qahclogoTHE Queensland Association for Healthy Communities will soon be returning to their former name of the Queensland AIDS Council following an annual general meeting held last week.

The name change back to that which originated during the HIV/ AIDS outbreak in Australia in 1984 has been heralded as a means to “refocus the organisation, align with its broader national network, salute its past and reflect a new leadership era.”

The vote to revert back to its original name followed an overwhelming vote in favour by attending members of the organisation during their AGM.

“This proposed change, made in our thirtieth anniversary year, recognises the trailblazing efforts made by our community to respond to the epidemic in those early days.” QAHC President Joanne Leamy said.

“It also demonstrates that while we respect the past we remain focussed on the future.”

However, several detractors on social media have claimed the move was an attempt by the organisation to re-establish a relationship with the Queensland Health Ministry, which stopped funding QAHC in 2012 because it claimed it had become “too political”.

Executive director John Mikelsons has denied this.

“Despite comments by some to the contrary, this change was about us, not someone else. We need to be relevant, and talk about ourselves in a way that is relevant to our community and the broader public,” he said.

“That was the driver for the change, not some potential improvement in the relationship with one stakeholder. Relationships with stakeholders are built by our engagement and approach, not a change of name.”

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