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LGBTI Community Heroes Honoured

Nine people and organisations from across NSW and Australia were recognised for their service to NSW's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community at a gala awards ceremony in Sydney last night.

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St Vincent’s HIV Ward to be Honoured at LGBTI Community Service Awards

Former staff and patients of Ward 17 South at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney will be recognised with a special accolade at the 2014 Honour Awards, NSW’s annual celebration of outstanding achievements within, or contributions to, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. 

The renowned facility, which marks its 30 year anniversary this month, will be honoured with the ACON President’s Award in recognition of the significant role that staff and patients played in improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by HIV and AIDS. 

History of Ward 17

Established in September 1984, Ward 17 South was Australia’s first dedicated HIV/AIDS ward which quickly became the healthcare epicentre for people affected by HIV and AIDS, with over half the country’s HIV and AIDS patients being treated at the hospital over the next 20 years. 

During this time, the Hospital’s Sisters of Charity and staff played a vital role in delivering care and support to patients, as well as family members and friends. Their work in relation to treatment and research has also contributed to improving the local and global response to HIV and AIDS. In addition to the Sisters and staff, the award also recognises the contribution of the patients of Ward 17 South, whose participation in research was also vital to improving HIV treatment and prevention initiatives. 

Due to significant advances in treating HIV, Ward 17 South was decommissioned several years ago.
However, St Vincent’s continues to hold a leadership role in clinical care and research in HIV medicine.
Ward 17 South’s award is in addition to seven other awards being contested by 29 finalists at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 17 September as part of the annual gala fundraising event for LGBTI charity Aurora and for ACON, NSW’s leading HIV and LGBTI health organisation.

The Award

ACON President Mark Orr says the staff and patients of Ward 17 South are worthy recipients of the special award. “The contribution of the Sisters, the staff and the patients of Ward 17 South to the health and wellbeing of our community has been truly outstanding and we’re delighted that we can pay tribute to this service with this much deserved honour,” Mr Orr says. 

“Due to the hospital’s proximity to Australia’s largest community of gay men, St Vincent’s was truly at the coal face of Australia’s response to HIV and AIDS during the worst years of the epidemic. Over that very unhappy time, the dedication and compassion of the Sisters and the staff, as well as the courage and resilience of the patients, was extraordinary and inspiring. 

“Through their efforts, the horrific impact of HIV and AIDS on thousands of people was reduced. And in no small measure, comfort and hope were provided to many people who were struggling with the severe stigma that being HIV positive carried with it in the early years of the epidemic. For the staff and patients of Ward 17 South it was the worst of times, but it brought out the best in these remarkable people, and ACON is proud to be acknowledging and remembering their service and sacrifice in this way.”

The Celebration

“We expect the evening will be a truly memorable occasion for people connected with Ward 17 South, and I encourage them to join our inspirational finalists and all our guests whose attendance we’ll be honouring with a wonderful celebration of our community.”

Guests will be treated throughout the evening to quality wines and beers, delicious gourmet canapés and great music. Guests will also be able to pick up a bargain at the amazing silent auction which features over $100,000 worth of luxury items.      

WHAT: Honour 2014 – Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Party 
WHERE: Ivy Ballroom, 330 George St, Sydney
WHEN: Wednesday 17 September 2014 
TIME: 6:30pm – 11pm
COST: $85 per person (inc. quality wines and beers, delicious canapés and fabulous entertainment)

ENDS - Media contact:  Michael Badorrek, ACON Media and Communications Manager 
T: (02) 9206 2001     M: 0400 358 109     E:

$100k of bargains up for grabs at Honour Awards

Luxury holidays, art, shopping sprees and 5-star entertainment packages are among $100,000 worth of items that will be attracting bargain hunters keen to nab themselves a great deal at the charity auction at this year’s Honour Awards.

Taking place at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Wednesday 17 September, the Honour Awards is an annual event which recognises outstanding achievements within or contributions to NSW’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.

The gala ceremony and cocktail party is a major fundraising event for two of NSW’s leading LGBTI charities, Aurora and ACON, and community members are being encouraged to purchase tickets to the event to help fund community initiatives supported by the two organisations.

Event producer David Wilkins says the occasion will be a glamorous night of celebration, commemoration and silent auction bargain hunting.

“The Ivy’s stunning ballroom will make a wonderful backdrop as guests are treated throughout the evening to quality wines and beers, delicious gourmet canapés and great music,” Mr Wilkins says.

“This year’s silent auction also features some really sensational items ranging from $200 to $20,000 which some lucky bidders will be able to take home for a fraction of the retail price.”

The 50 lots include:
  • 5-star holiday for 2 in South Africa featuring  3 days in beautiful Cape Town, a 3 day deluxe safari and a night on the famed Blue Train travelling from Pretoria to Cape Town 
  • luxury accommodation in Thailand, Bali, Byron Bay and the Hunter Valley
  • original artworks from sculptor Dion Horstmans and photographer  Paul Blackmore 
  • a home entertainment system
  • an ultimate Oxford St shopping spree
  • a Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve experience
  • 5-star dining and accommodation packages 
“And for those people who can’t make it to the event but would like to bid on the items, we’re offering an online bidding option that can be accessed remotely during the event. Details to come closer to the event.