Positive Speakers Bureau

The Positive Speakers Bureau members are the human face of HIV and help to reduce fear, myths, stigma, and discrimination and to more fully understand the realities of living with HIV. The Positive Speakers Bureau is run by and for HIV positive people who are highly trained public speakers and presenters.

Speaker’s tailor their presentations in response to each request and in accordance with their subject matter knowledge and experience. Our speaker’s primary aim is to talk about their personal experiences of living with HIV. However topics such as homophobia, sexuality, social justice, and equity of healthcare access are commonly discussed alongside HIV and STI prevention and the promotion of safer sexual behaviours.

All speakers attend formal training workshops and are provided with comprehensive skills development. Areas of training include:

  • Frameworks for public speaking, effective communication and adult learning techniques
  • STI and HIV courses including international and national epidemiology
  • HIV & mental health well being
  • Individual coaching
  • Media coaching, digital multimedia and presentation training.

And talks are informed by:

  • The Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • The State and National HIV & AIDS and STI Strategies
  • Latrobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society
  • The Ottawa and Bangkok Charters of Health Promotion
  • The UNAIDS GIPA Principle – The Greater involvement of People living with HIV and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Where do our speakers talk?

Speakers are asked to present to groups big and small at universities, hospitals, NGO’s, community, training and corporate organisations. Rural and regional schools are a particular focus for the Bureau. Rural talks are at no cost to schools thanks to grants provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our secondary school speakers present on HIV and sexual health along with their personal narratives in accordance with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and the Catching Online sexuality education curriculum tool.

The majority of speaking engagements are for 60, 75 or 90 minutes duration including a question and answer session. Most presentations are with two speaker’s dependent upon the size of the groups. Dual presentations with a male and female speaker provide significant benefits to audiences delivering different gender perspectives, stories and experiences.

In 2015 -2016 our speakers presented to a total of 9242 people. Male speakers delivered 96 personal narratives and female speakers delivered 50 as part of 107 dual and 82 single presentations. This includes:

  • 24 Metropolitan Secondary schools
  • 23 rural secondary schools
  • 12 University talks
  • 24 talks at Victoria Police Training Academy Community Encounters sessions
  • 17 talks to VAC Peer education and volunteer programs.

Living Positive Victoria works in collaboration with Positive Women Victoria and the Straight Arrows program to reflect the different impacts of HIV on gender and sexuality of PLHIV in Victoria.