In recognition of the 35th anniversary of ACON and the publishing of Fighting for our Lives, today Abigail stood to speak in support of the work that ACON does and the ongoing relevance of it's mission for queer and gender diverse communities across the state.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (17:57:18): I speak briefly on behalf of The Greens in support of this motion, particularly with regard to Fighting for Our Lives, the recently published book by journalist Nick Cook, which acknowledges the vital work that the AIDS Council of NSW [ACON] has undertaken since its inception over 35 years ago for those living with HIV/AIDS. I pay tribute to those who formed this fiercely proud community organisation in 1985 in response to the AIDS crisis in New South Wales. They have demonstrated the power of collective action and the value of designing programs by and for the communities they seek to reach. Their focus on health, inclusion and opportunities for people of diverse sexualities and genders and their unwavering commitment to informing and collaborating with all sectors and across all levels of government has changed and improved lives. We should all seek to emulate in this place their values of inclusion, compassion, excellence and courage and I take this opportunity to thank ACON personally and on behalf of The Greens.
Fighting for Our Lives also explores the hate crimes that many queer and gender-diverse people have faced and continue to face, simply for living their lives in Australia. Unfortunately, even now, many gender-diverse people in particular still face bigotry and threats of violence simply for daring to proudly exist. ACON's mission remains as relevant today as it did at its formation. I thank the Hon. Shayne Mallard for bringing this motion. We are very pleased to support it.
For the full transcript of the debate visit the NSW Parliament website.