Aboriginal People


We’re here to help improve the health of LGBTQ+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Sistergirls, Brotherboys, trans mob and living with HIV.

Our Work With Aboriginal People

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We’re here to help improve the sexual health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, sistergirl/transgender or living with HIV. We do this by providing culturally sensitive HIV and sexual health education, including:

  • HIV and STI education campaigns targeting Aboriginal people including our Aboriginal gay men’s HIV testing campaign
  • Arts-based community development activities in partnership with Aboriginal Community organisations
  • Outreach at selected community events such as NAIDOC Week events
  • Partnership activities with Aboriginal health organisation such as the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW
  • Support for NSW Aboriginal Sexual Health Workers

For more information, please contact us here, via (02) 9206 2024 or our Facebook page.

Cancer

We’re here to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people take steps to prevent their risk of cancer and find support after diagnosis and treatment.

To find out more please visit the ‘Cancer’ section on our website or visit ACON’s Can We website.

HIV in the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population Paper

In 2019 we launched a policy paper to highlight the challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in relation to HIV and sexual health. Titled HIV in the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the paper outlines key issues and sets out recommendations to improve health outcomes.

You can downloaded the paper here.

Community Outreach

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We get out and about as much as possible to relevant community events, especially those where we can have contact with gay men, sistergirls and people with HIV. We aim wherever possible to partner with Aboriginal community organisations to do this. Our community outreach activities include:

  • Gadigal Information Service’s Mardi Gras season Klub Koori
  • Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative’s Mardi Gras season show
  • World AIDS Day events at the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern

If you have an idea for outreach or would like to volunteer to help, please contact us here or via (02) 9206 2024.

Performance and Creative Arts

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First Australians and Mardi Gras

Each year we help organise the First Nations float in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Participants gather at two community meetings to work together to design the parade entry, developing new skills and creating activities the whole community can enjoy.

This culminates in the Mardi Gras Parade, raising awareness and visibility of sexual and gender diversity in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Planning for the performance and creative arts program begins in October. For more information or to get involved, please contact us: jstrang@acon.org.au | (02) 9206 2042

Creative Arts Workshops

From time to time we also offer activities such as music or photography as a way for community members to express themselves, tell stories, learn new skills, meet new people and celebrate culture.

If you have any suggestions for activities, or would like to register your interest, please contact us here or via (02) 9206 2024.

Stay in Touch

We communicate regularly with the community via our Facebook page. Please like our page to stay in touch with all our events and news about our services.

For more information, you can also contact us here or via (02) 9206 2024.

‘Us Mob and HIV’ Resource

Us Mob and HIV (4th edition) is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It contains information that deals with both men’s and women’s business.

It was produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) in partnership with the Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA). The first two editions of this booklet were known as ‘HIV/AIDS and Us Mob’.

You can read Us Mob and HIV here.

Better to Know

‘Better to Know’ is a sexual health website for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including information on STIs, the ability to search for local clinics and AMSs for testing, a partner notification service and a testing reminder service.

The site has been produced by the Anwernekenhe National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

Access the site here

ACON Reconciliation Action Plans

ACON is proud to continue walking the national reconciliation journey with the release of the second iteration of its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The Innovate RAP 2023-2025 adds to our organisation’s ongoing commitment to ensuring First Nations people of diverse genders and sexualities can live their healthiest lives, as well as celebrate the longest living culture on Earth, acknowledge history, build closer relationships, and to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The development of the second Innovate RAP was overseen by ACON’s Reconciliation Working Group, the organisation’s internal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory committee made up of staff and community representatives.

Access a public copy of ACON’s Innovate RAP 2023-2025 as a PDF here.

ACON’s Innovate RAP 2023-2025 artwork was created by Wiradjuri and Birpai man Wayde Clarke, and is titled ‘Rainbow Pride, Rainbow Strong’.

ACON launched its first RAP in 2018, committing ACON to create a strategic, collaborative, and whole-of-organisation approach to its work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Across each of ACON’s RAPs, the organisation has worked with Reconciliation Australia to develop a formal framework to ensure its work supports the national reconciliation movement.

With the implementation of its second Innovate RAP, ACON will continue to foster a more strategic, collaborative and whole of organisation approach to our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

If you have any feedback or would like to join the RAP Working Group, please fill out this short form or contact RAP@acon.org.au

ACON acknowledges and pays respects to the traditional custodians of all the lands on which we work. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Keep updated with our RAP e-news. Sign up here:


ACON’s Statement on its First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project and Our Pathway Forward Following the Referendum

ACON has released a statement announcing the beginning of its First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project as a pathway forward, towards reconciliation, following the outcome of the referendum on a Voice to parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

This new project is designed to instil a culture of meaningful listening within our organisation, in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities feel their voices are being heard, and that their needs are being prioritised. 

Throughout this year’s National Reconciliation Week, ACON will be taking time to meaningfully consider our role in the process of reconciliation, and the actions we need to take, to further this objective. We know that reconciliation can only proceed when we are ready to accept the truth of our history. Our First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project will help us to clearly identify ACON’s ongoing role working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of diverse sexualities and genders to achieve better health outcomes for these communities. 

Download our full statement here.

Read about our Listening and Truth Telling Project here to submit an expression of interest in working with ACON as a consultant to drive this work forward. 

ACON’s First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project

ACON’s First Nations Listening and Truth Telling Project seeks to strengthen dialogue, promote collaboration, and inform the development of ACON’s programs and services for LGBTQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in NSW.  

The aim is for ACON to conduct, and participate in, a community listening and truth telling process across NSW to better inform ACON of the health needs and priorities of LGBTQ+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so we can better serve these communities. The outcomes of the project will inform decisions about appropriate governance structures to strengthen strategic directions in the delivery of programs and services for LGBTQ+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the state. 

“ACON is currently seeking a consultant with experience (lived and professional) in working with LGBTQ+SB First Nations communities to lead this project.

Description of the tender for consultants interested in the Project: 

The project will consist of two separate phases, and applicants are invited to submit an EOI for one, or both phases, depending on their professional and lived experience: 

Phase 1 will involve the conducting of a listening and truth telling process designed to enable meaningful listening, including the convening and hosting of community meetings across NSW, aimed at improving ACON’s understanding of the key health priorities of LGBTQ+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including any who may be living with HIV.  

Phase 2 will include the hosting of strategic meetings across the sector with experts, researchers, funders, and other relevant stakeholders aimed at engaging ACON, and the sector more broadly, with the issues raised in the initial phase, and facilitating discussion on strategies to address them. 

ACON welcomes any interested applicant to propose a unique approach to the process of each phase, as we understand the journey through a listening and truth telling process must be driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design. We welcome innovative approaches, and we encourage interested applicants to engage with us to discuss their ideas. 

How to apply: 

If you are a prospective applicant, please first register your potential interest by sending an email to policy@acon.org.au to briefly introduce yourself to us, regardless of whether you go on to submit a full expression of interest or not, by Monday 8 July 2024. Include a brief overview of your experience. We want to know who you are, even if you don’t end up putting in and EOI. 
Then, when you’re ready to submit a completed expression of interest, follow the instructions here and submit all documents to policy@acon.org.au.  
The deadline for submitting a completed expression of interest is COB Monday 5 August 2024.

ACON’s approach to the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

ACON has released its approach to the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

This approach is informed by consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of ACON’s Reconciliation Action Plan working group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ACON staff, and is guided by our firm belief in First Nations’ self-determination and that First Nations people’s voices and truths should inform all Australian policy that affects them.

The approach outlines our commitments to First Nations LGBTQ+ communities, now, and ongoing after the referendum. 

Download the Approach document here

General Support & Services

HIV Prevention

We’re here to help end HIV transmission among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, sistergirl or transgender. To find out more please visit our HIV Prevention section.

HIV Support

We’re here to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with HIV take control of their health by providing up-to-date information as well as a range of programs and services. To find out more please visit our HIV Support section.

Sexual Health and Cervical Screening

Our sexual health programs for gay and bisexual men are inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have sex with men.  To find out more please visit our Sexual Health section.

Our sexual health programs for lesbian, bisexual and queer women are inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have sex with women.  To find out more please visit our Sexual Health section.

We offer cervical screening programs for Aboriginal lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. To find out more please visit our Sexual Health section.

Aboriginal people who identify as heterosexual are encouraged to contact their local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service or their local sexual health centre  for information about sexual health.

Mental Health

We provide a range of counselling  and community care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including those with HIV or who use drugs. To find out more please visit our Mental Health section.

Alcohol & Drugs

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who use alcohol and other drugs. To find out more please visit our Alcohol & Drugs section.

Safety & Inclusion

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are experiencing homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination. To find out more please visit our Safety & Inclusion section.

Domestic & Family Violence

We provide a range of resources and support services to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. To find out more please visit our Domestic & Family Violence section.

Ageing

We provide a range of resources and support services for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (50+). To find out more please visit our Ageing section.