Mark Orr
Mark Orr

ACON’s 2011/12 Annual Report was released and a new ACON board member was welcomed at the community health organisation’s annual general meeting

During the AGM at ACON’s Sydney offices, the organisation’s members were briefed about the broad range of campaigns, operations and activities that ACON had undertaken throughout the 2011/2012 financial year.

Marketing communications expert Richard Lee, who was recently appointed to a casual vacancy on the board, was formally elected. Board members Andrew Purchas, Jason Bradshaw and Professor John de Wit were elected for a further two years. Two serving board members were also farewelled, health researcher Devon Indig and Wollongong-based healthcare worker Mitchell Gordon.

ACON President Mark Orr congratulated Mr Lee on his appointment and thanked the departing members for their contribution. While detailing ACON’s achievements over the 2011/12 financial year, Mr Orr told ACON members that the organisation recorded a deficit of just over $295,000. Orr believes the past 12 months were marked by a process of organisational change to ensure ACON’s programs and services could respond effectively to the contemporary reality of the HIV epidemic.  

“Through a combination of new biomedical approaches, innovative behavioural strategies and new testing technologies, we have an unparalleled opportunity to achieve a dramatic reduction in HIV infections here in Australia, and we call on all relevant authorities to pursue these opportunities with a sense of urgency,” Mr Orr said.

“Following a range of structural and programmatic changes over the last year, ACON is now well placed to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the fast changing HIV prevention landscape. With the support of the NSW Government, ACON will continue to redevelop our programs and services over the coming years with the aim of making HIV history.”

Other key organisational issues detailed include advocating for the introduction of rapid HIV testing; raising concerns about the introduction of an NSW Brothels Licencing Authority; building ACON”s capacity to deliver mental health and home-based care services; helping aged care providers become more responsive to the needs of LGBT people and people with HIV; and increasing the use of online and digital technologies to deliver information and services.