Overview of issue
Currently the WA AIDS Council (WAAC) has a politically appointed openly HIV Positive representative from the community on its Board of Governance. Some people with HIV are advocating that the openly HIV Positive representative from the community should instead be directly elected by the WAAC membership at its regular AGM. Others wish the election process to be even broader.
The current political appointment of the openly HIV Positive representative from the community by the Board (i.e Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary), could, it appears, be easily corrupted and result in an appointment that is easily perceived as blatant cronyism. As of writing (5-8-2013) there is no clear nomination process, selection criteria, or community accountability written into the constitution of WAAC for the openly HIV Positive representative from the community.
There would seem to be an opportunity here for the WAAC Board to improve the process of appointing its openly HIV Positive representative from the community and improve the meaningful engagement and empowerment of people with HIV in WA
What is Next?
-Working group have now met in Jan, March and the next date is to be confirmed in April 2014
-Working Sub Committee of the WAAC Board (Sep 2013) to be formed with the aim of
1) to progress the necessary constitutional changes so that WAAC members could directly elect the Openly Positive Rep on the WAAC Board and
2) Explore further and improve how people with HIV can meaningfully engage with the WAAC Board.
Advocates are encouraged to become members of WAAC (by Monday the 19th August 2013), and attend the WAAC AGM scheduled for Thursday 25th September 7.00pm to voice your concern and desire to have the process improved.
A discussion brief has been prepared to assist in framing the discussion at the WAAC AGM.
W.A. AIDS Council Board -The Value of Increasing Democracy- Discussion Brief by PositiveAdvocate
Results of advocacy so far
– March 1st -2014 Working group (HIV+Liaison Group@ WAAC) A Board shift described which included a Board member discussion paper, positive signals given, including an expectation of a WAAC Board position by the 30th June.
– Jan 18-2014 Working group (HIV+Liaison Group@ WAAC) Strong discussions clarifications reinforced, misunderstandings explored
-People with HIV attended WAAC AGM Sep 2013, discussion ensued, WAAC Board commitment made.
-Discussion paper written and circulated to all WAAC members
-Written request for item to be placed on the WAAC AGM agenda.
-Articles written and reported in Out in Perth.
-HIV Caucus formed to progress change.
Placed on the agenda of the HIV Community Forum.
Letter to the Board.
Petition for change.
-HIV Caucus members have been actively engaging with WAAC Board working group to advance position.
-Thursday 26th September WAAC AGM, HIV Caucus members attended the meeting and expressed their opinion and spoke to the discussion paper. The discussion closed with a commitment by the WAAC Board that committee would be formed with two aims in mind 1) to progress the necessary constitutional changes so that WAAC members could directly elect the Openly Positive Rep on the WAAC Board and 2) Explore further and improve how people with HIV can meaningfully engage with the WAAC Board.
Time: July 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm
IP Address: 220.127.116.1118.104.22.168
Name: Neil Buckley
Comments, suggestions and requests: hi Cripi
Made a couple changes could you Publish this one ..
Artical Published in August Issue of Out In Perth.
AIDS Council Positive Board Position.
A new group, The HIV Caucus, is calling on the WA AIDS Council to change its process for having a HIV positive person on the board of their organisation. Currently the position is appointed by the board, but the group is calling for the position to be elected from the Positive community.
A spokesperson for the HIV Caucus told OUTinPerth,
“We believe the position should be democratically elected by the Positive Community and not appointed by the board only. The representative and the position need to be accountable to the community in some way.”
The group argues that HIV positive people need a better way to communicate with the person on the board who is supposed to represent their interests.
“We should be able to contact our representative and have they should advocate on our behalf. They are not required to do any of this under the current job description as it stands now.”
The group have requested the issue to be discussed at the upcoming WAAC Annual General Meeting. The group is encouraging members of the organisation who cannot attend the AGM, but care about the issue, to consider lodging a proxy vote with the group. The group is also calling for the Chair of the WA AIDS Council, Samantha Dowling to declare her position on the issue ahead of the AGM, so that members giving proxy votes are aware of her position.
The HIV Caucus can be contacted through their Facebook group -PLHIV Community Forum WA.
If you cant attend the AIDS Council AGM but would like to give your proxy vote to a Caucus Member who is attending the AGM in support please email the Moderator of PLHIV COMMUNITY FOURMS PERTH Facebook Group for details.
If you have concern about confidentially using this Facebook Page you can also give your Proxy Vote to The Chairperson of The AIDS Council and advise the Chair in writing that your proxy vote be used to support any motions in support of this issue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will publish the Aids Council Response to above article when it becomes available.
The PLHIV Community Forums Have also written to the Aids Council about this issue and you can ask for the Aids Council response By contacting The NAPWH REP’s at email@example.com
Name: Neil Buckley Email: New.firstname.lastname@example.org Comment or details of advocacy or event: Below is a copy of letter which I have sent to the Board of the AIDS Council about the Poz Person Position .... Some people have raised concern about this up front approach to changing this position ...all I can say is the Community has been Talking about this for long enough and saying they want it changed but nothing has happened .the First thing to do is ask ??? Well you can only ask WACC can say no ...lol.. Dear Board of Aids Council Of WA. I would like to make a formal request that the Board please look at revising the Position of the Positive Person Reparative on The Board. I am asking could the Reparative be elected annually by Positive people to this position . That the Position be given more authority to advocate on behalf of Positive people . That the Position description of the role be made more accountable back to the Positive Community. If the board dose not want to change this as requested ,I would like to have this issue place on the agenda for the next Aids Council AGM for the membership to vote on or an Extraordinary Board Meeting to called of the Membership to decided. I would like to present your Formal reply to the First NAPWA Meeting which is to be held at the end of this year for discussion by the Positive community. I would be happy to work with the AiDS Council thought the NAPWA Meetings if the Position was to be redefined Could you please acknowledgment that this Formal Request has been received by the Board and is on the agenda for this Months next Board meeting , My previous request about this issue to the AIdS Council asking to meet with the Chairperson with a group of Positive People to to talk about this first was un answered.. I would like to add that the Current Positive Person on the board has done a good job and this is no reflection on him , I believe the position should be elected by Peers. Your Sincerely Neil Buckley The Most Blessed Vexatious Mother Gretta Amyellta of the Holy Vapors Advocacy Topic: Positive Rep on WAAC Board Time: Friday November 9, 2012 at 7:35 am Time: Wednesday November 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm Name: Neil Buckley Email: email@example.com Advocacy Topic: Positive Rep on WAAC Board Comment or details of advocacy or event: We have a meeting with the new CEO of WAAC next Week. Myself and several other members of the Poz community will be discussing the Positive Person Position on the WAAC Board. WE are also presenting a Formal Letter to the Board of WAAC asking that WAAC Have this position elected by positive community, and that the role be given some authority to advocate and accountability to the Positive Community which it dose not have now, if the WAAC Board dose declines to change the position We are asking the Board to put it to the WAAC Membership at there next AGM. IF you would like to sign the letter to the board please contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org . We are asking for a response so from WAAC so the letter can be tabled at the first Local WA Forum for NAPWA for the community to discuss and take action if needed. Would also be happy to hear comments and can attached them to the letter to the WAAC Board. This position must be elected by Positive People as it is our rep.