Long-standing AIDS Trust of Australia chief executive, Terry Trethowan, has stepped down after a decade in the job.

Trethowan left the AIDS Trust earlier this week. He told Sydney Star Observer yesterday he was moving to a different area but would not be drawn on the details.

Trethowan said he would still be involved with the HIV/AIDS sector but not in a full-time capacity.

It’s really a decision to take a different direction, he said.

Trethowan began HIV/AIDS work in the 1980s in Tasmania and is a former executive director of the Tasmanian AIDS Council.

As chief executive of the AIDS Trust, Trethowan has seen the organisation start work overseas and expand local events such as the long-running Sydney Food & Wine Fair.

This week the AIDS Trust announced it had distributed about $630,000 to the HIV cause in the past financial year, including about $250,000 to an orphanage for children affected by the epidemic in Cambodia.

At a Move for AIDS event last Thursday, the AIDS Trust received a surprise $250,000 donation from singer Elton John (see story page 3).

I think the Trust has grown in its profile and its scope. It’s moved beyond just funding projects in Australia, Trethowan said.

The Move event is a good example of the level of support there is, not only for the Trust but for the cause.

Trethowan said trying to increase the AIDS Trust’s profile in the presence of larger mainstream charities had been a key challenge of the past decade.

But he was confident support for the AIDS Trust and other HIV/AIDS organisations would continue.

We often say AIDS is off the agenda, but we’ve got to take some reassurance and encouragement from the wide range of people and organisations that stump up the money and support, he said.

I particularly thank the staff of the Trust.

AIDS Trust chair Robert Furley said a new chief executive had not yet been appointed because the organisation was reviewing its structure.

The AIDS Trust of Australia will be reviewing its operations over the next few months to ensure we are in good shape to deliver results as we enter our 20thyear of operations, Furley said.

In related news, Fergus Kibble has been appointed president of HIV/AIDS charity the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. Kibble was formerly BGF vice-president.

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