The Cartier Trust is seeking community input into its future role in a rapidly changing HIV landscape.
Existing Trustees are excited to welcome Anthony Hotere on board says Karen Ritchie, Founding Trustee. Many people will know Anthony better as Tess Tickle, one of Auckland’s finest drag divas. ‘He brings great connections into the community and we feel lucky that he has accepted a place on the Trust at this time of change’ Ritchie says.
Founded in 2002, the Cartier Bereavement Charitable Trust has helped fund over 20 funerals of people who have died from AIDS related illnesses. Named after much loved drag artist Courtney Cartier, the main ambition of the Trust has been to help ensure families and friends in financial hardship can say goodbye to their loved ones with a dignified funeral.
In recent years, the HIV and AIDS landscape has changed rapidly. The effectiveness of HIV medications continues to increase, people are getting earlier access to treatment and medication is playing an increasing role in HIV prevention. This all means that less people are dying of AIDS related illnesses and demand for the work of the Trust has fallen.
As a result, Trustees used their annual meeting to discuss the potential expansion of Trust activities. “Community members will not be aware that our constitution provides scope to provide assistance beyond just funerals’”Ritchie says.
For example, among other things, the constitution notes that scholarships for people researching HIV and AIDS or anti-HIV stigma campaigning are both possible.
Ritchie is clear that ‘the community is the lifeblood of the Trust. They have given so much time and generous support over the years and this is why it is important that any future direction is guided by their input’. To maintain integrity, all existing funds will be tagged to bereavement support as this has been the promoted cause of historical fundraisers. However, if the community would like the Trust to expand in other directions then Ritchie says new funds can be raised to fund this.
The trust will be seeking community input between now and Christmas and hopes to announce any new initiative early in 2016.