“Ending HIV-Related Stigma For All.” – Discussion Paper (Attached and Link https://www.acon.org.au/about-acon/latest-news/#acon-issues-call-to-action-to-eliminate-hiv-related-stigma)

HIV advocates are calling for greater efforts and coordination in eliminating HIV-related stigma which, if left unchallenged, can have significant negative implications on Australia’s world-leading HIV prevention efforts. This new discussion paper lays bare the impact of stigma on people living with HIV (PLHIV), as well as on public health more broadly. Titled Ending HIV-Related Stigma For All, it found that HIV stigma lead to poorer health outcomes for PLHIV. It also acts as a barrier to testing and service access for priority populations, including for migrant gay and bisexual men who now account for most new HIV notifications in NSW. As such, stigma hinders efforts to end HIV transmissions. The paper outlines a series of recommendations that calls for a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to eliminate HIV stigma.

QueerAbility Toolkit

We are excited to announce that the QueerAbility Toolkit will be live from Thursday 3rd December on International Day for People with Disabilities. The purpose of the QueerAbility Toolkit is to support and empower LGBTQ people with disabilities to navigate the NDIS.

Some of the toolkit highlights include:

  • 5 films (including the one you saw at Big Stays in today) featuring LGBTQ people with disabilities speaking about their lived experiences
  • Downloads such as letters to take to your appointments, wellness wheels and an emotional tips sheet and a roadmap
  • Information on how to access the NDIS including the application process and what to do if an application is denied
  • Information on how to manage emotions and stress while applying

Queerability Facebook page

Palliative Care and End of Life Needs Analysis for LGBTQ, PLHIV and Carers

We invite you to share your experience and knowledge of palliative and end of life care and planning. This is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are LGBTQ and/or carers of LGBTQ people and PLHIV who are LGBTQ. Understanding your needs and preferences will help us develop a toolkit to support you.

A community codesign process will focus on empowering LGBTQ people, PLHIV who are LGBTQ and their carers to have discussions, have a better understanding of their rights and have access to information and resources to make informed decisions about palliative care and end of life care and planning.  

This project is a partnership between ACON, Carers NSW, Palliative Care NSW, Positive Life NSW and the Seniors Rights Service. Funded by NSW Health

Sexual Health

HIV testing is easy and confidential. An early diagnosis means a long and healthy life.

Ask your doctor for a test today and keep living well.


HIV 101 Webinar

Places are still available for the HIV 101 Webinar.

Thursday 10th December 10.30am-Noon on Zoom

Amidst all that’s happened in 2020, it’s important for us to keep HIV on the agenda. HIV 101 is a webinar designed to inform or refresh your knowledge on HIV. This webinar will cover a brief history of HIV, discuss the importance of prevention, the types of prevention available in Australia, as well as testing and treatment options.

We invite you to join Josef Garrington, ACONs’ Southern Regional Health Promotion Officer and Naomi Viret the Health Education Officer from the Caddyshack Project, as they take you through HIV in an interactive and thought provoking way.

Click HERE to register or copy this URL below: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/HFQAR

Latest blog from Caddyshack Project!

Go to the blog on ‘Going Red and making an impact’ with our fabulous guest blogger Josef Garrington from ACON. Here’s the URL to copy & paste if that’s easier:



Here & Now

Content note: trans people and sexual assault

Here & No is new digital animation resources that support trans people who have experienced sexual assault.

We developed the resources with funding from NSW Health and in partnership with ACON’s Pride Training and the Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence team in response to national research from The Kirby Institute, which found that more than half of the trans people sampled had experienced sexual violence, which is four times higher than the general Australian population. The research also revealed that most trans people had never reported these experiences, nor sought help.

These findings come after the release earlier this year of the The Crossing the Line study from the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), conducted at Western Sydney University (WSU), which found that trans women of colour were more likely than cis women to report having been sexually assaulted and sexually harassed multiple times.

During Trans Awareness Week, it’s important that we shine a light on the issues trans people are facing locally. In NSW and across Australia, trans people are experiencing an epidemic of sexual violence and most never tell anyone about it, or seek help, Here & Now has been developed by trans people for trans people and offers the community some guidance for accessing support and medical care after experiencing sexual violence. Research into the lived experiences of trans people in Australia tells us that there is a pressing need for interventions that are both trans-led and meaningful for this population. It is critically important that there is help available. Equally important, this resource reminds survivors of sexual assault that they remain in control of what happens to them.

Here & Now comprises of four animations, five new TransHub pages and two posters on the importance of pronouns. Resources for community members have been launched and resources for sexual assault services will launch next week.

Trailer: https://www.facebook.com/aconhealth/posts/10160329569773222   

Community Page: https://www.transhub.org.au/herenow  

Animations are here: https://www.transhub.org.au/sexual-assault/where  

Media release: https://www.acon.org.au/about-acon/latest-news/#new-resources-to-support-trans-people-after-sexual-assault-released  

A huge shout out and thanks to Liz Duck-Chong, Brianna Curtis, Sarah Lambert, Joe Lonn, Kai Noonan and Eloise Layard for their work on this project.

Sexual Health

Registrations are now open for the HIV 101 Webinar.

Thursday 10th December 10.30am-Noon on Zoom

Amidst all that’s happened in 2020, it’s important for us to keep HIV on the agenda. HIV 101 is a webinar designed to inform or refresh your knowledge on HIV. This webinar will cover a brief history of HIV, discuss the importance of prevention, the types of prevention available in Australia, as well as testing and treatment options.

We invite you to join Josef Garrington, ACONs’ Southern Regional Health Promotion Officer and Naomi Viret the Health Education Officer from the Caddyshack Project, as they take you through HIV in an interactive and thought provoking way.

Click HERE to register or copy this URL below:


And the winner is…

The fifth annual Caddyshack Awards honoured  and acknowledged services and individuals who responded and continue to respond in providing accessible services to their clients during these challenging times with the ‘Cool Bananas Award’.

The 2020 winners are…

Gemma Hartmann: Gemma is an RN at Shoalhaven ED who sought out assistance from the Illawarra Shoalhaven sexual health service to provide education to the Shoalhaven ED team on HIV and Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). Gemma wanted the general community, but in particular the LGBTQ+ community to be more welcome. As a major advocate, Gemma has encouraged her fellow ED staff to get up to date with STIs and HIV. She has created a tub with resources, making it easy for ED staff to provide PEP to clients and which tests need to be done.  Gemma has even come into ED on her days off to be with staff form the sexual health clinic who provided in-services so she could show staff where to access HIV medication and information in their ward. Continuing on, Gemma’s next project is to create a small card to go on staff ID lanyards for PEP and STIs.

Dr Megan Thomas: Within a week of arriving at Woonona Medical Practise, Dr Megan Thomas delighted the practice manager and receptionists by knowing all the practice policy and procedures, thrilled the practice owners with her dedication and clinical acumen, and impressed the patients with her dedication and care. Within a month Dr Thomas had educated the practice owners and staff about some of the important issues within the LGBTIQ community and helped the practise become part of the ACON “Welcome Here Project.” Dr Thomas addressed the whole practice when Best Practice upgraded the demographics section of Best Practice software to ensure that our team was competent to document the correct gender pronouns. Dr Thomas is one of only two prescribers in the Illawarra of gender affirming hormone therapy for Trans and gender diverse patients. She has a lovely empathetic manner and also provides this group of patients with much needed emotional and social support. What is even more impressive is the training for this was undertaken while studying for her GP exams. Lastly Dr Thomas established the gender affirming therapy policy and procedure and webpage for the practice website and she has also written her own care plan templates on Feminising & Masculinising Hormone Therapy. Her enthusiasm and passion for this field of medicine has enabled her to quickly establish rapport with her patients and give them much needed confidence during the very challenging period of their therapy. More recently Dr Thomas has completed her 6 month extended skills placement in Sexual Health and has been able to educate our team on important relevant policies and procedures whilst working in this hospital position.

Rebecca Kate: Alesco Illawarra is a registered and accredited non-denominational, independent secondary school, operating under the auspices of WEA Illawarra. They have campuses in Wollongong, Bowral, Nowra and Vincentia, NSW. Rebecca from the Vincentia branch is excellent at her job which offers small, flexible, learner-centred education environments for young people in Years 9-12. Kate turns up every day with a smile and a lot of passion for what she does! No word of a lie Kate uses the phrase “Cool Banana’s” on a regular basis around the kids and staff. It has become a bit of a running joke and some well needed positivity that whenever something good happens a young person will let Bec know that it is “Cool Banana’s”!

Illawarra Shoalhaven Sexual Health Service: ISLHD Targeted Clinical Services, which includes Sexual Health, Women’s Health & Youth Health Services, were quick to adapt to the evolving worldwide pandemic in 2020 by responding to the “new normal” of restrictions that impact on our day to day delivery of services. Staff including a Staff Specialist, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Social worker were asked to join the Public Health Unit to respond to the pandemic locally. The staff have extensive experience in the management of infectious diseases along with the skillset of contact tracing and worked tirelessly in supporting the district’s Public Health response to COVID-19 while also supporting the COVID testing clinics. The rest of the team collaboratively worked together to provide innovative solutions to service delivery to ensure the continuation of safe high quality care to patients across the district. The resilience displayed by staff throughout these challenging times has been inspiring and has influenced an effective change in practice including delivering educational and teaching modules online, digital and virtual communications and connectedness. A surprising outcome identified throughout the pandemic is how the team have strived tocare for each other to ensure that the many changes on their professional and personal life has not impacted on them in a negative way and ensuring the health and safety for all.

Congratulations again to all winners, and nominees. We are honoured to be able to showcase your work, and celebrate your achievements.

Employment and Training

Will you sign our letter to Senators?

The Senate Inquiry has just released its Report on the Job-Ready Graduates Bill and it DOES NOT secure the future of social work in Australia.

With the bill expected to go to a vote in the next two weeks, we are now in the final stages of the campaign. So it is critical that every Senator hears our concerns about the legislation and what they can do to #SaveSocialWorkAU before they go to vote.

That’s why we have set up a ‘Letter to the Senators’ page on our website, to allow you to send a message to every Senator telling them how they can secure the future of social work in Australia.

Thank you for your ongoing support and please feel free to contact savesocialworkaustralia@gmail.com to discuss how you can help the campaign or visit our website for more information. 

Save Social Work Australia

Homelessness & the Census 2021; Upcoming job opportunities with Australian Bureau of Statistics

As the Census is the only national estimate of homelessness Australia, it is vital that we collect data that is a true reflection of the actual numbers of homelessness to ensure that funding and effort is targeted appropriately.

Census Engagement Manager (CEMs) roles are currently being advertised The CEMs will lead engagement activities with a range of stakeholders to improve the quality and relevance of Census data.

The following is a snapshot of key points about the CEMs roles:

  • There will be 75 roles available across the country in all states and territories
  • 35 out of the 75 roles will be recruited as affirmative measures positions and only open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants
  • 50 of these roles will be in urban areas, 25 of these roles will be in remote areas
  • The majority of the roles will focus on engaging with organisations supporting one or more of the following population groups:  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people experiencing homelessness
  • Applications open from 8 October – 5 November 2020
  • Employment contracts are from 11 January 2021 until 31 October 2021.

You can access further information and application here: Census Jobs

Health and Wellbeing

Engaging with Outdoor Environments

A team at Macquarie University are undertaking a survey that aims to better understand how individuals are engaging with local outdoor environments and links to wellbeing before and during COVID-19.

The study findings will help to inform and advance the design of public places, identify opportunities for future planning and inform the design and development of programs to support and improve health and well-being.

The link to the survey is at https://lnkd.in/gJmiGFh

Breast Awareness

Under 40: As you are at lower risk of developing breast cancer, breast screens aren’t encouraged for women in your age group.

Age: 40-49: You can attend BreastScreen NSW for a screening mammogram, but breast screening is less effective for women in your age group.

Age: 50-74: We recommend you have your free screening mammogram once every two years – look out for your reminder letter from BreastScreen NSW.

Over 74: You can attend BreastScreen NSW for a screening mammogram, however you should speak to your doctor first to see breast screening is a priority for you.

Make your appointment online today at https://book.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au/

Know your Lemons is an awesome site please check it out.

People of all ages should see their GP immediately if they notice any unusual changes in their breasts.

Menopause Information Evening


Whole-of-Government Approach to Prevent Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence

In the lead up to the annual 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November to 10 December), Women NSW and Domestic Violence NSW have partnered to bring you a free webinar series on how the whole-of-NSW Government can prevent sexual, domestic and family violence across a range of settings.

Webinar 1 – Primary prevention of sexual, domestic and family violence (16 October 2020, 10am-12pm)

  • What is sexual, domestic and family violence, what drives it and how is it gendered?
  • What is primary prevention of sexual, domestic and family violence?
  • NSW Domestic and Family Violence Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy 2017-2021

Webinar 2 – Intersectionality and inclusion in primary prevention (3 November 2020, 10am-12pm)

  • What is intersectionality?
  • What drives sexual, domestic and family violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant and refugee women, women with disability and LGBTIQ people?
  • How can we challenge the intersecting drivers of violence and make primary prevention inclusive?

Webinar 3 – Prevention in Action: Interagency Challenge (10 December 2020, 10am-12pm)

  • What are the priority settings for preventing sexual, domestic and family violence? (Education, Sports, Arts, Health, Family and Community Services, Public Spaces, Transport and Infrastructure, Workplaces)
  • What are some promising approaches and initiatives for preventing violence?
  • How can you respond to resistance and backlash to efforts to prevent violence?

You can register for the free webinars here: https://whole-of-government-approach-to-prevent-violence.eventbrite.com

ANROWS survey for service providers – technology-facilitated abuse

We appreciate if you can share this survey to support the first stage of an Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) national research project on technology-facilitated abuse.

ANROWS is recruiting workers to complete a 20-minute anonymous online survey. The link to the survey can be found here: https://rmit.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8bM5iNhlwMnJCfP.

Who is this survey for?

This survey is for service providers that work with people who experience or use violence, including domestic violence or sexual assault services, legal services, homelessness/housing, health, men’s behaviour change, family relationship services, migrant services, disability services, LGBTIQ+ services, prevention organisations, government policy and specialist services for Aboriginal or Torres Islander people.

What is the purpose of the survey?

The survey is the first stage of this research project. It aims to leverage the practice-based knowledge of people working in the sector to find out more about technology-facilitated abuse including:

  • the extent to which clients experience or use technology-facilitated abuse
  • forms of abusive tactics experienced
  • the training and resources available
  • gaps and challenges workers face.

When does the survey close?

Please complete the survey by 31 October 2020. However, the survey may be extended beyond this deadline if necessary.

Please also find attached a poster with more details.

We encourage you to complete the survey, and circulate it amongst your networks.

If you would like more information about the survey, please contact Asher Flynn at asher.flynn@monash.edu.

Sexual Health

Confidence, Clarity & Contraception Webinar

Registrations are now open for Confidence, Clarity & Contraception Webinar- Tuesday 10th November -10.00-11.30 am.

Contraception is an important and necessary part of life for many. Now more than ever, there are options available to suit everyone for every stage of life. Kaitlyn and Maddy from www.caddyshackproject.com will unpack the Contraception Kit from Family Planning NSW which contains barrier methods, hormonal, non-hormonal and long acting reversible contraception.

Click HERE to register or https://www.stickytickets.com.au/AKGXB

Once you have registered we will post you a pack with some goodies.

Free Condoms

Click HERE to order 144 free condoms for your service from Play Safe Pro or copy and paste the URL https://pro.playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/order-resources/

Want to be this excited about stocking free condoms at your service?

*Jenny & Cath at Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre (total legends).

Join 76 other organisations in the Illawarra Shoalhaven and become part of the Condom Dispenser Project(CDP).

The Google map on Caddyshackproject.com assists people find your service and access free condoms from the Condom Dispensers, which we install and provide ongoing refills for. All for free!

In the 2019 evaluation of the CDP, 100% of clients had mostly positive comments about the project, and said that the CDP was easy to be a part of and want to remain part of the CDP.

Over 34,900 condoms were delivered in the Illawarra & Shoalhaven in 2019 via the CDP.

Copy & paste the URL https://www.caddyshackproject.com/ if that’s easier to see the location map.