ACON has adopted new language in referring to the people who access its services, dropping “LGBTI” and instead referring to “people who are sexuality and gender diverse” in its new Strategic Plan looking forward to 2022.
“For many years, we have used the acronym LGBTI to talk about our work,” the Strategic Plan explains.
“We have received feedback from the people we work with and for, about the limitations of this term. In this new Strategic Plan, we will refer to people who are sexuality and gender diverse. We feel this term better reflects the people towards whom ACON services are targeted.”
“The identities of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not being erased – we will continue to use these terms in programs and services where relevant – we understand the importance of self-determined identities to those who have fought for and earned them.”
ACON also recognises that intersex is a different issue to sexuality and gender identity.
“Being intersex is distinct from being sexuality or gender diverse,” the Strategic Plan explains.
“Intersex is about sex characteristics, rather than legal sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. We will stand alongside intersex people as allies, affirming their right to self-determination and supporting the work of peer led intersex networks.
ACON’s Strategic Plan 2019-2022 maps the organisation’s direction for the next four years, setting out its purpose, vision, values and priorities.
It outlines key objectives for the organisation as it continues to strive to be a global leader in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders.
ACON President Dr Justin Koonin said of the Strategic Plan, “We are a fiercely proud community organisation. For our entire history, the work of ACON has been designed for and by our communities.”
“Our early years were defined by community uniting in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in NSW, and as we have grown, we have been proud to work with an increasingly diverse range of people and communities to ensure their voice and health needs are represented in the work we do.”
“ACON remains committed to ending HIV transmission for everyone in our communities, particularly focusing on the needs of those people for whom infection rates are not declining. We will continue to deliver campaigns and programs to eliminate new HIV transmissions, and to supporting people living with HIV to live healthy and connected lives.”
“ACON will continue its work in supporting our communities’ health and wellbeing in areas such as mental health, ageing, domestic and family violence, community safety and social inclusion.”
“Partnership is central to who we are and how we work, and we will build upon the close collaborations we already have with federal, state and local government agencies, other not-for-profit organisations and corporate Australia to improve outcomes for our communities.”
“The contexts in which our communities live, work and play are constantly changing, and we will work with people in the places that are important to their lives – increasingly in rural and regional areas, in workplaces, on sporting fields, and in many other settings.”
“Our new plan also increases our focus on sustainability and building a workplace that attracts and develops the best people. A strong workforce, and a connected community of volunteers, has been integral to our work over the last 35 years, and will remain at the centre of who we are.”
Dr Koonin said that the plan has been developed in consultation with community, staff and other stakeholders including funding bodies, service delivery partners and research organisations.
“We look forward to working with our communities, our partners and our allies over the life of the plan to deliver better health outcomes for our communities,” Dr Koonin said.
You can download the strategic plan here