Thorne Harbour Health has announced the purchase of a new location on Hoddle Street in Abbotsford during its annual general meeting over the weekend.

The announcement was included in the organisation’s 2017/2018 annual report For the Future, which captured LGBTI communities in Melbourne and their hopes for the future, as well as the new 200 Hoddle Street address.

While Thorne Harbour Health is still set to be a tenant in the impending Pride Centre in St Kilda, the centre won’t be big enough to house all of the staff, allowing the new Abbotsford site to provide a complementary north side space.

The organisation has yet to work out exactly how the services and staff will be split between the two locations.

President Chad Hughes highlighted the organisation’s pre-existing sites – which will remain in addition to the Pride Centre and Hoddle – including Equinox and PRONTO! Rapid HIV Testing, which are currently running at maximum capacity.

“We’re a growing organisation with sites across Victoria and South Australia now,” he said.

“And we’re looking forward to having services and staff in the Victoria Pride Centre.

“The recent purchase of 200 Hoddle Street means that we’ll have another location to serve our LGBTI communities for the future.”

The Victorian Pride Centre board welcomed the announcement by Thorne Harbour Health to set up north side and south side operations. 

Chair of the Pride Centre board, Jude Munro AO, said she was delighted Thorne Harbour Health’s services would be accessible at the impending Pride Centre.

“Thorne Harbour Health will be based on the third floor of the Victorian Pride Centre building,” she said.

“Thorne Harbour Health will not be an equity partner in the Victorian Pride Centre, but we’re excited that the growth in LGBTI health will see services delivering localised options for our community.

“There is a silver lining for us in that Thorne Harbour Health’s decision will free-up additional space for other LGBTI community organisations and ventures.

“This decision provides certainty as we proceed to build the Pride Centre. Our long term, low cost loan facilities with Treasury Corporation Victoria and Bank Australia will be underpinned by lease arrangements with Thorne Harbour Health, and commercial tenancies, including some LGBTI businesses.”

Recipients of this year’s Life Membership at Thorne Harbour Health’s annual general meeting included longstanding HIV advocate Paul Kidd and Maureen O’Brien, the organisation’s founding clinic nurse who worked tirelessly with the community through the height of the epidemic.

Other 2018 Thorne Harbour Health Awards that were presented included:

  • President’s Award to David Owen for his longstanding volunteer services as a solicitor and a member of the organisation’s Investments Committee
  • Greig Friday Young Leader Award to LGBTI community advocate Lee Carnie from the Human Rights Law Centre
  • Media Award to LGBTI regional radio presenter Max Primer

As well as Special Services Awards to:

  • Professor Jenny Hoy – longstanding HIV clinician and researcher
  • Virginia Cummins – health promotion campaign photographer
  • Herbert Smith Freehills Lawyers
  • Nic Holas – PLHIV advocate and founder of The Institute of Many (TIM)

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