Julie Bates wins big – Former Sex Worker wins order of Australia

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PHOTO: Via Harm Reduction Australia Website: https://www.harmreductionaustralia.org.au/julie-bates/

Julie Bates, former sex worker and advocate for Sex Workers and other marginalised groups (particularly HIV/AIDS sufferers) has been awarded an Order of Australia for distinguished service to harm reduction programs for Sex Workers and people living with substance abuse issues as well as those living with HIV/AIDS. She is the first person in Australia with a Sex Work background to be awarded such an honour. Deservedly so, too. (1)
This year’s list of distinguished winners of the Order of Australia sees woman winners outnumbering men for the first time. A considerable achievement for women in all fields, throughout Australia.
In her early 30’s Bates was a single mother and Sex Worker. Now 68 she has over 30 years’ experience as a major player not only in Australia but the world in working for the rights of Sex Workers as well as those with HIV/ AIDS and substance abuse problems.
According to the Harm Reduction Australia website Bates “played a leading role in the consolidation of Australia’s early response to HIV/AIDS.” (2) She gives specialist advice to the NSW Sex Industry and is also a consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) concerning Sex Work and HIV/ AIDS. (3)
“One of her first wins was to convince the owner of Sydney’s largest brothel – the Nevada – to use condoms which ultimately saw condom use in the city’s brothels climb from just over 10% to an estimated 90%”. (4)
Julie was a foundation member of both the Australian Prostitutes collective NSW now known as SWOP – Sex Workers Outreach Project NSW. (5)
Her next fight is working for anti-discrimination protection for marginalised groups. (6)

References
(4)(6)Rapana, Jessica, “How a Former Sex Worker Came to be Honoured by the Queen,”
https://www.whimn.com.au/talk/news/how-a-former-sex-worker-came-to-be-honoured-by-the-queen/news-story/9a0152889bb68fc41a6faded4c36c090 (accessed June 23, 2018)
Hamyln, Charlotte, “Queen’s Birthday honours 2018: Women outnumber men for top gongs on list for first time,” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-11/queens-birthday-honours-2018-women-outnumber-men-for-first-time/9851732 (accessed June 16, 2018)
(1)Snow, Deborah, “‘You have to be brave’: Sex worker advocate Julie Bates recognised”, https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/you-have-to-be-brave-sex-worker-advocate-julie-bates-recognised-20180608-p4zkft.html (accessed  June 16, 2018)
(2) (3) (5) Harm Reduction Australia Website, https://www.harmreductionaustralia.org.au/julie-bates/ (accessed June 16, 2018)