We are proud to highlight the extended reach and participation in PLDI across Australia and New Zealand in the 2016-17 year. With workshops delivered across more states and territories than ever before, and a scholarship program supported by cooperating and collaborating partners we have continued to minimise barriers to participation and ensure that PLDI benefits the breadth and diversity of the body positive across Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s Annual Report is all about our graduates and their PLDI journeys. We asked graduates to reflect on the influence that their workshop has had in their lives and the wider community, which are grouped into three themes in the report: In My Workshop, In My Life, and In My Community.

These reflection show that the core training of PLDI continues to be a rewarding and enriching experience for participants.

As reported by Francis Carter, graduates highly value the opportunity to connect with likeminded people living with HIV committed to self-development.  “The people I met at the workshop are truly inspirational, and have given me the chance to share their journeys and experiences," he said. "I feel truly blessed to have shared this experience with them and to have their support and strengths to draw on.”

These reflections also show that developing people living with HIV to be leaders in their own lives not only builds resilience to challenges posed by health and stigma, but also empowers graduates to be advocates, teachers, and full participants in their communities. As Eric Glare reflects, “PLDI came at a time of change for me. I was beginning a campaign to return to work and questioning the stigma of being outspoken as a mental health advocate. I was inspired to continue to bring my success story to the public.”

At PLDI we also believe that building stronger leaders builds stronger communities. This is powerfully demonstrated by the reflection we received from another participant, Heather Ellis. “I was inspired to embrace the next stage in my journey as an HIV advocate, especially for women," she said. "The PLDI workshop equipped me with a higher level of skill as I continue to use my voice to break down stigma.”

pdfClick here to read the 2016-17 Annual Report to see this year’s highlights and explore the rest of the stories from our newest graduates.