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NZAF acknowledges the work and support of Michael Stevens and Stephen Stehlin

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    NZAF acknowledges the work and support of Michael Stevens and Stephen Stehlin - 19-Jan-2005
    Raising the public profile of people living with HIV and bringing the vibrancy of Pacific people’s to the deliberations and activities of the Foundation are key themes to the contribution made by recently resigned New Zealand AIDS Foundation Trust Board members Michael Stevens and Stephen Stehlin.
    NZAF Executive Director Rachael le Mesurier said it was with sadness and an enormous amount of appreciation that the Foundation accepted Michael Steven’s resignation as Chair and Board Member with the Annual general meeting AGM in November 2004 being his last task as trustee.

    Michael first joined NZAF’s Trust Board in August 1998. He was nominated by Body Positive and throughout his tenure he made sure that the experience and issues for those living with HIV remained central and pertinent to all that the Foundation did. He was appointed to Chair of the Board in February 2001.

    “Michael took this role extremely seriously and often chose to support NZAF staff by agreeing to be the public ‘face’ of HIV positive gay men when the NZAF needed to grab media attention,” Ms Le Mesurier said. “His willingness to set aside personal privacy made a significant difference in ensuring our messages reached mainstream media.”

    The ‘stand out’ contribution that Michael gave to the NZAF over the period of his tenure was guiding it through the constitutional changes of 2001 and 2002. The Board changed the model of Board membership from one where members were a mix of elected and allocated seats, to a skill-based model where members were recruited and selected against a set of criteria based on the current Board’s coverage of governance skills.

    “Two years on from the, at times, tumultuous transition there is clear evidence of the success of this move. Whilst many “not for profit” organisations struggle to find anyone prepared to be nominated, at our last recruitment round there was a pool of nine excellent applicants drawn directly from the GLBIT community. After a great deal of angst about dropping the allocated seats for manawhenua and HIV positive people, the Board has three of the seven members identifying as Māori and two as HIV positive. The guidance Michael provided during this period was extraordinary and has placed the NZAF’s governance on a remarkably sound footing.

    “We wish Michael all the best as he increases his focus on completing his PhD and thank him for the commitment he has shown to NZAF over the years.”

    Hei konā mai i roto ngā mihi - goodbye and thank you Michael.

    Stephen Stehlin joined the NZAF Trust Board on the 27th October 2001, nominated by AFA. Stephen was instrumental in the forming of AFA, the Social Support Group for Gay and Lesbian Pacific People in 1998. It was through his hard work and involvement in AFA, which lead to AFA recommending his nomination to the board.

    Being an avid supporter of Pacific People to empower themselves in all facets of life, and having strong support for Pacific MSM to engage other Pacific MSM with messages of support and HIV information, dissemination was key for Stephen in his work with the NZAF. His ongoing commitment and support for not only the Pacific Peoples Project, but the NZAF as a whole will continue long after his departure from the board.

    Stephen contributed a much needed pragmatism and common sense as well as ensuring that the Board balanced humour with the more dry aspects of it’s work.

    The NZAF Trust Board and the Pacific Peoples Project, in particular, would like to thank Stephen sincerely for support during his tenure.

    Fa’afetai tele lava mo le alofa ma le agalelei, ai maise le feasoasoani i le fa’alapotopotoga o le New Zealand AIDS Foundation ma uso fa’afafine Pasefika. Ia manuia fuafuaga ma la`asaga uma mo le lumana’i.
    Ref: - NZAF

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