk” key affected populations and has held positions such as AIDS and Injecting Drug Use Educator at The Prostitutes collective Of Victoria and as the Boys and Transgender Project Worker @ Rhed at Inner South Community Health Centre. His passion lies in contributing to the effectiveness and relevance of peer based education models and he is currently studying a Diploma in Community Services Work @ Melbourne Polytechnic, is a facilitator of the newly formed Re-wired 2.0 offering medium and long term support for men who have sex with men (MSM) looking to modify their use of Crystal methamphetamine with the Victorian AIDS Council. Richard is a graduate of the one of the first PLDI Australia workshops in August 2013.
Sarah Feagan is a queer women who has been living with HIV since 2008. Sarah is the previous chair of Positive Women Victoria and Peer Navigator at Living Positive Victoria. She is the Vice President of the National Association of People Living with HIV, (NAPWHA). Sarah is a co-facilitator of Phoenix for Women. Sarah has unique approach to her advocacy and is inspired by the lived experience of the body positive to inform her practice. Sarah's advocacy spans the from the grass roots all the way up to high level governance. She has a global outlook with a local focus, bringing the community along with her. 
Sarah joined PLDi as a facilitator 3 years ago. “I see the value in this workshop through the growth and connections formed. PLDi is a unique opportunity for the body positive, and I feel so privileged to now be facilitating.”
Steve holds a Master's degrees in Sociology from the University of London and Counselling from Massey University, New Zealand and is completing a PhD through the Kirby Institute UNSW. Steve started his involvement by volunteering at the London lesbian and Gay Switchboard in 2012 and has experience as a facilitator at the Terrance Higgins Trust in London and worked as a Counsellor at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. As well as facilitating peer support groups with Body Positive he also develops wellbeing workshops and initiatives such as the Snapshot Sessions which uses photography as a therapeutic tool to help HIV+ people come to terms with psycho-social issues surrounding their diagnosis and created Project Putoetoe a documentary project recording the lived experience of PLHIV in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  Steve is currently Clinical Lead of a team of therapists at a tertiary institution in New Zealand.
Tawhanga identifies as a transgender digital and performance artist, and kaupapa Māori academic, currently in the final stages of the first Kaupapa Māori creative practice-based PhD, through the School of Māori and Pacific Development at the University of Waikato. With a particular interest in ways that people are impacted upon by notions of power, and Tawhanga seeks out ways to transform in positive ways from traumatic experiences; where people feel empowered to be happy in their own skins. I theorise kaupapa Māori, transgender identites, sexuality, and the ways that raranga can shift negative mediations of these. Taewhanga is of Te Arawa descent with an iwi being – Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Wāhiao, Tūhourangi, Ngāti Whaoa, Ngāti Tarawhai and Ngāti Rangitihi, and has firm Waikato (Ngāti Amaru) and Ngāpuhi (Ngai Tawake) whakapapa. Tawhanga is based at Ohinemutu, Rotorua.
Vic is one of the founding facilitators of PLDI Australia, having participated in the workshop in Canada in 2013 and then adapting the curriculum to the Australian context. He has 24 years experience in the HIV sector commencing with HIV Health Education and Peer Support at Thorne Harbour Health (formerly VAC) followed by Social Research at the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society (ARCSHS). Vic is currently a Healt​h Promotion Officer at Living Positive Victoria, having joined in 2006, and focuses on Peer Education and Training for people living with HIV (PLHIV). He coordinates and delivers a range of programs for PLHIV across Victoria including the Phoenix workshop for those newly diagnosed with HIV and the Positive Self-Management Program which is based on the Stanford model and delivered to those with HIV 50 years and over. Vic also trains volunteers who have come through these programs and wish to be involved and facilitate them.