The Story of Patricia The podcast
Cool Project - One Grandmothers fight to do what's right Battling HIV Stigma in Australia
Project Patricia is an Australian story of one determined grandmothers fight against HIV stigma and discrimination — and it's simply too important not to document.
So we made it into a radio studio grade Podcast to preserve as a primary resource for generations to come — The Story Of Patricia.
Its truths must never be allowed to be forgotten.
The start of Project Patricia
Recording the story of a Scottish born Australian hero who became a voice for young men and women who died, ignored in their 20s and 30's right here in Australia.
My friend Ms Patricia Kennedy was awarded the Australian Governments' honour, the OAM in June 2003 in public recognition for her voluntary service to the Australian community in HIV and Disability Support Services.
- This was a milestone in the culmination of over 40 years of services to the community, marked by compassion and advocacy on behalf of those without a voice.
- Patricia accepted the award to honour the memory of the numerous volunteer young men and women, many in their late teens and early 20's, who even though terminally ill themselves, worked alongside her, many giving up their own remaining time and lives for the benefit of others
Project Patricia is our way of helping to record her story for the benefit of the Australian community.
Her captivating story is of one elderly straight-talking grandmother taking on the establishment and fighting for the needs of a group of young people who were abandoned by the majority of the Australian community and the various pressure groups within it, at a time when the emergence of HIV and AIDS first became public in the 1980’s.
This was a time of staggering public uncertainty, fear and stigmatisation that ushered in the rise of the governments controversial, that promised if AIDS, was left unchecked, 'it could kill more Australian's than World War II'.
It’s important to note that the 1980’s were pre-internet and the Australian community, as was the world community, was yet to see the emergence of consumer empowered advocacy and the ability of the average person to publish a message to YouTube, tell their story on a public blog or immediately share an experience through their social networking community.
This means that there is an identifiable lack of accessible public records and reliable primary information from this time. A time marked by staggering community fear and intolerance, indifference, discrimination and public vilification – a time when Australians abandoned and then tried to ignore a generation of young men and women dying within 24 months of being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.
Project Patricia, is an effort to ensure her story is never forgotten. In an hour-long frank interview, you will hear the stories of countless lives touched by her team of volunteers, many of whom have passed away and their own stories been lost to time.
Project Patricia Filming
Project Patricia aims to bring her story into the public arena.
It will inspire you.
It will make you mad.
It might embarrass you.
But it will challenge your attitudes as you hear the story of how hundreds of young Australians perished from HIV — often alone, abandoned by embarrassed families and friends, before medical research helped arrest the savage decline.
The Story of Patricia - recording began July 2014 as a 5 part audio interview released in April 2016.
The last word
You can listen to the podcast The Story of Patricia wherever you listen to your online audio. The life and legacy of Mrs Patricia Kennedy inspired the creation of the now national online brand and service Unusual Risks Insured Australia.