Our vision is to build strong, connected and supportive communities that are free of new HIV transmissions, marginalisation, discrimination and stigma.
Our mission is to work with individuals, communities and partner organisations to: virtually eliminate new HIV transmissions by 2020; provide support for individuals and families living with and impacted by HIV; and build a strong and safe community that is free of discrimination, marginalisation and stigma.
We believe our work is part of a shared community response for HIV and AIDS. In doing this work we value Respect, Inclusiveness, Partnership and Empowerment. We do this by honouring people’s stories, valuing our history and treating everyone with dignity.
- People living with HIV
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer communities
- Trans and Intersex communities
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- People in custodial settings
- Gay men and men who have sex with men
- Sex workers
- People who inject drugs
- Partner organisations working in similar areas
- People from high-prevalence countries and their partners
How we work
- We recognise the commitment made by communities and governments in Australia and globally to create a world without HIV transmission and recognise the importance of working with community partners to achieve this goal.
- We recognise the central role we play in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities. We work with other partner organisations to ensure LGBTIQ people access services, have their human rights recognised, are a valued part of the community and live without discrimination or stigma.
- We provide practical support to the communities we work with, embedding our programs and services in the broader ACT community and locating them in environments and spaces that communities own and support.
- We acknowledge and value the knowledge and expertise that comes from lived experience, employing peer-based approaches to share this expertise. In using these approaches, we commit to nurturing and supporting individuals and communities to reach their potential.
- We complement our peer-based approach with an evidence-based approach to ensure our programs and services are founded on latest research and respond to emerging needs of the communities we work with.
- We contribute to policy development processes and undertake advocacy to ensure the issues affecting the communities we work with are a priority for the community, the ACT and the country.
- We value the legacy and the history of the Council as an organisation established and led by volunteers and commit to ensuring volunteers, members and allies continue to be central to the work of the Council.
- We value the work of other partners working on the issues we care about. We enter partnership arrangements with a commitment to collaborate, recognise expertise, build capacity and nurture professional and supportive relationships.
- We recognise the importance of sustainability, including ensuring the Council runs professionally and sustainably, and we build capacity in the organisation and the communities we work with.
Board Members & Executive Director
Dr Nathan Boyle
The first meeting of the ACT AIDS Action Committee was held in 1983 when a group of gay men living in the ACT met to respond to the looming AIDS crisis. This group then formalised and established itself as the AIDS Action Council of the ACT in March 1985. The AIDS Action Council of the ACT became an Incorporate Association in 1986.
Within a year of being established, the Council recognised the need to work closely with the affected communities. Specific projects were established for gay men, injecting drug users, sex workers and people with haemophilia. Care teams, treatments information and counselling were provided to people with HIV and AIDS and their significant others. From this time also, general community awareness, information and advocacy became vital work for the agency.
With the changing decade it became increasingly clear that most cases of HIV in Australia were the result of male to male sexual contact. Independent services such as ACTIV (ACT Intravenous League), WISE (Workers In Sex Employment) and the Haemophilia Foundation ACT were providing services for their respective peer groups and the Council more clearly focussed its prevention services towards gay and bisexual men. At this time, services were added to deliver broader HIV education and health promotion directly to people with HIV/AIDS.
Today, the Council is a public benevolent institution assisting people impacted by HIV. The Council provides a variety of services, education programs and works to raise awareness of HIV to reduce stigma and educate on the importance of prevention, treatment and testing through events, communications and working with affected communities. We are proud of our diverse workplace and those who work here.
The AIDS Action Council of the ACT is an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 and registered as a charity under the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission Act (Cth) 2012.
The Council is a public benevolent institution established to assist people impacted by HIV. We do this through the provision of services, on the basis of need, to relieve suffering of people affected by HIV and AIDS which includes the provision of:
- mental health services
- social support services
- legal advocacy
- assistance obtaining medical treatment
- general advice
- financial and other emergency assistance
We advocate on behalf of the community of people affected by HIV and AIDS, campaigning and undertaking programs to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS by fostering a supportive community.
The Council is led by the Executive Director who works closely with the Board of Directors.
The AIDS Action Council recognises the need to develop a structured and holistic approach for strengthening our work and relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially those who may be impacted by HIV or at risk of HIV.
By developing a Reconciliation Action Plan, the Council hopes to clearly identify actions and realistic targets detailing steps and priorities which advise on the rights, health and dignity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are impacted by HIV or at risk of HIV.
The Council established a working group with representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Presentations and organisational discussions ensured all areas of the Organisation were represented by the RAP working group members.