Our history in the communities of Queensland can be traced back to November 1984. Around thirty individuals from the gay community held a meeting in a room of the Alliance Hotel, Brisbane. This meeting resulted in the birth of the Queensland AIDS Council and its creation coincided with the first AIDS Awareness week in April, 1985.
In late 1986 – prior to government funding became available – the Queensland AIDS Council sought support from all church groups in Brisbane, in order to aid growing community need. The Sisters of Mercy gave QuAC a little house behind the Mater Hospital in South Brisbane and supported QuAC in a range of financial and other ways for years. Some of the first money for the information and support for the organisation and its public work, came through the activities of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP Inc) which in 2021 celebrates 50 years of amazing history in Queensland.
Since that moment in time, QC has embedded HIV prevention programs and client services for people with HIV that are peer led and critical to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Out of that response, and because of the engagement of many other populations and groups within the organisation and its work, QC has extended its focus on an ongoing basis to meaningful include and grow services for all of our communities who see themselves, and need to find services and supports.
We work across the lifespan, from Maternal Health to services for those Older People living within our communities and today, we strive to create an authentic place for a Whole of Community approach to achieving our Mission and our Goals.
The years from 2005 onwards were a period of transition and revitalisation for QC (then known as QuAC). Changes in HIV medication, coupled with the outsourcing of healthcare for positive people meant that the traditional role of the oganisation evolved in order to continue making a contribution to LGBTI communities whose needs had shifted considerably. In 2006, the organisation changed its name to the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) which it kept for more than 8 years.
As part of this evolution over this time, our role expanded to encompass broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, and from 2013 intersex health. In 2013, those members who remained with the organisation after a tumultuous year, voted overwhelmingly to return to their former name of the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC), in a bid to align with its broader national network, refocus the organisation, and salute its past.
And it is important in this moment of our history, to remember that along with extreme courage and pride, there is sadness attached to the history of QC.
Along with the old and wise, many young and promising lives have been lost. Not only to illness and the challenges associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but also to systems and structures that have continued to perpetuate discrimination, stigma, racism, homophobia, transphobia and have continued to remove the right to bodily autonomy for many within our communities. The ripple effect of that is ongoing. Our role remains clear.
To be a voice for our communities in Queensland, to provide relevant, innovative and quality services for members of our communities, and to work alongside our colleagues in Government services to ensure that our communities receive the services that they need, when they need them, in a respectful way, no matter where they are.
Much has changed for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Sistergirl and Brotherboy Queenslanders over the past 35 years. We are a stronger and louder community. We have been required time and time again to prove our strength and our resilience in the face of endless battles for our loves, our lives, our bodies and our identities. QC remains committed to continuing this work - led by you our communities, owned by your expertise, your commitment and your knowledge, and alongside you as partners and Champions of Change for our collective futures.