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


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