May26

30 years of BGF: Reflection and renewal

CREATED ON // Monday, 26 May 2014 Written by // Damien Hodgkinson

In the past eight years alone, BGF have worked with over 3,000 different men women and children, and as this season draws to a close, Bobby Goldsmith Foundations 30th year has been memorable. 

We honoured some of our founders in Ken Bryan, Bobby Goldsmith’s partner, and Wendy White, Bobby’s sister. We have also honoured one of BGF’s greatest champions by conferring BGF’s inaugural honorary life membership upon Ita Buttrose AO OBE.

This 30th anniversary of BGF marked my first full year as President of the Board, and  I am pleased to share that we are nearing the completion of the financial future-proofing of BGF, evidenced by our smallest post-GFC loss at the end of June 2013. This is significant for the foundation because it places us in a strong position as we enter our new strategic plan and start investing in our future through the growth of our Outreach and Stanford programmes.

Renewal is also underway as we welcomed two new board members in Lorraine Hall and Justin Cudmore. Lorraine and Justin bring awealth of experience in government management and legal advisory which was lost with the retirement of our previous President Martin Walsh. I would also like toacknowledge and thank the significant contribution ofour past and current board members who have made BGF what it is today through 30 extraordinary years of fear, change and hope.

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Above: BGF President Damien Hodgkinson, Bobby Goldsmith's partner Ken Bryan, Ita Buttrose, Bobby Goldsmith's sister Wendy White and BGF CEO David Riddell. Photo: Deepfield Photography

As BGF looks beyond 30, we are continuing to move towards our longer-term objective to empower people living with HIV (PLHIV) to manage their own health through the continued implementation of the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management programme and the creation of our on-line health management software for PLHIV including those who work.  These are in addition to our established programmes and services.

The next two years are not without challenges, with the change in government health funding from 2015, and the growing demand for services that comes with increased infection rates and an ageing HIV population. To assist this, BGF has become a leaner and more professional organisation to ensure that our future is relevant, well managed and accessible to all PLHIV across NSW.

In an ideal world, there would be no HIV and no need for BGF to exist.  The reality is that HIV is still here and so will BGF be as long as we are needed.

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Damien Hodgkinson

Damien Hodgkinson

Damien Hodgkinson is the President of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation.

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