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 us for a confidential 30 minute face-to-face or phone interview in exchange for a $30 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

Media Release: Resignation of QuAC Executive Director

Resignation of QuAC Executive Director Michael Scott

The Executive Director of the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC), Michael Scott, has informed the board that he would resigning from that role effective 1 July to pursue other opportunities.
Michael Scott has been with QuAC for eight years and has served in a variety of important roles, including 2 Spirits Program Manager, Director of Sexual Health, and since 2014, Executive Director.

Mr Scott helped guide QuAC through some difficult times. The board thanks him for his service to the organisation and the LGBTIQ community of Queensland. The board wishes him well in his future endeavours.

The board has begun a national search for Mr Scott’s successor.

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

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.


On Wednesday March 28 Pride House Gold Coast was officially opened in partnership with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Pride House has been in planning since August 2017 which saw a large volume of community members, organisations and government agencies come together to formulate Pride House Gold Coast in the heart of Surfers Paradise. This is the first Pride House to ever be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere and has received overwhelming support from the community.

Pride House International originated from the traditional Hospitality House concept that are common at Olympic and Commonwealth Games. They are places to attend to support your Country with like-minded others. A Pride House at International Sporting Events has become a regular fixture. They are viewed as providing a valuable contribution to the fabric of International Major Events with significant positive outcomes and media interest.

The Gold Coast Pride House International 2018 (GCPHI 2018) is being hosted at Rise Bar in Surfers Paradise until April 15, 2018. LGBTIQ+ individuals and their allies will be able to watch the Commonwealth Games with other like-minded individuals in a safe and inclusive environment. This is the first time ever that Australia has held a Pride House International.


GCPHI 2018 is hosting an Exhibition of Australian LGBTIQ+ “Trailblazers” comprised of individuals that have been leaders in the fight for equality. GCPHI 2018 will highlight a separate issue daily relating to each letter on the LGBTIQ+ rainbow spectrum. It’s a great way to raise awareness and education on important topics such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Youth, Legal and Mental Health issues while the Commonwealth Games are centre stage.

Balls OUT Bingo is also part of the Commonwealth Games Pride House. There are 2 sessions of Balls OUT Bingo on 5th April and 12th April from 5.30pm – 7.00pm at Rise Club and Bar.

The ball boys have been organised so come along and help raise funds for the Queensland AIDS Council and be part of the celebration of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Here is the official link to the event.

Come along and show your support!!



Facebook –      Gold Coast Pride House International 2018

Instagram –      goldcoastpride2018

Twitter –          @GCPrideHouse

Well Done Brisbane Queer Film Festival

QuAC was incredibly proud to be a Presenting Partner at this year’s Brisbane Queer Film Festival which has just finished screening. It was a great highlight of the Brisbane queer community calendar so far, as it has been since its first outing in the year 2000.  After becoming independent in 2017, the festival returned this year to present, indulge and empower LGBT, intersex, queer and gender diverse film, filmmakers and screen content.

The team put together a great program of varied films – it really was impressive, and so thoughfully built on what has gone before.

Thanks to New Farm Cinemas for hosting and let’s hope a lot of the films get a wider release because they so deserve it. If you missed out but want to see the full program we were indulged with you can find it here at