Living Positive Victoria’s Positive Community Awards 2014 – drum roll please

Positive Community 2014 Awards

The Positive Community Awards are an opportunity for Living Positive Victoria and our community to recognise and celebrate the outstanding service, practice and support of individuals, groups and organisations.

Together our efforts advance the human rights and wellbeing of people living with HIV and empower all people affected by HIV to be part of the response that seeks to end the epidemic. Continue reading

Strengthening Positive Voices in Victoria, note from the President, Ian Muchamore


Strengthening Positive Voices in Victoria (pictured, Ian Muchamore photo by Andrew Henshaw)

Living Positive Victoria is committed to being a model community-led organisation, that represents and supports all people living with HIV in Victoria, irrespective of their background.

The Board of Living Positive Victoria consists of community volunteers and together we provide governance oversight, strategic advice and leadership.

Living Positive Victoria Board Directors are elected by their peers, full members of the organisation. Currently there are four positions open for nomination and election and each Director will have a two-year term.

Our current Board is probably more diverse in its background than it has ever been yet we also share a commitment to work constructively and to continuously build our skills and improve how we function.

We are now in the first year of a four year Strategic Plan which is intended to direct the development of organisation so that it is a strong and representative voice for people living with HIV.

This Plan focuses attention and actions on supporting our community’s physical health and mental wellbeing, on advocating successfully for good health policies, justice and human rights and on having a sustainable future underpinned by strong governance and community engagement.

Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic much has changed and the Board has identified several risks and opportunities for the HIV community sector. We believe it is appropriate to be open and transparent about the challenges the sector faces in the short and medium term and also to engage with members in how we address these so that people living with HIV get the best possible outcomes.

Positive partnerships and collaboration are central to this best practice governance approach and we have been taking several steps to review and strengthen organisational relationships.

Strengthening Positive Voices in Victoria is about looking deeply at the opportunities to restructure the operational and governance arrangements for the three positive organisations (Straight Arrows, Positive Women Victoria and Living Positive Victoria) which are now co-located at Coventry House in South Melbourne.

The discussions were initiated by our partner Straight Arrows and a three-way conversation across all three organisations has been encouraged with support from the Department of Health.

The management and chairs of the three positive organisations have now met several times in recent months to develop key evaluation criteria which it is expected that any changes would deliver. These include a commitment to diversity whilst protecting unique identities, enabling wider member involvement, creating efficient peer support models, strengthening governance and compliance capacities and increasing and diversifying financial sustainability.

Last month we also invited in a small number of PLHIV with past experience and background in management and governance to discuss our latest thinking (LINK).  Whilst the feedback and discussions so far have been very productive and positive there haven also been several suggestions for improvements and modifications.

So what happens next?

It is important to emphasise that no option has been finalised or approved at this point and much wider community engagement with our members will be required before a final decision can be taken and implemented.

Based on the input and discussions we have had so far the Board of Living Positive Victoria will next consider what option it recommends to members. Our positive partners organisations at Coventry House will also consider their positions. Any proposal for significant governance change will require further legal advice and member support and expect this to take several months.

Notes_Workshop for members_1Sept14