December the 9th will be the first anniversary of the death of Tania Lienert, a very close friend of mine. She was a person that contributed so much to the LGBT community as well as her wider local community in Lismore and the Northern Rivers areas in which she lived and worked.
It seems odd to think that a whole year has gone by since she died, she was a bright light in many people’s lives and this past year has been a little darker without her in it.
Tania was a much respected intellectual and her achievements in both the academic and LGBT scenes were highly regarded. Many remember her for the good work she did with Aids Council of New South Wales (ACON) in the Northern Rivers area where she was manager. Tania’s last role was working with the University Department of Rural Health in Lismore where she was co-ordinating a primary health care research development programme. Tania always applied a great deal of passion to provide and improve services to the gay and lesbian community. She really did make a difference to people’s lives.
Earlier this year a number of community members and past colleagues of Tania’s along with Tania’s partner Deb established an annual memorial lecture in Tania’s honour, ‘The Dr Tania Lienert Memorial Lecture for Social Justice and Diversity’. The first lecture took place in June this year, with the renowned writer and human rights activist, Arnold Zable, delivering the lecture which had as it’s subject these as ‘The Healing Power of Story’.
About 300 people attended the lecture which is testament to the great affection she was held within the community at large. Tania had an immense sense of compassion, understanding, respect and forgiveness for others and I thank her for the impact she has made on my life and remember her fondly, she will forever be in my heart.