The 2Spirits Program was originally established to provide health education and community development to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to establish networks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Gay Men and Sistergirls across Queensland. 2Spirits has and continues to provide one-on-one support and advocacy and referrals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
In 1996 the Program was established as the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV/AIDS Project (QATSIHAP) and in 2009 the Program name was changed to “2Spirits.” The term “2Spirits” refers to a person whose body simultaneously houses masculine and feminine spirits. The rebranding of the Program promoted the importance embedding culture into health education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The 2Spirits logo was also launched in 2009. Developed by artist Arone Meeks the logo features male and female images, along with the symbol of infinity. The colours of the logo reflect the colours of the rainbow, as well as colours featured in both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags.
Covering the state of Queensland, the Program promotes healthy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men and sistergirl communities through sexual health promotion, campaigns, community outreach, education workshops, support and referrals.
The Program has always adopted a “whole of community approach” to provide STI and BBV education and to reduce stigma and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men and sistergirls. This approach has been highly effective and allows the Program to reach out to gay men and sistergirls in remote and regional community settings.
In 2011, the Program underwent an external review by consultants Bill O’Loughlin and Gregory Phillips meeting with stakeholders, previous staff and community members to determine recommendations for the future of the Program. A total of 23 Recommendations were made on Strategic Focus, Health Promotion, Community Development and Strengthening and Promoting Capacity giving the Program a strong platform to build into the future.
In 2017, 2Spirits Federal funding was ceased after 21 years of operations. Following the defunding of the Program, QuAC continued the Program by funding the vital service out of the organisation’s financial reserves. QuAC believes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is too important to be ignored, and that cutting funding to vital health services such as 2Spirits sets a dangerous precedent for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTI health and Wellbeing in the future.
In 2019, QuAC received funding from Queensland Health to continue the 2Spirits Program service. 2Spirits has redeveloped its focus and services to improve the health and wellbeing of all bodies, genders, sexualities, identities and relationships. 2Spirits is peer led and grassroots based Program. Culture is embedded in everything we do as ways of knowing, being and doing. 2Spirits is a leader in fostering culturally appropriate processes and inclusive initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Sistergirl and Brotherboy.
2Spirits is committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Sistergirl and Brotherboy and that every member of our diverse communities feel safe, valued, represented and supported. 2Spirits are committed to developing pathways to walk and work together in partnership to grow health and wellbeing outcomes for our communities.
What we do
2Spirits can offer:
- One-on-one cultural support
- Community forums, yarning circles and education workshops
- Community outreach
- Community and workforce development
- Resources and campaigns
- Safe sex packs
- Peer network groups
- LGBTI sistergirl and brotherboy key terminology
- LGBTI sistergirl and brotherboy health and wellbeing
- Cultural, gender and sexuality frameworks
- Community engagement
- Inclusive services
- Suicide prevention
- Family violence prevention
- Professional development presentations/workshops
- Small or large groups
- Individual mentoring, supervision or technical advice
- Education and training tailored to suit organisational needs
30 Helen Street, Teneriffe Qld 4004
Phone: 07 3017 1777/ Free call: 1800 177 434
290 Draper Street, Cairns Qld 4870
Phone: (07) 4041 5451/ Free call: 1800 88 44 01