Monday, 26 June 2017 03:44
The Freedom Centre are hosting a Safe Schools Coalition workshop for school staff during the holidays.
Please click here for more information and to register for the event.
Thursday, 01 June 2017 01:04
After ten years as the Coordinator, Freedom Centre, Dani Wright Toussaint is stepping down.
At the end of June, they will commence their well-earned long service leave, returning to a new role in the WA AIDS Council’s West Perth office in the new year.
Over this time, Dani worked on the MyPeer Project and implemented the Evaluation Frameworks from that into the current robust evaluation processes that Freedom Centre employs to enhance our best practice monitoring and reflection, and participatory qualitative evaluation. More recently they led on the Young And Well CRC/RAD Australia projects and the still running Trans Suicide Prevention Project.
Dani was initially on the National LGBTI Health Alliance as a WA AIDS Council representative, for the most part contributing their own volunteer time to do so. Significantly, Dani was instrumental in starting the Working Group that got the Commonwealth Governement MindOUT funding, which we now use so many resources from!
The Board and Management extend their gratitude to Dani for all that they have done for LGBTI young people over the last decade, and for their contribution to the wider WA AIDS Council family.
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 08:39
The National LGBTI Health Alliance this week released the National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy, to help reverse the alarming statistics surrounding LGBTI people and their mental health.
LGBTI populations have a heightened risk of mental health diagnosis, psychological distress, self-harm, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. Studies have shown that medical professionals can sometimes exacerbate the illness by failing to provide adequate and appropriate support.
This Strategy calls for nationally coordinated, evidence-based action to help prevent suicide by supporting organisations and government to develop effective suicide prevention initiatives that acknowledge and affirm the wide variety of bodies, genders, relationships, and sexualities that comprise the Australian population.
To read the strategy, click the image below.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:16
The WA AIDS Council was honoured last month to host Labor leader Mark McGowan (pictured above third from left) at the Freedom Centre in Northbridge.
Freedom Centre (FC), run by the WA AIDS Council, is a centre for LGBTIQ young people (under 26) to support each other and their communities to be informed, happy and healthy about their sexuality, sex and gender.
Mr McGowan, Leader of the Opposition and the Member for Rockingham, accepted an invitation to afternoon tea and attended with Stephen Dawson, the Labor Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Mental Health and Child Protection (pictured left above).
We were also privileged to have with us a previous Freedom Centre visitor, who shared an honest and confronting account of the time of their life that was the darkest. The Freedom Centre, they told the visiting politicians, ‘literally saved my life’. They went on to describe the positive and successful outcomes in their life, including currently being enrolled in tertiary education and working in community radio, and attributed this largely to the role Freedom Centre played in their life at a crucial time.
Mr McGowan and Mr Dawson also learned about the powerful work that Freedom Centre does on behalf of young people of diverse sexuality and gender, supporting them to be better socially connected and helping them to enjoy improved mental health and self-esteem. They heard about the many challenges that young people can face, including self-harm, depression, discrimination, bullying, homelessness and domestic violence.
Freedom Centre Co-ordinator Dani Wright-Toussaint (pictured above second from the right) took the opportunity to outline opportunities for making the centre more accessible for young people across the state, while WA AIDS Council CEO Andrew Burry (pictured above thrid from right) outlined our organisation’s commitment to the principles of substantive equality and how important it was to remove barriers to those who may struggle to access services at Freedom Centre and across the rest of the organisation.
Freedom Centre is funded by the Mental Health Commission and supported by the Department of Health.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 05:19
Do you identify as trans* and are 14-25?
Or, are you a parent/guardian of a trans* young person under the age of 25?
Change the way services are provided to trans* young people in Australia - have your voice heard!
Help improve the lives of trans* individuals growing up in Australia by exploring possible barriers to accessing services. Information collected by the survey will help to inform policies, health professionals, other researchers, parents of trans* individuals, other trans* young people and the wider community about how relevant services can best meet the needs of trans* young people.
Access the survey here
We recognise that trans* individuals describe their gender in different ways. We use the word trans* to be open to people who describe themselves as transgender or transsexual or as having a transgender or transsexual experience or history. Trans* people generally experience or identify their gender as not matching their sex assigned at birth. This includes people who identify as transgender, non-binary, agender, genderqueer and more.
Monday, 14 December 2015 07:21
2015 was a momentous year for the WA AIDS Council. The year marked the 30th anniversary of incorporation, an occasion marked with a series of events in September and October. Among many achievements, 2015 saw new training opportunites for aged care facilities, record support for STYLEAID, and the introduction of Love Game, a brand of events designed by and for the Perth African Community.
Here, we take a look at an exciting and busy year for the Council, using another major achievement for 2015 - this website!
WA AIDS Acknowledges 30 Years
In September, WA AIDS Council marked the 20th year of incorporation with two major events for staff, stakeholders and community. The first of these events took place at Parliament House, and was hosted by Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames.
After a stunning welcome to country from Kart Koort Wiern - Ingrid Cumming, Council stakeholders, former and current staff, volunteers and guests heard from Minister Hames, CEO Andrew Burry, Prof John Cordery, Provost & Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Curtin University, and Dr Graham Brown, Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University. Performances from String Musicians Australia, Ali Bodycoat and Jay Weston also entertained the audience on a beautiful spring night.
Following on from the formal event, a community event was hosted at the Western Australian Ballet, and included special 30th Anniversary awards, for individuals and organisations who have played a significant role in the response to HIV/AIDS over the past 3 decades.
Newly appointed Chairperson Sam Hastings opened proceedings as host for the day followed by a Welcome to Country by Daniel Garlett of the Dadajaal Dance Company. Paul Baines spoke as a NAPWHA representative followed by a captivating performance by the Gay & Lesbian Singers of WA (GALSWA). After the awards ceemony, Crystal Chandelier took the floor as the final performer with DJ Baxter playing tunes until the end.
It was a wonderful occasion, and a superb tribute to the hard work of staff, volunteers and friends of the AIDS Council over 30 years.
Aged Care Facilities Upskill for HIV
Thanks to advances in treatment, HIV positive people are living long, full lives, on par with the average life span of the general population. As HIV positive people age, new challenges arise in relation to aged care. Never before have aged care facilities been tasked with catering for people with this infection and may require some additional information to overcome any preconceived ideas they may have. In 2015, WA AIDS Council created a training program to assist these facilities in caring for positive people, in a respectful, appropriate and non-discriminatory manner. A number of facilities have already completed the training, with more to follow in 2016. For more information about this program, please click here.
STYLEAID is a GOGO
In 2015, STYLEAID, presented by Curtin University, returned to the swinging 60's with a retro-styled event attended by over 700 people at Crown Perth. Guest were treated to Go Go Dancers, exquisite food and beverages, and a runway show featuring the likes of Ae'lkemi, Zhivago, Monster Alphabets, and Zomp Creative Design winner, I Love Mr Mittens. STYLEAID was supported by a photographic exhibition and an auction during the event, that raised more money than any other in STYLEAID's 18 year history as Perth's premier fashion fundraiser.
Holding the Man
In August, the Council hosted the Perth premiere of Holding The Man, the film adaptation of Tim Conigrave's seminal memoir of the same name. The star of the film, Ryan Corr, attended the film and answered questions from the audience after the screening. The sellout crowd gave a standing ovation for the young actor, clearly impressive with the film and his performance.
Leaver's Sign Off with a K.I.S.S
In November, staff and volunteers attended School Leavers celebrations at Rottnest and Dunsborough, providing young people with information & resources around sexual health, alcohol & other drug use. The teams provided record numbers of materials to a record number of school leavers and were all around super stars! The program continues to build on previous years and has become an institution for keeper school leavers safe.
Let's Get Quizzical!
In June, the WA AIDS Quiz Night made a welcome return, with over 300 people rocking the Yokine Bowls Club in their finest 80's gear. Hosted by Mark Reid and Tash Brockwell, the night was full of laughs, prizes, some serious quizzing - and big hair! Guests shared in over $10,000 worth of donated prizes, and a great time was had by all. The date for the 2016 #WAAIDSQuiz is booked and already selling, click here for more.
Celebrating 25 years of Pride - Pride Parade
Cue shiny mirror balls, silver balloons, white and neon fabrics. Lit by black light, this year the Council created a literally glowing float for the parade
which embraced a ‘Silver City’ theme. See for yourself here. Congratulations to Pride WA on their 25th Anniversary!
World AIDS Awareness Week and World AIDS Day
2015 marked the biggest week of events in the lead up to World AIDS Day in the Council’s history. Social events were held specifically for the PLHIV community throughout the week including a morning tea and a networking event at a city bar. Nic Holas hosted a community forum to discuss all things PrEP with the gay men in Perth which provided great insights. In conjunction with World AIDS Awareness Week, Love Game held a red carpet event to celebrate the work of community members in raising awareness of HIV.On World AIDS Day, MAC Cosmetics hosted their annual Good Spirits makeup workshop for HIV positive people. This years attendance of makeup artists and clients was the most experienced to date.
On the evening of World AIDS Day, we did something different to previous years and premiered the film “It’s Not Over” in the heart of Perth City, at the Northbridge Piazza. Over 100 people attended, and a team of enthusiastic volunteers handed out plenty of red ribbons and merchandise to attendees and passers by. For the full wrap up and photos click here.