ACON’s CEO, Nicolas Parkhill, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to community health, especially those living with HIV.

The honour was also bestowed upon Parkhill for the delivery of healthcare. He has been working in this field for over 30 years.

During this time, he has been a strong advocate for LGBTQI communities and their health. He has also advocated for the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV.

‘I am Deeply Humbled by this Honour’

“I am deeply humbled by this honour,” Parkhill said. “Working to end HIV transmissions and improve health outcomes for HIV positive and LGBTQ people has been a great passion and privilege.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to do this work alongside some extraordinary mentors, colleagues and volunteers, and this honour is a reflection on their tenacity, spirit, sense of community, expertise and sense of purpose and justice.

“I am incredibly grateful to them all, and for our works to be recognised in such a way.”

Parkhill is a leader in the HIV sector both nationally and internationally and has been ACON’s CEO since 2009.

Established Australia’s First Community-Based Rapid HIV Testing Service

In recent years, he has helped with reducing the amount of HIV cases in New South Wales by establishing Australia’s first community-based rapid HIV testing service as well as setting up the multi-award winning and internationally recognised educational campaign, “Ending HIV.”

He has also aided the rollout of the HIV prevention medication, PrEP, in NSW and encouraged HIV-positive people who have not sought treatment to manage their health, to do so.

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation’s (AFAO) president, Mark Orr, thanked Parkhill for his “continued service to HIV and LGBTQ health” and congratulated him on receiving the “prestigious honour.”

“The diverse communities ACON and AFAO serve and support are stronger and more resilient thanks to the tireless efforts of people like Nicolas,” Orr said.

Among Parkhill’s other achievements are focusing on the health of LGBTQI women, culturally and linguistically diverse people, and the trans and gender diverse communities.

“ACON commends Nicolas on this well-deserved recognition of his decades-long work in HIV, public and community health,” ACON President Justin Koonin said.

“His community leadership has been an extremely important factor in driving HIV transmission rates in NSW down to the lowest levels seen since records began in 1985, and have helped make NSW a global leader in efforts to end HIV transmission.”

Koonin also said Parkhill is an “inspiration to many in the HIV sector and wider LGBTQ communities.”

Before joining ACON, Parkhill held senior management and policy roles at NSW Health and the NSW Cabinet Office. He is also a former board member of ACON, the AFAO and the Asia-Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health.

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