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Issue Jul - Aug 11

TH A N K YO U FO R JO IN IN G U S IN S O LI D A R IT Y ore than 100 people came together at the National Gallery of Australia on Sunday 15 May for the 28th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Murray Proctor, Australia’s HIV/AIDS Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke of the power of solidarity in the response to HIV in Australia and in the region.

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A very special thank-you goes to the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire for a moving performance and the young people from Bit Bent for presenting the Canberra AIDS Ribbon. Photography: Douglas Robinson and Keith Jeffers (Fauxtografix)

Upfront: Andrew Burry

Volunteers are a central part of the heritage of the AIDS Action Council, and over the last 26 years have made a valuable contribution to the consistent delivery of high quality services to clients, and continue to provide key outreach activities and to support a range of public events.

Our demand for volunteer support has varied considerably over the last quarter century, and at the same time, the types of services our volunteers provide and support has also changed. In the early days, when AIDS diagnoses were common, the greatest demand was in providing care and support to our community members affected by the virus. In the beginning, we needed to be more ‘activist’ than we are perhaps today, even though issues of discrimination, stigma and equitable access to services remain with us. From the introduction of effective treatments in the mid 1990’s, AIDS diagnoses became less frequent and there has been reduced demand for outreach care and support and our numbers of active volunteers in this area has declined. However, our mission remains the same: To minimise the personal and social impacts, and the transmission of HIV. What has changed is that people living with HIV have a changing prognosis and those who have lived with it for a decade or more are growing older. continue reading ➠


VO LUN TEE R REF LEC TIO NS GIV ING BAC K TO THE CO MM UN ITY

S STRIP: FREE & EASY SEXUAL HEALTH CHECKS Thurs nights @ Champions 28/7 - 25/8 Sat mornings @ Westlund House 30/7 - 27/8 Call 02 6257 2855 for more information

www.aidsaction.org.au/strip

P I R T S Sexual

health check-ups

oon after moving to Canberra, I thought that I should become involved in a community activity. Service clubs and the like, while very active in those areas, lacked the appeal and did not quite fit well with me. It was the International Year of the Volunteer, and I found myself engaged with several volunteer groups, one of which was to be the Aids Action Council. I had seen a notice in the newspaper about a volunteer training course at the Council, and after much hesitation I eventually got brave enough to phone the number and put my name down for an information evening that was preliminary to the course. With much trepidation I made my way to Westlund House for that orientation evening and found myself in a mixed group of over 20 prospective volunteers. To say that I was a little uncomfortable was an understatement, however I very soon realised that nearly everyone else was just as nervous. The presenters were excellent and soon put everyone at ease and outlined what a volunteer could expect to do in the organisation and what obligations were required, especially the confidentiality aspect. The training was exceptional and opened up an entirely new field of knowledge for me. The group consisted of 18 potential volunteers, both male and female, straight and LGBTI and from many different walks of life; students, professionals, retirees and unemployed. I can still recall some of the participatory activities that the coordinators had us engage in. They made the training interesting and enjoyable as well as imparting knowledge about the more serious side of people living with HIV. During the two Saturdays and one week night of training we learnt about the transmission of the virus, medical treatments, therapeutic treatments as well as organisational knowledge about the Council, its activities and how it functioned. Finally, there was the interview, a required part of the process then, to confirm a volunteer’s bona fides and to ascertain what areas of interest within the Council they might like to participate. One of the most important outcomes of that training was to break down the misconceptions about HIV that still existed in the wider community and to learn how discrimination and prejudice affected those associated with the disease. It worked for me. At the end of the training I was no longer anxious about coming to Westlund House or being seen there. I think everyone was sad when the training concluded but pleased to be part of an organisation that provided a very much needed and important service to a stigmatised group within our community. Over the years I have been a volunteer with the Council I have found volunteering tremendously enjoyable. Although client support is now thankfully not often required and mostly performed by professionals, I have found working closely with people to be the most rewarding part of volunteering. However, I have realised the most important part that is not often recognised is participation. If nothing else, just being there and showing your support and respect, standing alongside those who mainstream society still regards with some degree of prejudice, is one of the most important duties that a volunteer can do. Incidentally, after all this time there are three participants of that training course that I attended who are still actively engaged with the Council to

www.aidsaction.org.au

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continue

Upfront: THE NEW FACE OF VOLUNTEERING

this day. One is now an employee and the others are active volunteers.

Name withheld at contributor’s request The AFP GLLO network began 15 years ago with an external focus towards servicing the GLBTI community within the A.C.T. That focus has now grown as the AFP has grown, as an organisation with a focus that is upon local, national and International communities. The growth of the GLLO network has also seen it evolve into becoming an employee network that is also there to advise and assist our GLBTI employees and to also have some fun social activities As a long term network member it is phenomenal to see the changes that have occurred. In the beginning our members had other police officers turn their backs to them when they marched in Mardi Gras for the first time – now we have employees from other agencies virtually begging to undertake our training program. A lot of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and laughs from a large number of people have gone into achieving where we are today. Sometimes it is still a battle for GLBTI community members to come forward to talk to police. Hopefully the community will see these awards and our success as a signal that it is ok, you can speak to GLBTI friendly police or staff members ... It does get better!

Dee Quigley, AAC Board Member and GLLO (Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer) Chair I recently spent some time volunteering at the AIDS Action Council, and for me, the opportunity to give back to the community was something both unplanned and a longheld interest. Having relocated to Canberra from Melbourne with my partner, and finding myself with a few months unexpected spare time before starting a new job, I realised I had the perfect opportunity to explore ways that I could make a contribution and expand my horizons at the same time. While being part of the GLBTI community, I had never been closely involved at a community level, and what interested me about volunteering at the AAC was the opportunity to learn more about how community based organisations work, how they support people, and also how I could incorporate some kind of volunteering in my life in a long term sense. The experience of volunteering at the AAC was really rewarding for me, and from my perspective there were many mutual benefits. In addition to learning about the organisation itself, I was able to work with inspiring, committed and supportive people. I also found that volunteering with a community based organisation is a great way to learn about a new city and tap into networks. Mostly though, it was the unexpected experiences that I appreciated the most – tasks I was given that were outside my previous experience and background, but that gave me invaluable skills and insight that I hope to use in the future. Luke Rungie

We have recently undertaken a full review of our current volunteer service and identified future demands over the next three to five years. This is in order to more effectively meet our mission and to deliver more efficiently our obligations under our service funding agreement with ACT Health. The result is that we will commit to a renewal of our volunteer service and incorporate best practice. At the same time we will ensure that all our volunteers are offered meaningful opportunities and are well supported, resourced and recognised. We understand that volunteers are both a tangible and intangible resource. Amongst the many benefits that our volunteers offer our organisation is:

•An increased capacity for the organisation to deliver services; •A higher quality of services; •The addition of specialist skills not otherwise available from our staff; •An increased advocacy for our organisation; •A higher level of engagement with the community and particularly amongst communities not otherwise represented, such as CALD, indigenous and youth communities; and •An increased visibility of the organisation through increased outreach work. This is one side of the equation, but we have also looked at volunteering from the volunteers’ perspective. People approach our organisation or are recruited for a number of different reasons. These include a desire to connect to the community, to make a contribution to their own community or to do something about a cause they believe in. Other reasons include wanting to gain additional skills, or to use skills they are currently acquiring elsewhere. These are very valid reasons to seek a volunteer position and as an organisation we must do what we can to meet these needs.

Consequently, from September we will be launching a completely revised induction and training program that will provide new and existing volunteers with opportunities to become accredited for new skills. We will have a redeveloped core training program, which all volunteers must complete. Beyond this core training, volunteers who have an interest in participating in particular programs (for example sexual health testing) will participate in training specific to that program. Core training and program training will be offered several times throughout each year. In addition, we will be offering four professional development training modules each year; community resources, boundaries, cultural sensitivity and accidental counselling. Volunteering will retain an essential place in the AIDS Action Council family, and as we look to a growth in demand for services that help maintain the independence of our older clients, this redevelopment is timely and essential. We believe that the best way to honour the generous contribution of those thousands of people that have supported us over two and a half decades is to continually seek to improve our volunteer experience. www.aidsaction.org.au

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THE BIG : TAKING CONTROL Nada Ratcliffe

Ageing can be an empowering experience, after all we have many years of practice and have gained wisdom and knowledge along the way; we can view the world differently and slow down a bit if we wish or alternatively embark on travel and other adventures with a new found freedom. But yes, along with these great opportunities, natural wear and tear can sometimes lead to physical conditions including cancers. We are now living longer due to better knowledge of health issues and huge advances in medical technology and care. Fortunately, for the first time since the emergence of HIV, people with this condition are also growing into ‘old age’. Many regard it as a chronic manageable condition. In the early days of the HIV epidemic there was an assortment of cancers associated with the virus itself, cancers like Karposi’s Sarcoma (remember the movie ‘Philadelphia’) and certain types of Lymphoma. Fortunately, since the development of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapies (HAART) in the late nineties and continued improvements in medications since that time, there has been a significant decrease in these types of cancers. But why are we now seeing increases in cancers for HIV positive men and women, cancers that were not previously considered as linked to the virus? Cancers such as liver, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, vaginal and anal, all develop in greater numbers than those for the general Australian population. It is believed this phenomenon may be linked to the greater risk associated with ‘cancer causing ‘co-morbidities’ such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), hepatitis B and C, a suppressed immune system and external lifestyle risk factors. Nearly 50% of people living with HIV smoke tobacco cigarettes and as they grow older, their risk of lung and respiratory cancers also increase. This must be looked at in context however; higher smoking rates could possibly be related to the raft of psychosocial issues faced by people with HIV, not least stigma and discrimination. So, it’s not as simple as it might seem on the surface. While we can’t control our age, our genes and what has gone before, we can take control our lifestyle choices and consequently our health – now and into the future. I’m not going to carry on about the different types of cancers and their clinical features – that is the job for the medicos, but what I can do is provide some food for thought regarding the things that we can change – irrespective of our health status. We all know that smoking is the big one, but there are now a raft of methods to help you quit. There are QUIT courses across the country, pharmaceuticals that lessen the cravings and nicotine replacement therapies – patches, sprays and gum immediately come to mind. Along with smoking come

some other areas we can change. Making some modifications to what we put into our bodies is another big one. A range of research, past and present, suggests strongly that exercise, weight reduction, a low fat diet and a reduction in alcohol may lessen the incidence of certain cancers. Eating fresh food wherever possible and cutting down on processed foods and red meat are other patterns you can adopt. Of course, you don’t need to go overboard, remember moderation is the key. Having regular health checks with your doctor can also improve the chances of living cancer free and another area where you can take control. This is particularly the case for anal and cervical cancers which can largely be attributed to HPV. Early detection can make a huge difference to any prognosis. Due to the suppressed immunity associated with HIV, this is all the more important. Middle aged and older people with HIV need to make sure that their health care providers monitor not only their HIV illness, but also check regularly for signs of diseases associated with ageing. This includes testing for cancer, heart problems, bone disorders and other health issues that are growing more common among HIV+ people as they get older. If you feel your doctor is not providing appropriate health monitoring, take control again; be assertive, have an advocate or change your medical practitioner. I guess the message is about control, taking control. It’s your body and your health. Whether you have HIV or not, this applies to us all. If you are living with HIV and would like nutritional or treatments information, call the AAC on 6257 2855 to discuss a consultation with our visiting HIV Specialist Nutritionist / Treatments Officer. We can also provide up to date information on health topics, advocacy and referral. Ask us about QUIT courses for people with HIV and the GLBT community. Vitamins and supplements are also available at special rates for people who are living with HIV.

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS Lexxie Jury

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recently attended a meeting, the type I don’t normally go to, and there was a lot of talk around HPV and vaccination of teenage girls and women. There was also some discussion about how teenage boys and men are not vaccinated at this stage like their female counterparts. The question posed being “Why aren’t adolescent boys and men being vaccinated?” The HPV also affects men and has been found to be a precursor to some types of anal and bowel cancers; men can carry the virus to women heterosexually, and to gay men and men who have sex with men. With these facts in mind, this question is indeed, very valid. As much as it is great that women are being vaccinated against this virus and this protects against things like transmission, cancers of the cervix, uterus and throat, so shouldn’t we also be protecting men in our society? This is particularly concerning for men who are living with HIV or other immuno-suppressive conditions. In this case, these men are at greater risk of infection and its potential consequences. How often have you heard that unprotected oral sex is low risk? Well, this may be the case for infection with HIV but did you know that there is a chance for you to get HPV of the throat and that this in turn, can lead to throat cancer? (Gonorrhoea can also infect the throat area.) Fortunately the heath policy makers are now at least talking about immunisation for men and teenage boys. I suggest that when undertaking any policy analysis, they broaden their scope to include men and boys. The economic costs of transmission are clear and tangible, the human and social costs intolerable when a preventative measure is readily available.

AID S AC TIO N CO UN CIL OF TH E AC T LIVING WELL SERVICES VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS Changes to our Vitamins & Supplements Service have led to more affordable options for all people with HIV. We now provide quality items at discount prices to assist you to take control of your health and wellbeing. A note from your doctor or an HIV Dietician stating your requirements is all that is needed. For those people with a pension or Health Care Card, there is a small dispensing fee of $5 and for all others, including those in paid employment, products are available at 50% of our cost price. For further information on either of these services, on .or g.a u 02 62 57 28 55 or ma rcu s@ aid sa cti contact the Living Well Co-ordinator on www.aidsaction.org.au

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POWER OF ATTORNEY Marcus Bogie

Do you know what a power of Attorney is? What about an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Health Attorney? Not to be confused with a Living Will of course. Do you have a will? Is it valid? Do you know that there is a ‘will bank’ in the ACT that you could lodge your will with to ensure that should something happen to you, your will is easily located? Recently I attended a workshop on these exact topics and while I considered that I had a working knowledge of what all the above were about, I came away with a greater understanding of the importance of planning ahead. Looking to the future we should all consider that things might not go to plan and that at some time we may not be able to make an informed decision about our finances, health or daily living choices. It is important to consider what you would like to have happen in the event of a ‘medical emergency’ - who would be able to make an important decision with regards to your health or personal care, if you are unable to make it yourself? In choosing an attorney, it is suggested you discuss with this person why you are choosing them and the kind of treatment/s or services that you would find acceptable and those you would not. This would go a long way to the decisions that an attorney would make on your behalf.

The resource ‘The Power to Choose’ clearly sets out the difference between: • A General Power of Attorney • An Enduring Power of Attorney and • A Health Attorney There are rules and regulations that govern the use of the attorney document and these are also clearly explained. While the resource is focused on explaining the do’s and don’ts and how to complete a document for ‘An Enduring Power of Attorney’ there is a wealth of information and other organisations listed that you could contact for further information.

Wills are an essential part of planning for everyone!

it just means that you have taken the time to think about what should happen to your estate if you do. If you don’t take the time to prepare a will, and you die, the government by law has the right to disperse your estate to a set of rules and regulations that you might not agree with! While these rules and regulations can be challenged in court, wouldn’t it be simpler to have your say first by preparing a will? Legal Aid ACT has produced a brochure on making a will with some simple hints and pointers to ensure that your wishes regarding your ‘estate’ (the property, including all assets and debts, of a person when they die) are clearly communicated.

What is a Living will or advanced directive? A set of documents containing instructions that consent to, or refuse, specified medical treatments and that articulate care and lifestyle preferences in anticipating future events or scenarios. They become effective in situations where the person is no longer able to make decisions. For this reason advance care directives are also, though less frequently, referred to as living wills. An advance care directive has legal status and therefore is part of the separate legislative arrangements in each State and Territory in Australia .

A Will Bank? Is a repository that can be used by anyone to lodge their wills to ensure that they are easily located should they be required. In the ACT the ACT Supreme Court has a public Will Bank. Above all, if you are taking the time to make these arrangements ensure that you talk to the people involved to let them know that you would like to name them as your attorney or executor of your estate and where the documents are located, do they need a copy? Sometimes people are unsure of the responsibilities required and once explained might not be prepared to take the job on. So think about your choices and respect other people’s choices too. And remember to review your situation regularly as your circumstances change. Copies of the resource are available at the front reception of Westlund House and the resource stand of Positive Living ACT. Further information can be found at www.publicadvocate.act.gov.au www.publictrustee.act.gov.au

Just because you have a will it doesn’t mean that you will die tomorrow,

Trivia Extravaganza 2011! The Annual AIDS Action Council Trivia Night Extravaganza is on once again, hosted by the always fabulous Johnathan Davis. After the huge success of the Trivia Night last year, we are happy to bring you a bigger and better night this year. With more room, more prizes, more fun and more ways to help raise money for the Westlund House Commmunity Development Fund! Teams of 8 people per table - $200 per table or $25 for an individual ticket. So get your teams ready, your thinking caps on, and come along to the Annual AIDS Action Council Trivia Night Extravaganza on Saturday 20th August 2011!

Don’t forget to buy your tickets to enter the raffle draw for the chance to win: 1) Apple Mac Book Air valued at $1200.00 2) PS3 Pack valued at $700.00, or 3) Cannon Digital Camera valued at $175.00

Saturday 20th August 7:00 for 7:30 pm start Tickets $200 for table of 8 Canberra Labor Club, Chandler Street Belconnen

If you can help sell some tickets please let us know and we’ll get a book or three out to you ASAP! Call Keiran on 6257 2855 for more information

www.aidsaction.org.au

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BE PREPARED! Keiran Rossteuscher

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ot long after the introduction of the highly active anti-retroviral therapies in the mid 1990’s, it was found that PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis), if administered shortly after a high risk exposure to HIV, was effective in reducing the chances of someone sero-converting (becoming HIV+). The actual drugs used in PEP are a combination of some particular anti-retrovirals that people living with HIV take as part of their HIV management, and their role is to boost the human immune system to protect it before the HIV can take hold and start to break down the immune system.

it was possible to do intermittent (disco) dosing, we don’t know how far in advance someone needed to take the anti-retrovirals, how much, how consistently and what other personal factors might make dosage more or less effective. • Sero-conversion Variability: We know that there are a whole range of factors that need to be present for HIV sero-conversion to occur. It is the variability in some of these factors, such as viral loads, mode/point of transmission, natural immune system integrity, presence of pre-existing STI’s, interaction with other medications/drugs and so on that we do not know how they will be affected by the use of PrEP. • Side Effects: More than 15 years since the introduction of the anti-retrovirals the side effects of many of these drugs are now being minimised. However this doesn’t mean that some people for whatever reason don’t still suffer from some side effects, even if only temporarily. Some people may see this as more acceptable than others, knowing that it would be reducing their chances of becoming HIV positive. • Administration: At the moment you have to see a specialist HIV doctor (S100 prescriber) to be able to access anti-retrovirals, or sexual health and/or emergency department doctors in the case of PEP. It is unclear who would be necessary to see to get the prescription for PrEP. Could it be that it could someday be accessed like the morning after pill over the counter at the local chemist? Some people may feel guilty or at risk of being judged when they ask to take HIV medications when they are not HIV positive, even if it is as a preventative measure. Would there be a checklist to allow someone access to these medications? Would someone who has a partner who is HIV +ve and want to stop using condoms be treated differently to someone who is highly sexually active or who knowingly engages in high risk sexual behaviour? What about injecting drug users or the worried well? • Other STIs: PrEP, like the contraceptive pill will not be able to stop the transmission of other STIs – most of these are still best avoided through condom usage.

Due to the limited research available, the actual quantities of PEP required to be most effective in reducing HIV sero-conversion are unknown. At the moment a dosage of 4 weeks of a daily anti-retroviral regime commenced within 72 hours of exposure is usually recommended. If the use of PEP can successfully reduce sero-conversion once exposed, it wasn’t a huge leap to suppose that it might actually be possible to preempt some people’s potential risk of sero-converting by not waiting until the exposure and commence using PEP, but to actually get in ahead of the exposure – a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. This theory has been successfully tested in the recent iPrEX study including daily Truvada use with MSM, although the results remain unclear due to the low adherence to a daily dosing strategy. Upcoming studies that will shed light on alternative strategies and populations include:

• HPTN066: 12 month study looking at variability of weekly or daily dosage of Truvada. 32 HIV negative participants, 50-50 male-female. Comparing drug half-life and concentration within cells and difference in male and female responses. • HTPN067: 2 year study looking at the feasibility of intermittent (non-daily) PrEP dosage compared to PEP. 360 HIV negative participants, 50-50 male-female. Male = MSM, female = WSM at risk of HIV. • NCT00931346: A pilot study of PrEP to evaluate safety, acceptability, and adherence in ser-discordant (+ve/-ve) couples in Uganda, Africa. 6 month study with 72 participants. • NCT00971230 (completed): This 12 month study will evaluate the safety and acceptability of an intermittent and daily PrEP regimen using Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate plus Emtricitabine in men and women at risk for HIV. So if PrEP could work so well, why don’t we just provide it to all high risk individuals all the time? Wouldn’t that stop HIV? Couldn’t gay guys stop using condoms now? Well, we don’t think so. The purpose of using PrEP would only ever be to reduce the chances of HIV infection, not stopping it all together. Condoms remain, 30 years later, the most effective way to reduce the chances of HIV transmission. Even if PrEP works as we suppose it does, there are other factors to consider as well such as,

• Cost: Anti-retrovirals are very expensive and unless someone was prepared to pay the several thousands of dollars a month these drugs cost without subsidisation, the difference between the government funding only those currently HIV+ compared to whole populations at risk is simply unaffordable. • Dosage: We still don’t know what the most appropriate dosage levels are to avoid transmission. If it requires daily usage, people would have to be prepared to make that commitment. If

Although the use of PrEP is likely to be limited due to its acceptability and cost, it will likely have applications in specific situations where there is significant risk and PrEP offers real public health or individual health advantages. For sero-discordant couples, this might offer another acceptable reduction to unintended transmission other than condom use or other risk reduction methods. As such, PrEP offers both challenges and opportunities for HIV prevention and the AAC will be closely following the outcome of these trials and other developments.

THE WINTER BLUES Marcus Bogie (reprint July 09)

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ith the colder months fast approaching it is even more important that people take the time to get outside and do some mild exercise and actively seek the sunlight hours available. Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is usually triggered by the winter months, the exact cause is unknown but since depression is more common during winter it is believed that the lack of sunlight may alter brain chemistry in some people. As with most forms of depression, symptoms may include – anxiety – sluggishness – weight gain – loss of sex drive – dietary changes. However one big difference of ongoing persistent depression is that SAD usually

www.aidsaction.org.au

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starts in autumn gets worse in winter, eases during spring and disappears during summer, only to return in the colder months to start the cycle again. If you think that you are not quite feeling the same as you did a couple of months ago and feel that this is the beginning of a cycle that you know so well? Then there are some basic self help options – get out in the sun, do some mild exercise while you’re at it, ensure that you get enough sleep but don’t sleep all day. Look at your diet, are you eating healthy food? You could always cut down on excessive smoking or alcohol intake. In most cases the simple action of getting out into the sun a bit more is enough to help chase the winter blues way. However if this isn’t working, talk to your doctor about how things are going for you.

OPENING OF THE GENDER CENTRE Marcus Bogie

Recently I had the privilege of attending A Gender Agenda’s (AGA) Official Opening of Trans and Intersex Community Space and upon arrival you could feel the vibe as soon as you walked in the door, ‘excitement’ ‘pride’. This was a moment in time that shows what sheer persistence and enthusiasm by all involved can achieve and to not give up on what you are setting out to do. There were several parts to the evening for me, running into other community members who were there to join in the celebration and listening to the speech by Dr Helen Watchirs, Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner for the ACT launch of “Gender Diversity in the ACT: A Survey of Trans Experiences” This report is the first of its kind ever undertaken in the ACT. It provides valuable information about the demographics, health needs and legal issues affecting the local trans population. The report can be downloaded from AGA’s website. Another highlight was the official opening by Katy Gallagher, Chief Minister, who spoke with enthusiasm about the community space and the ways this leads to community health. I was then able to catch up with Julie, the project officer for AGA, and congratulate her on all the work I know that has gone on behind the scenes to achieve this wonderful outcome. Finally I was able to have a quick chat with Peter Hyndal who is the driving force for this wonderful achievement. What can I say, other than you could feel the excitement and realisation of a long held belief that this occasion would happen no matter how long it would take. For access to the centre please contact Julie, Trans* and Intersex Project Officer, on one of the following: A Gender Agenda PO Box 5044 Lyneham ACT 2602 m: 0417 188 808 p: (02) 6162 1924 f: (02) 6162 1954 e: ProjectOfficer@GenderRights.org.au w: www.GenderRights.org.au

FOR YOUR DIARY August 17

Volunteers Meeting: Preparing for an Ageing Community 6:00 – 7:30pm Westlund House, Acton

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Annual AIDS Action Council Trivia Night Extravaganza 7:00pm – Midnight Canberra Labor Club, Chandler Street, Belconnen

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PSN Dinner with guest speaker John Davey from Herm Legal and Migration. 6:00pm. For members and guests of Positive Living ACT only.

September TBA

Together: Gay Men’s Relationships Workshop (enquire to Keiran on 6257 2855 for details)

TBA

Looking Out: Discussion workshop for men over 25 attracted to other men (enquire to Keiran on 6257 2855 for details)

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Annual General Meeting

October TBA

Stepping Out: Discussion workshop for women attracted to other women (enquire to Keiran on 6257 2855 for details)

TBA

Out There: Discussion workshop for guys 25 and under attracted to other guys (enquire to Keiran on 6257 2855 for details)

ACTION Lynn Parry

This display of art works by people affected by HIV, their friends, families and colleagues was held at the Belconnen Gallery, 3rd to 19th May. We organised this exhibition to bring our organisation to the attention of the Belconnen community, and to encourage our talented artists to show their work to the public, at little cost to them. We also wanted to encourage new artists to put their work on show. It was a first time for some of our artists to exhibit, so there were a number of nervous people. The Belconnen Gallery, in the Belconnen Community Centre, is a small gallery. There are a lot of people using the centre for classes and childcare. Our exhibition was viewed by many people who would not have heard of us, a great opportunity to raise our profile! Thank you to Gregory Barnes, Brett Coombes, Robert Costa, Cameron Michael, Nick Nguyen, Kevin Schamburg and Robert Topic for presenting their work for sale. It was a last minute rush for some, but we made it in the end. We encouraged any medium of art and were able to show photographs, collage, textiles, watercolours, oils painting. The only thing missing was sculpture. Many of our exhibitors were most generous, donating part or all of their sales to AIDS Action Council and we are most grateful for this. I would like to thank everyone who helped with this event, the staff at Belconnen Community Centre, the staff at AIDS Action Council and of course, our exhibitors.

www.aidsaction.org.au

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1 st Prize:

Mac Book Air Value $1200.00

2 nd Prize:

PS3 Pack Value $700.00

3 rd Prize:

Cannon Digital Camera Value $175.00


July - August 2011 Newsletter