New Funds for HIV Prevention

Media Statement from Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Palaszczuk Government is boosting funding to the Queensland AIDS Council to help more vulnerable Queenslanders take up successful HIV prevention treatment PrEP.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said more than $870,000 will be provided to QuAC over the next two and a half years.

“The success of the QPrEP trial is a step in the right direction for eliminating HIV in Queensland, and – along with Treatment as Prevention (TasP) – has led to the de-listing of aids from the notifiable diseases register,” he said.

“Thanks to the trial, PrEP is now on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It’s now important to ensure people moving off the successful QPrEP trial receive the care and support they need to ensure marginalised and at-risk Queenslanders are able to access this medication.

“The transition period will go through until 31 December 2020, ensuring participants can transition from the trial and to reach new at risk Queenslanders and connect them with Medicare services.

“This funding boost will support QuAC to broaden its reach and work collaboratively with GPs and other primary healthcare providers across the State to increase awareness of PrEP.

“The funding will also go toward helping people who may not have been on the trial to navigate or access health services, for example providing assistance to find a PrEP prescriber.”

QuAC President Peter Black said the funding would help the organisation ensure that participants on the trial who wish to continue to access PrEP can do so with minimal interruption to their medication regime.

“Biomedical advances such as PrEP and Treatment as Prevention (TasP) are truly wonderful developments for our community, as was demonstrated by the recent removal of AIDS as a notifiable condition earlier this month and by the early success of QPrEPd trial,” he said.

“Yet there remains work to done ensuring everyone in our community is has access to these advances, and this funding will help us reach the most vulnerable and at risk community members.

QuAC is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all of Queensland’s LGBTIQ, Brotherboy and Sistergirl communities.”

Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the funding boost reaffirmed the Government’s longstanding commitment to supporting Queensland AIDS Council.

“This funding will also enable QuAC to review their current strategic intent and business model in light of recent advances in tackling HIV,” Ms Grace said.

“PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention tool and significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission when taken daily by HIV negative people.

“Since introducing the trial two years ago, up to 3,000 Queenslanders have been able to access this life-changing medication for free.

“The success of the trial contributed to PrEP now being available on the PBS.”

Medicare eligible Queenslanders can access PrEP through any doctor or nurse practitioner and prescriptions can be filled at local pharmacies.


Media contact: Amy Hunter – 0423651484


QuAC QPRePd Statement

Over the past couple of months, QuAC has worked alongside other QPrePd stakeholders to advocate to the Department of Health that the QPrePd Trial should not be finished early.

This was for a number of reasons including:

  • Concerns regarding the possibility of clients seroconverting as early closure does not allow for sufficient time for participants to find an alternative means of accessing scripts for PrEP
  • There is currently a shortage of GP’s across Queensland who have knowledge of PrEP to absorb those coming off the trial
  • Regional and rural trial participants will be greatly affected
  • The early closure is a breaking of trust with participants who were originally promised up to 4 years of free PrEP ending 30 June 2020
  • This now effects negatively on the reputations of the organisations and clinics who, in good faith, encouraged people to join the trial
  • Medical ineligible participants on the trial may discontinue taking PrEP as the cost of PrEP may be prohibitive
  • Cost is also an issue for some low-income earners who do have access to Medicare or to GPs who are able to Bulk Bill.

Despite these concerns being raised, Queensland Health has proceeded to close the trial.

In communication from the Queensland Department of Health, QuAC was informed that:

‘A decision has been made by the Queensland Department of Health to close the QPrEPd trial by 31st January 2019.  This decision to close the trial earlier than the initial end date of 30 June 2020 was made for the following reasons:

  1. Information collected from you and the trial site staff to date has demonstrated that the trial has addressed the original study aim and purpose listed in the Participant Information and Consent Form (PICF) given to you on enrolment:

The provision of PrEP though public sexual health services and general practices is a feasible, safe, effective and accepted model within Queensland.

  1. The listing of HIV PrEP medications on the PBS in April 2018 now allows any doctor / general practitioner to prescribe the medication approved by the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) for use as PrEP in Australia.”

 QuAC’s role now is to ensure that participants on the trial who still wish to continue to access PrEP, can do so with minimal interruption to their PrEP regime. If you are on the trial, contact your trial site to arrange your final visit. If you are having problems in the future accessing PrEP, contact QuAC on 3017 1777 or alternately visit our PrEP website for a list of PrEP prescribers and pharmacies.” For all other enquiries contact QuAC President Peter Black at


The Queensland AIDS Council has been delivering LGBTI awareness training across health and community services to build an open rapport with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people since 2007. Our LGBTI inclusivity consultancy started in 2012, through the Healthy Communities program and has helped many organisations, including private businesses, achieve LGBTI inclusivity by offering consultancy, guest presentations and training. A new era has begun with the launch of this ongoing project as Rainbow Pride @ Work. Click here to find out more.

Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator Role

Employer: Queensland AIDS Council
Work Type/s: Full Time
Classification/s: Education & Training, GLBTI & Sexual Health, Health Promotion
Sector/s: Not For Profit (NFP)
Location: Brisbane & Gold Coast

Job posted on: 17 August, 2018.
Applications close: 24 August, 2018.

The Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator has responsibility for the development of a state-wide program of training and capacity development of health and related community services workers and businesses for the QLD AIDS Council (QUAC). Priority will be given to LGBTI awareness and HIV prevention issues for gay/msm. The position will also be responsible for co-ordinating the training of QUAC volunteers and systems of professional development for QUAC staff.

Reporting Relationships


The Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator reports directly to the Manager of Healthy Communities, LGBTI Health.

Subordinate Staff

The Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator supervises a team of subcontracted trainers. They may also supervise other project staff or consultants from time to time as determined by the Manager of Healthy Communities, LGBTI Health.

A full Position Description is attached below.

How to apply for this job

All applications must address the Key Selection Criteria. For more information, or to apply, email Jan at using the subject line: Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator application via EthicalJobs.

If your application does not address the Selection Criteria the application will not be considered.

Any questions regarding the position can be directed to Parker Forbes via phone 07 3017 1777.

Closing Date: 5.00pm, Friday 24th August.

Supporting materials

 Rainbow Pride @ Work Co-ordinator Position Description.pdf


Interim Executive Director appointed; National search for a new CEO has begun; New board members

 The Queensland AIDS Council is excited to announce the appointment of Rebecca Reynolds as the interim Executive Director of QuAC. Ms Reynolds will commence on Monday 13 August 2018 and lead QuAC through until the end of the year.

The President of QuAC, Peter Black, said the board was excited to welcome Ms Reynolds to Queensland.

“We are very fortunate that someone with Rebecca’s rich experience in leading community organisations will help guide QuAC through this period of transition,” Mr Black said.

Ms Reynolds joins QuAC from the National LGBTI Health Alliance, the peak body in Australia for organisations and individuals working to improve health outcomes for LGBTI people and their communities. Working across the full lifespan, Rebecca’s career in the community health sector includes international work on HIV and maternal health, extensive experience in youth and disability services, and the Alliance’s mental health and ageing and aged care projects.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Reynolds said, “I’m really thrilled to be able to contribute to QuAC over the coming months.

“QuAC is an organisation that has a rich history and is an integral place for LGBTI people and communities to meet, share and grow networks and connections.  At a time of renewal for the organisation, I am committed to developing strong community connections and ensuring that QuAC is known to be a place of best practice.”

Mr Black observed that Ms Reynolds would assist the board, the staff and the LGBTI community in developing QuAC’s new strategic plan.

“The last few years have been a difficult time for the organisation, with internal and external factors placing pressures on the important work we do at QuAC.

“Yet this challenging environment also presents QuAC with opportunities to move forward with renewed strength and to improve QuAC’s relationships with our external stakeholders and partners as well as with the LGBTI community of Queensland.

“Rebecca has a passion for promoting innovative partnerships between communities, services and government. This passion together with her expertise will help position QuAC for the future,” Mr Black said.

With the future very much in mind, QuAC has also launched a national search for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will succeed Ms Reynolds by the end of the year.

Not-for-profit sector search specialist NGO Recruitment has been appointed to lead the recruitment campaign.

According to Mr Black, there has never been a more dynamic time to join the organisation and become a leader in the Queensland LGBTI community.

Individuals who are interested in applying for the CEO position should contact Louise Furlong or Richard Green at NGO Recruitment on 07 5530 8066. There is more information online at

In addition, the board is also excited to announce that two new board members were appointed at the July meeting: Melissa Fox and Emil Canita.

Melissa Fox is the Chief Executive Officer of Queensland’s peak health consumer organisation Health Consumers Queensland.  She has held governance positions in the film and television industry and health consumer organisations, for almost twenty years, including most recently a three year term on the board of Consumers Health Forum (Australia’s peak health consumer organisation).  Her current appointments include the Queensland Clinical Senate and Chair of the Partnering with Consumers committee for the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care.   She is passionate about health and social services being co-designed with and for those they are intended.  As a bisexual mother of two, she is particularly keen to strengthen cross-sector collaboration and support meaningful co-design of health and social services for bisexual, queer and lesbian people, queer parents and parents with transgender/gender questioning children.

Emil Canita is an HIV-positive advocate, who is currently in his fourth year studying  Social Sciences in the University of Queensland (UQ). He’s also currently working as an HIV and STI testing facilitator at RAPID Clinic. Prior to this, he was the Queer Officer for the UQ Union in 2016, and the founder of UQ SHAG, the first peer-led, sexual health advocacy and health promotion group at UQ. As a new board member for QuAC, he’s particularly keen at putting the environment at the centre of tackling queer causes, and to use his lived experience to inform a positive-led response to eliminate the onward transmission of HIV, and to help address the health inequities that exist within it.

Mr Black said that these new appointments reflect QuAC’s commitment to renewal, diversity and community engagement.

“The energy and insight that Melissa and Emil have already brought to the board has been incredibly valuable. Board renewal is an important part of our future planning and there will be additional appointments in the coming months.”

Finally, the board is pleased to announce that Bernard Gardiner has been elected by the board as the Vice-President of QuAC.

Bernard has a Masters in Health Promotion from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is an Australian Postgraduate Award holder undertaking a PhD within the Living Positive in Queensland Study at the School of Public Health, University of Queensland. Over the last 30 years he has been involved in various aspects of the global response to HIV, including serving for 3 years as General Manager of the Victorian AIDS Council and Gay Men’s Health Centre. At the international level he worked throughout East and South-East Asia via Australian Red Cross, and for seven years was Global HIV Programme Manager of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies based in Geneva, Switzerland. From that position he also managed the UNAIDS Collaborating Centre on HIV-Related Stigma in partnership with the Global Network of PLHIV.

For further information contact Peter Black, President, Queensland AIDS Council on 0421 636 496 or


Transgender, gender diverse + non-binary prison experiences

The University of Southern Queensland is seeking formerly incarcerated transgender, gender diverse and non- binary people willing to discuss their time on the inside.

This research project aims to identify transgender and gender diverse specific needs that are not currently being met and ways to improve access to quality health services and management practices within Queensland correctional facilities.

This is about exploring your thoughts and opinions relating to your lived experience during incarceration such as:

• General living conditions and environment
• Treatment by correctional staff
• Gender-affirming health care provided or not?

• Other/personal experiences

Contact details below for a confidential 30 minute face-to-face or phone interview in exchange for a $100 gift card.

For further information about this project or to participate please contact Dr Amy Mullens (+61 7 3812 6153) or Dr Annette Bromdal (+61 7 4631 1609), Principal Investigators, University of Southern Queensland or email

LGBTIQ+ Online Training for the AOD sector

LGBTIQ+ Cultural Awareness Online Training Package for the AOD sector now available!

Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (QNADA) have a training module that provides an introduction to inclusive practice when working with LGBTIQ+ clients. It provides an overview of the history, terminology and important considerations for AOD specialist workers. It is suitable for all levels of staff in an organisation and can complement existing induction for new staff into the AOD sector. The module was developed in partnership with QuAC and is available here.

QuAC also offers further, personalised face-to-face training to solidify learning across your organisation. To learn more about organising a workplace training session through QuAC read more and contact our team here.

For the latest information on QNADA click here to access the 4th edition of QNADAfocus.

MELT Festival

We are proud to be partnering with MELT 2018: Festival of Queer Arts & Culture which continues at the Brisbane Powerhouse till Sunday 27th May. This is also a great opportunity to bring together the community to celebrate IDAHOT Day – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism & Transphobia on May 17. Celebrated the world over on May 17 since 2005, the date the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.

While this year in Brisbane we are using the same IDAHOT acronym as MELT, we support the values and advocacy of many communities around what is known as both IDAHOT & IDAHOBIT.

IDAHOT is traditionally celebrated in a variety of ways – with free public gatherings, lighting of public spaces and buildings and with music concert events. The free ceremony at MELT will go from 6.30-7pm as a special event that will begin with a remembrance gathering in the Plaza including guest speakers, memorial ceremony and the lighting of the building. “Alliances for Solidarity” is the international theme this year.

It is also an occasion to remember the less privileged, the vilified and victims of hate crime, as well as to celebrate and acknowledge the activists and heroes. We invite all members of the LGBTIQ+ community and allies to be a part of this very special occasion with us.

Facebook users can also update their profile pictures with our IDAHOT Facebook frame here. In Brisbane, nine Brisbane landmarks will be lit up in rainbow lights to commemorate this year’s IDAHOT. Rainbow flags will fly from Brisbane City Hall as well as the state headquarters of Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services that day.

In Cairns all are also invited to gather for coffee at the Paradiso Cafe at 96 Abbott Street in Cairns. A free BBQ and BYO picnic will also be held at the City Beat Police Station at the Lagoon Complex on the Cairns Esplanade, organised by the Queensland Police Service and FNQ Emergency Services to show solidarity with the LGBTIQ community.

#QLDIDAHOT2018 #IDAHOT2018 #IDAHOBIT2018 #MELTfestival2018


Following resignations, there are now three vacant positions on our Board of Directors. We are currently seeking expressions of interest from people to fill the Northern Region Member position and two General Member positions. Our aim is to fill these positions prior to the June board meeting.

At the Annual General Meeting in November, there will be a further opportunity to fill two diversity positions on our Board of Directors.

For all of these positions, you will need to become a financial member of the Queensland AIDS Council (if not already a member).

The Board is interested in people who will bring additional skills, experiences and contacts to that of the current Board members. In particular we encourage people to come forward who fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • human resources;
  • business development skills and contacts;
  • marketing, public relations
  • knowledge of and networks within any of the following communities: women, transgender, bisexual, culturally & linguistically diverse, young people, people living with HIV, and Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.

If you are interested please send a brief description of your skills, experience and interest in joining the Board to by 5pm on Monday 14 May 2018. A decision with respect to the three vacant positions will be made in time for you to attend the June Board meeting. If selected, induction training and support will be provided. A decision with respect to the two diversity positions will be made prior to the Annual General Meeting in November.

If you have any questions, please contact Dale Symons (Secretary) on or Peter Black (President) on

The responsibilities of the Board are to:

  • make and/or amend from time-to-time, the Constitution and by-laws;
  • review and approve strategies, goals, annual budgets, operational and financial plans;
  • oversee and monitor organisational performance and the achievement of strategic goals and objectives.
  • establish and determine the powers and functions of board committees;
  • monitor financial performance, including approval of the annual financial report, and the liaison with external auditors by the finance, audit and risk committee;
  • recruit, appoint and regularly assess the performance of the Executive Director;
  • determine the desired culture for the organisation;
  • enhance and protect the Association’s reputation;
  • ensure risks are identified and appropriate control, monitoring, and reporting mechanisms are in place.

The Northern Region Member must ordinarily reside in the Northern Queensland area with the postcodes 4707, 4709, 4721, 4737-4828 and 4830-4891 inclusive.



The Queensland AIDS Council is proud and excited to be partnering with Brisbane’s biggest celebration of equality, diversity and LGBTIQ+ culture as the festival sashays back to Brisbane Powerhouse in May when the popular MELT Festival returns for its fourth year.

An awe-inspiring festival of all things queer, MELT promises an unforgettable line-up of more than 20 productions and events across 11 nights of revelry, kick-starting 17 May to coincide with IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

“MELT is an annual celebration of Queensland’s vibrant queer community, providing an opportunity for our LGBTIQ+ friends and allies to come together for two weeks of revelry,” Lees said.

“In a climate of renewed optimism and positivity for LGBTIQ+ rights and outward support for the community, we are privileged and excited to present our biggest and most ambitious program to date,” Lees said.

The 2018 program features an eclectic range of international artists, home-grown heroes and MELT Festival favourites, spanning diverse genres including comedy, dance, circus, burlesque, visual arts and more.

Program highlights include the Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra and special guests reclaiming pop classics for LGBTIQ+ audiences in Coupling (19 May); and the world’s hottest all-male boylesque stars BRIEFS returning with the crowd-pleasing Close Encounters, an epic show of galactic glamour, astro- athleticism and interstellar aerials.

Showstopper event MELT Beauty Pageant (18 May) returns to crown this year’s most charismatic drag queen, drag king or trans beauty with help from an all-star judging panel; while Gayming Night (24 May) by Hella Gay Games assures a hella queer and inclusive gaming experience for the local gayming community. For trivia buffs (aka Trivia Newton-Johns), Tragic Trivia (19 May) offers an utterly outrageous night as Brisbane’s drag superstars take us through the colourful pages of the Queer herstory books for a pop culture comp with a difference.

Bringing the festival to a triumphant close is the The Bowery Haus: Closing Party (26 May); a costume party celebrating inclusivity, self-expression and one of Australia’s most legendary queer icons, Leigh Bowery. Come as your interpretation of the Australian icon for this dazzling fashion and costume dance party featuring some of Brisbane’s best DJs.

“MELT 2018 sparkles with pride, passion and humour, extending an invitation for people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, ethnicities, abilities and artistic interests to join in the party,” Lees said. Check out the full program here:

MELT 2018 Partners are: Queensland Government, Queensland AIDS Council, Herbert Smith Freehills, JCDecaux, The Johnson (Art Series Hotel Group) and QNews.