Lucy Blake's Weblog

January 16, 2011, 2:05 am
Filed under: australian escort, lucy blake, sydney escort | Tags: ,

Hello especially to all the sex workers and sex worker activists of NSW out there 😉

I have news! This should be exciting news to anyone who has been lobbying, working and fighting for SWOP’s devolution from ACON.

For anyone who doesn’t know, SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project) is a branch of ACON.

Finalllllllly the gay community has stepped in and is calling for ACON’s funding to be taken back and handled by NSW Health. If we are REALLY lucky, maybe the media article below will FINALLY give ACON the wake up call they need. I don’t think they’ll change their service immediately because I don’t think they think there is a problem. Of course NSW Health won’t take back the funding, but with more people now joining the fight who don’t rant like I do (lol), maybe, just maybe this year will be a new and exciting year for NSW’s sex worker organisation.


Row over HIV health cash


Eamonn Duff

January 16, 2011


Gary Burns.Gary Burns. 

A BITTER row has erupted in Sydney’s gay community after a group of prominent activists accused the state’s leading homosexual health service of squandering millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money.

Gay rights campaigner Gary Burns, HIV lobbyist Shayne Chester and journalist Peter Hackney have demanded the state government “demolish” ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW.

The trio alleged the service, which specialises in HIV prevention, care and support, received $12.6 million in government funding last year but spent only $800,000 on programs and services. In a scathing attack, the group dubbed the organisation a “gravy train” and called on Premier Kristina Keneally to hand back ACON’s work to NSW Health.

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Nicolas Parkhill.Nicolas Parkhill. 

“ACON holds nebulous conferences, seminars, workshops, initiatives, meetings, information sessions and awards nights with disturbing regularity,” Mr Hackney said.

“They are all catered for, with smoked salmon, ham and avocado, freshly squeezed orange juice and even champagne – and we all know who’s paying for it.”

Mr Chester said NSW had had high rates of HIV infection for more than a decade, and this was compounded by an increase in unprotected casual sex among gay men.

“Why is this happening?” he asked. “Because ACON, which is chartered with HIV education and prevention, is failing us.”

ACON’s annual report for last year shows it spent about 60 per cent of its budget on salaries and a further $882,000 on administrative costs. An additional $500,000 was spent on “travel and representation”.

ACON chief executive Nicolas Parkhill defended his organisation and called the activist group members “three serial complainants who sit on the fringes of the gay community blowing their own trumpet”.

“ACON employs 115 staff to deliver programs and services across NSW and benchmarks its salaries against similar organisations,” he said.

“We’re also a pioneer of programs addressing broader health issues, such as mental health and drug and alcohol issues, which can impact on vulnerability to HIV.”

In NSW cases involving HIV infection peaked in the mid-1980s, with 1636 diagnoses reported in 1987. Since then rates have dropped dramatically, with 327 new cases recorded in 2009, although that is a slight increase from 323 in 2008.

A NSW Health spokeswoman said the government had been involved with ACON since 1985. “Their work has contributed to these improved outcomes,” she said.

She said ACON had consistently met its annual financial and performance requirements and would receive a further $9.7 million in the coming year to provide services priority groups including gay men, sex workers, Aboriginal communities and people living with HIV.

Let’s see you dismiss them – oh and just a hint… you’ll have to do better than they’re a bunch of lone fringe dwellers, although I know it’s the standard line used on sex workers all the time!




9 Comments so far
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Comment by shayne chester

Thank you so much for posting this YouTube Shane!

I have a friend who was at SWOP today who overheard an ACON staff member saying to what I call a peer but they call “clients” some very inaccurate and judgmental information.

Doesn’t matter if you’re in the main building or one of the branches – none of them know wtf they’re on about and the sad thing is, it’s probably safer if all they do do is sit in their offices staring at untouched paper work the cleaner reported.

Please feel free to send me an email or post more media like the one you have a above on any of my blogs. I’m going to do something BIG very soon re: the A-CON issue.

Yours in solidarity,


Comment by Lucy Blake

Having spent years telling anyone who would listen that ACON was not accountable and just A-CON I am thrilled some responsible people have finally realised this. This is my personal view and nothing to do with the organization I headed for so long. As for the lady from health who supported ACON that won’t change. Disband them, I doubt it, that would mean admitting health had also allowed misuse of funds, they are so in bed together. Ther is a huge amount of people belief this but fear a back lash from ACON. Scary isn’t it

Comment by Pat Kennedy

Andrew, what on EARTH gives you the idea that anyone with half a brain is fooled by lies such as “most of the work is done by salaried staff”?

The world and his Chihuahua knows that most of ACON’’s work is done by teams of wide-eyed volunteers, whilst the salaried staff sit back with their champers and canapés (those that actually Deign to turn up to clock on occasionally, that is).

I think most people’s issue with ACON is less about admin costs per se than that ACON is just that: A CON.

Oh sure, it’s taken the average queer IQ many a long moon to see this reality through the glare of the mirror ball, but even our dumbest wise up to the blatantly obvious eventually.

Comment by Andrew Brougham

Andrew you annonymous little person.
Which member of Gay Inc are you ?
My motives lie with using public money responsibly.
ACON will be disbanded because Gary Burns is just like herpes as he wont go away 🙂

Comment by Gary Burns

Hahahaa I’m almost going to make you an honorary hooker for your last line and dry sense of reality!


I really appreciate the time you’re taking to comment Gary 🙂

Comment by Lucy Blake

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NAUWU. NAUWU said: RT @GeorgiaFrench: ACON / SWOP WELCOME TO THE DAYS OF ACCOUNTABILITY! […]

Pingback by Tweets that mention ACON / SWOP WELCOME TO THE DAYS OF ACCOUNTABILITY! « Lucy Blake's Weblog --

We should organise a rally outside ACON’s premises.
We should get the media to come along and bring attention to ACON’s dubious goings on.
Make ACON an election issue.
I have put this question to Peter Hackney & Shayne Chester.
If the rally does go ahead you can come along with your friends.
The squeaky wheels always get the oil.
cheers Gary Burns.

Comment by Gary Burns

all this tells me is that you can not read a set of accounts and have little understanding around operating costs and what money is needed to support the infrastructure of a large NGO…60% spent on salaries and the problem with that is what exactly????

Its what most NGOs will spend because most of the work is done by salaried staff. Check any NGO and the percentage will be the same.

but I suspect your issues with ACON have little to do with admin costs and your real motives lie elsewhere…

Comment by andrew

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