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Melbourne, VIC


Health and HIV info




LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference

Kia Kaha - Stay Strong! This episode begins with poet Gabrielle Journey Jones rapping about the things that make conference delegates feel resilient. Renee is joined in the studio by Kayla Larson, together wrapping up the recent Thorne Harbour Health led LGBTIQ Women's Health Conference. What a time to be a Queer woman! Kayla coordinated the conference on July 12/13 where Thorne Harbour saw the biggest attendance yet, with around 500 women from all around Australia over two days. Renee and...


Introducing Thorne Harbour Health

At their 35th Anniversary event on Saturday 7 July, the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) announced they have changed their name to Thorne Harbour Health. As Australia's oldest HIV/AIDS charity and one of the country's largest LGBTI health organisations, this change has prompted a lot of interest from our gender, sex, and sexuality diverse communities. Thorne Harbour Health's President Chad Hughes along with longstanding LGBTI community advocates and fellow Thorne Harbour Health Board members,...


NAIDOC Week & The Yalingwa Exhibition

Tex and Jessie open up the conversation around NAIDOC Week with guests, Hannah Presley, Allison Toby and Peter Waples-Crow. The Victorian NAIDOC Week was held one week before the National NAIDOC Week - "This is good for us, because we get two weeks of celebration!" Hannah, the curator of the new Yalingwa Visual Arts Initiative which will be delivered in partnership between the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA) and the Tarrawarra Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley, shares with us...


PrEP on Demand

PrEP isn't just in demand in Victoria, it's now On Demand! Michael chats with sexual health physician Dr. Vincent Cornelisse about Australia recently updating their guidelines to not just recommend PrEP be taken daily, but also 'on demand' or during events or periods of risk. On Demand PrEP can be taken as a course of 2 pills, 2-24 hours before sex, another pill 24 hours later, and a fourth and final pill 24 hours after that. Keeping up? That's just 4 pills to prevent HIV. If you're not...


The Political Landscape of HIV and AIDS (VAC Legacy Series)

For this third episode in the VAC legacy series, Cal continues this look back on the community-led response to HIV and AIDS in Victoria and how our community navigated the political landscape to see action. Who were are our political allies and how did the creation of the Gay Men's Community Health Centre come into being? From anti-testing policies and 'safe sex', bold decisions were made and sometimes adapted in response to the changing landscape of HIV and AIDS into the late 1980s and...



HTLV-1 It's been reported as the cousin to HIV affecting remote communities in Australia, with up to 40% of some communities affected. So why don't we know as much about HTLV-1 as its distant relative, HIV? Michael talks with Damian Purcell, the Head of Molecular Virology Laboratory, The University of Melbourne at the Doherty Institute to unpack exactly what this virus is, how it relates to the HIV epidemic here in Australia, and what we need to consider. We unpack the epidemiology of the...


Couldn’t have done that with a hangover

ReThink the Drink is a new project that seeks to inspire alcohol culture change among lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women in Victorian regional and rural areas. Studies* have shown that some LBQ women enjoy a few too many drinks, enough to cause a hangover (from time to time) and we think it's time we did something about it. Renee Speaks with Rachel Cook to find out about the campaign and the upcoming LGBTIQ Women's health conference in July. More info vac.org.au/rethinkthedrink


Activism & Advocacy (VAC Legacy Series)

As Victoria started to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, the advocacy and activism of the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) was complemented by the rise of groups like the AZT taskforce and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power - ACT UP. In this second episode of the VAC Legacy Series on Well, Well, Well, Cal Hawk talks with longstanding HIV/AIDS and LGBTIQ activists Jamie Gardiner, Chris Gill, Phil Carswell, Colin Batrouney, and Alison Thorne to take a closer look at the community...


PARTI Project: Knowing Your Drugs and Staying Safe

This week on Well, Well, Well, Jessie chats to the PARTI Project about the Melbourne party scene, recent events on Chapel Street and explore some of the recreational party drugs commonly used. The PARTI Project (Peer Advocacy Response Training Initiative) is a joint project between STAR Health and VAC. It was initially formed in response to the deaths and several hospitalisations due to drug overdose that occurred on Chapel Street in early 2017. The PARTI Project aims to work with...


Positive Voices Panel

In an age of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and understanding that an undetectable viral load means HIV is untransmittable (U=U) — what does it mean to be living with HIV in Australia today. This week Cal Hawk talks to Daniel and Anth (two members of Living Positive Victoria's Positive Speakers Bureau) about their experiences living with HIV for a "Positive Voices" episode. Whether you want more info about U=U, want a better understanding of HIV stigma, or what to hear from other members...



In the lead up to National Volunteer Week,Michael talks with Jack and Daniel from VAC about their respective roles as Partnerships Manager and Volunteer and Student Coordinator, and how they work to accommodate and recruit volunteers to assist with operations and events at VAC. We talk about the LOVE (LGBTI Organisation Volunteer Event) shining the light on volunteers that make up our LGBTI organisations, and how we all contribute! Looking to get involved as a volunteer? Head to...


Smoking in LGBT Communities

Adam and Renee chat with Dr Sarah White, Quit Victoria Director about smoking rates among LGBT populations.


Activism in the lead up to HIV in Australia (VAC Legacy Series)

As the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) nears its 35th birthday, Cal Hawk kicks off the series of episodes looking at how our LGBTIQ communities came together to respond to HIV and AIDS in Australia. Cal talks with longstanding LGBTI activists Phil Carswell, Alison Thorne, Chris Gill and VAC Director of Health Promotion, Policy and Communications Colin Batrouney to look at the landscape of LGBTI activism in the late 1970s and how that played an important role in the community's ability to...


Re-wired Therapeutic Group: Change Your Methamphetamine Use

This week on Well, Well, Well, Tex & Jessie explore methamphetamine use in the community and talk about the Re-wired Therapeutic Group run at VAC. Methamphetamine use seen in the gay community looks different for everyone and each individual may choose to address it differently. This week, we have guests Garth Parkhill and Mark from the Alcohol & Other Drugs Services Team to discuss the concept of addiction, substance misuse and the Re-wired Therapeutic Group. Re-wired Therapeutic Group is...


PrEP Approved for Australia’s PBS and Victoria’s Hep A Outbreak

On Friday 9 February 2018, Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefit Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) — making this game changing tool for HIV prevention accessible across Australia. Cal Hawk and Michael Whelan speak to Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) CEO Darryl O’Donnell to discuss what this means across for those seeking to access PrEP across the country. And after, they're joined in...


Sexual Assault and Beat Violence

This week on Well, Well, Well, Michael delves into beats, sex on premises venues, sexual assault and beat violence. Flying solo? Hardly. Along for the ride is Craig Bascand from the Sexually Adventurous Mens Project at VAC, Leading Senior Constable Gabby Tyacke, Melbourne's full-time GLLO LGBTI Liason officer, and Shane Gardener from Melbourne's sex on premises venues Wet on Wellington. Gabby and I talk about beat and cruising legalities, and the GLLO portfolio at large. Shane and I chat...


Australia’s Religious Freedom Review

This week on Well, Well, Well, Cal Hawk unpacks Australia's Religious Freedom Review with longstanding LGBTI community advocate Jamie Gardiner, Lee Carnie from the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) and Archdeacon of Albury and the Hume, Peter MacLeod-Miller. One week after the announcement of the outcome of the Marriage Equality Postal Survey in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the expert panel appointed to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right...


Family Violence and Sexual Assault

In this episode of VAC's Well, Well, Well our topic is family violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault, something that has been in the media a lot lately and is something that effects all of us, including the LGBTI community. this week, Renee speaks with: Jackson Fairchild - Manager of Counselling, Alcohol and other Drugs and Family Violence at VAC. MaryClare, Manager of QRespect, the LGBTIQ Family Violence service at Drummond Street Services - Queerspace Anthony, a Family...


Art In Health Promotion

This week, Michael and Jessie talk art as a tool in health promotion. If you're communicating a health message, it has to look good right!? We talk with Company of Men curator Damien Hinds and the Director of Health Promotion, Policy, and Communications at VAC, Colin Batrouney. We talk about lived experience of gay, bisexual, and queer men conveying health messages, and some of the early pioneers of incorporating art; such as music and photography in public health messaging as well as...



We're back! With the summer festival season in full swing, Cal chats with the SunSmart Manager Heather Walker about how you can look after your largest organ — your skin, and skin cancer. Together they discuss tanning and skin cancer in LGBTI communities, debug misconceptions about sun protection, and run through when there is cause for concern. Want to know what hours of the day you need to be concerned about sun protection? Download the SunSmart App for daily updates customised to your...