Queensland AIDS Council could make a comeback as HC plans name change
The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC), aka Healthy Communities, plans to return to its original 1985 name, Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC), in a bid to better define its role in the community.
The Queensland AIDS Council changed its name to QAHC in 2006, however a unanimous board decision this week means a move to the former name will take effect if members pass the proposal at this year’s AGM on November 19.
The vote will be put to members, with a 75 per cent majority required for the change to take effect.
The board says the move is towards consistency with interstate counterparts and a brand that is “well known and understood nationally”.
Healthy Communities’ executive director John Mikelsons told Queensland Pride the name change would ensure the organisation reflected the community.
“The strong feeling from the board was that Healthy Communities as a brand and as a name didn’t adequately describe what we did. The Queensland AIDS Council – QuAC – has a lot of currency and as a brand is well understood both here and nationally and that’s why the board decided to go down that route.
“HIV has always been a critical element of this organisation and will be as long as the epidemic is with us. The Queensland AIDS Council was originally formed as a community response to the HIV epidemic and we need to continue that response today.”
Mikelsons said over the past few years Healthy Communities had built a firm reputation as an inclusive LGBTI health organisation, citing the opening of the new Gender Clinic on Wednesday, and he anticipated that perception within the community would continue.
Healthy Communities president Joanne Leamy said the decision reflected a new era for the organisation, which recently underwent a change in leadership with a new executive director and numerous new board members.
“It also demonstrates that while we respect the past we remain focussed on the future,” Leamy said.
“The HIV epidemic in Queensland is changing, so how we talk about ourselves is critical to ensuring we remain focussed on this health issue and that everyone understands who we are and what we do.”
Healthy Communities already runs a number of HIV prevention programs funded by private donations and fundraising, including its Men4Men health promotion initiative targeted at gay men, and its after-hours, community-based HIV/STI testing clinic every Tuesday night from its Helen Street Resource Centre.
The organisation also runs the 2 Spirits programs, a Commonwealth funded HIV/STI prevention initiative focussed on gay men and sistergirls in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Other initiatives include the MindOUT! LGBTI mental health initiative, Many Genders One Voice and Lesbian Health Action Groups and the LGBTI ageing program.