Thanks for covering ACON’s recent Annual General Meeting (“ACON records deficit as it redraws approach” Star Observer 15/11/12). I would like to clarify some of the information contained in the story.
1) The $295,000 reported as a deficit this year relates primarily to funding ACON received in 2010/11 for projects that were delivered in 2011/12. This funding could not be counted as income this year because it had already been counted the previous year. It is a requirement of Australian Accounting Standards that not-for-profit organisations recognise grant revenue in the financial year it is received, even though in some instances the corresponding service delivery and associated expenses don’t occur until the subsequent year. The adjustment made each year to account for this standard ensures income is not double counted and the prior year adjustment is reversed against retained surplus.
2) ACON’s 2011/12 funding from the NSW Ministry of Health was not …cut by $1 million. The difference in income from 2010/11 to 2011/2012 was due to the receipt of special one-off funding to help ACON and other HIV-related community organisations relocate to new premises in Surry Hills.
3) ACON has not “shifted its HIV/AIDS campaign focus from being condom-based to a new strategy of explaining the degrees of risk in unprotected sex.” ACON still promotes condoms as the most effective way to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Our new campaign aims to educate gay men about the effectiveness of other risk reduction strategies which are being used by some gay men. The campaign can be viewed at www.knowtherisk.org.au.