Burnet supports PLDI Scholarship

Angus Morgan

18 September, 2015

Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) board member Craig Burnett is looking forward to honing his leadership skills as the inaugural recipient of a Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI Australia) scholarship sponsored by Burnet Institute.

PLDI Australia, which was launched at AIDS 2014, focuses on placing people living with HIV as central and vital in the role towards ending HIV.

The scholarship scheme supports people living with HIV to attend resilience and leadership capacity building workshops run by PLDI Australia.

The Burnet-sponsored scholarship will enable Mr Burnett, an astrophysicist, to attend a workshop in New Zealand in mid-October by covering his course and travel costs.

“I am looking at this position on the VAC board as a way of stepping up and helping the community, and I felt that this program was a way of helping to develop that and furthering the work I want to do,” Mr Burnett said.

“It seemed really interesting because the people from Living Positive Victoria (LPV) said it would help me to create my own positive identity by learning more about the history of HIV and AIDS in Australia and hearing other people’s stories and other perspectives from different minority and cultural groups who are also affected by HIV and AIDS.”

LPV is a collaborating partner of PLDI Australia. Executive Officer Brent Allan sees the scholarship program as essential for tapping into the growing role of HIV positive people in the community and connecting a new generation of leaders with those already engaged with the HIV sector.

“Burnet Institute has had a longstanding relationship supporting people living with HIV,” Mr Allan said.

“What PLDI is able to offer is an opportunity for Burnet as a scholarship sponsor to directly support individual people living with HIV in the community around their capacity development, leadership and resilience.

“This is going to have a massive impact on our ability to build a stronger community of positive people.”

Burnet Associate Director Professor Suzanne Crowe said it was a privilege for Burnet to support the PLDI program.

“I am delighted that Burnet Institute is a partner in the PLDI program, an extremely worthwhile venture that will assist a new generation of PLWHIV leaders in Australia,” Professor Crowe said.

“The scholarship will enable Craig Burnett, who has only recently been appointed to the VAC Board, the chance to build his skills in leadership, advocacy and education.”

Mr Burnett said he was excited by the opportunities his scholarship would provide.

“Part of this new direction that I’m taking in life is to step up and be a leader in the community and to help shape the way forward,” Mr Burnett said.

“I’m looking forward to going to all the events and speaking to people and making connections and listening to what they have to say and what they feel is important and putting that into my work.”

Individuals and organisations wanting to get involved in the program through participation or sponsorship should contact [email protected]


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Angus Morgan

Manager Media and Multimedia




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