LPV CEO Richard Keane awarded life membership of Thorne Harbour Health

At the 2023 Thorne Harbour Health (THH) Annual General Meeting on Sunday 12 November, LPV CEO Richard Keane was awarded life membership of the organisation in recognition of his longstanding commitment to supporting people living with HIV.

In response to receiving this award, Richard said that “it’s not often I am genuinely surprised or caught off guard, but that was truly the case at the THH AGM this year. My heartfelt thanks to the board of directors of THH, and particularly Vice President Paul Kidd, for providing me with the great honour of life membership in their 40th year.

To join such an amazing group of individuals who paved the way for so many of us is something I hold very dear. I reflect on those who are no longer here and their contributions that continue to inspire and drive my involvement in both HIV and LGBTIQ+ communities.

Following my diagnosis back in 1989, seven years prior to effective treatments, Thorne Harbour Health (then Victorian AIDS Council) played a crucial role in connecting people to community support and provided opportunities to engage in the development of the community response many take for granted in 2023.

For me, it was participation in the six-week peer support group, followed by facilitation training and co-facilitation of the same six-week program for other people living with HIV and AIDS.

After building my capacity I began involvement in one-on-one engagements with newly-diagnosed young people under 25. In those days, my phone number would be given out and when called I would set up at meeting at a local café to have a coffee and a chat and work out their situation and what supports might be appropriate and convey this information back to team leaders to ensure our interventions were peer-led, safe and appropriate. It was aligned, even back then, to the models that have evolved into peer navigation as we know it today.

The Positive Living Centre in Acland street St Kilda became almost like a second home to many of us providing a safe space to access support, information and develop strategies for living well, oh, and some kiss-ass activism

My engagement with Thorne Harbour Health remains foundational to the work I do today in my role as CEO of Living Positive Victoria. Usually I’m so busy and focused on the challenges ahead, that I often miss the opportunity to stop, reflect and celebrate any personal contribution or success. I am really proud and grateful that this award has provided me an opportunity to do so.”

Read more about THH AGM award recipients

 

Living Positive Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.