History of QPP
Queensland Positive People has proudly represented people living with HIV since 1989. We have come a long way since we sat under the auspice of the (then) Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC).
QPP incorporated late in 2003 and became an independent organisation, receiving our first funding grant in 2004 after being awarded the Queensland Health tender for the HIV Positive Education and Support Program. With this funding we were able to establish new staff positions including the General Manager (full-time), Organisational Support Officer (part-time) and the Finance & Payroll Officer (part-time). This same year also saw us move into new premises, from the Allen Street Centre, to Vulture Street, South Brisbane. Our new premises can best be described as ‘challenging’ – with the air conditioning system collapsing through the ceiling on more than one occasion.
With increasing demand for our services, 2005 was a year of enthusiastic growth for QPP that included a few significant events such as:
- The Peer Support & Community Development position went to a full-time role;
- We commenced office co-location arrangements with (the then) Spiritus Positive Directions in Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast;
- We accepted the administration of the Sunshine Coast Bequest Fund from QuAC;
- Oz ShowBiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and QPP established The HOPE Fund in partnership with Spiritus Positive Directions and the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC);
- The Queensland World AIDS Day Alliance (QWADA) was formed and continues to be hosted by QPP.
QPP always recognised the importance and value in people living with HIV having significant input into the HIV response. In a renewed commitment to the MIPA Principle, it was decided to revert to the classes of membership that had originally been established to ensure only people living with HIV could stand for election to the QPP Board and vote on QPP business.
2006-2007 began a review of our service delivery, as we moved away from a welfare model to supporting self-determination with a self-help model. With this, QPP expanded the peer and social support events and the first Planet Positive took place in Brisbane. In 2007, the QPSB was also re-established through the efforts of a dedicated student placement, and became the first speaker’s bureau in the country to be inclusive of people living with viral hepatitis. This was also the time we were forced to vacate our office premises in Vulture Street after a serious ceiling collapse, and with a successful application for a Capital Works Grant from Queensland Health, we were able to purchase and undertake a substantial refit of our current premises in Manilla Street, East Brisbane. With this significant acquisition, QPP became the first state-based PLHIV organisation in Australia to own our own building – an important milestone for our continuation and long-term successes.
In 2010, QPP and QAHC were successful in a joint funding submission to MAC Cosmetics and we were able to establish a part-time Peer Support and Community Development Officer position in Cairns. This allowed QPP to expand our support services for people living with HIV outside of the South East Queensland region. Today, QPP continues to actively build and support partnerships that allow us to maximise our outputs for all people living with HIV across Queensland. With the launch of our new website in 2013, we aim to build connections to the diverse communities of Queensland through the use of technology. This is timely for QPP as we have also significantly expanded by hosting four new positions within the Community HIV Education and Prevention Program (CHEPP), funded by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on HIV/AIDS.
QPP is very proud of the diversity we represent; our board members are all HIV-positive and active members of our community. With our passionate team, QPP believes that we can achieve the increased wellness of Queenslanders living with HIV, plus the elimination of HIV transmission. Through our past challenges and successes, we are confident that QPP, as the organisation representing all people living with HIV in Queensland, can work in partnership with government and other community-based organisations to ensure our joint efforts make that happen and that we set an example of innovation and excellence in our response to HIV across the state.