Burnet appoints two new ambassadors

Burnet Institute

06 March, 2011

Princess Zulu with Professor Johnson Mak and Belinda Collins.

Burnet has appointed two new Ambassadors – Princess Kasune Zulu and Belinda Collins – who are both passionate in their commitment to raise awareness globally about the effects of HIV and AIDS.

They join current Ambassadors, Heritier O’Brien and Deanna Blegg, in advocating about Burnet’s HIV laboratory research and international public health programs.

Burnet’s Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb said the Institute welcomed their appointments.

“I’m pleased to announce that both Belinda and Princess have agreed to take on roles as Ambassadors in promoting the Institute and our work to those they come into contact with in their travels,” he said.

“Warrior Princess is an inspirational story of the impact of HIV and how Princess found courage, tenacity, passion and hope to reach out to other women around the world facing the same challenges.”

The Zambian-born AIDS activist, now based in Chicago, was just 21 when she was diagnosed with HIV, having already tragically lost her parents, sister and brother to AIDS.

She became close friends with Australian mother Belinda Collins whilst they co-wrote the book Warrior Princess, an inspiring account of Princess’ remarkable journey from a poor village in Zambia to the global corridors of power, fighting for the welfare of people affected by HIV.

Princess Zulu and Belinda toured Burnet recently and spent time with Associate Professor Johnson Mak learning about the latest developments in HIV research.

Interviewed in the Mak laboratory by Age reporter, Carolyn Webb, Princess Zulu said the increased rate of HIV in women has challenged women to step up into leadership roles.

“They’re not just the victims of the virus or HIV and AIDS or poverty, they are also rising up as leaders in their own communities, in their own villages to make a difference,” she said.

Princess Zulu said it was important to convey “that poverty and preventable diseases can be eradicated – it’s a matter for us, collectively, to make it so, find the means to make it so.”

To find out more about Princess Kasune Zulu visit or Belinda Collins at

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Paul Rathbone

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