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5 Questions with Adam Bourne

Associate Professor and avid bushwalker, Dr Adam Bourne, talks about the importance of community connection and his experience migrating to Australia...

Our LGBTI community is made up of a plethora of smaller communities and intersectionalities, how do you identify within these?

I’m a gay man - happily partnered for 17 years. 

What motivated you to get involved with Thorne Harbour Health?

I’ve known of Thorne Harbour (and previously as VAC) for a great many years. I have long been a fan of the organisation’s work - especially the high-quality, evidence-based, sex-positive and affirming campaigns.

My day job involves research into sexual health and drug use.

Even before joining the Board, I’ve held up Thorne Harbour Health as real experts working in this space that the rest of the world can look to for inspiration.

I was excited to see the expansion into broader LGBTIQ health and wellbeing. I felt this would be a great time to get involved and lend my skills and experience in research and policy to help bring about positive change for our communities.

Is there any aspect of Thorne Harbour’s work that you’re particularly passionate about?

It’s hard to pick just one thing. I think the organisation’s continuing and meaningful connection to community is admirable. I’ve worked in other countries where, as they’ve grown, HIV and LGBTIQ organisations have lost some of that connection and community-inspired passion. We have to always hold on to that.

When you’re not serving on the Board of THH – what do you get up to? 

My day job is in LGBTIQ health and wellbeing research, so there’s lots of crossover with the work of Thorne Harbour. But outside of that, I really enjoy hiking. I’m never happier than when trekking up a mountain in the Grampians or the hills in the Dandenongs. I’m also a keen badminton player and will never say no to a craft ale at a brewery bar somewhere in the city.

We detect a bit of an accent - where’s it from and what’s it been like migrating to Australia?

You do indeed. I’m a very proud Welshman. Although I must confess that having not lived in Wales since I was 18, my accent has somewhat diminished over time (but it bounces back after a phone call to family or friends!). Melbourne (and Australia) is an amazing place to live. Having grown up on a small, densely-populated island, I still find the scale of Australia mesmerising. Being able to walk for hours and not see a single soul is impossible to achieve in the UK but is almost on your doorstep here. Being away from home, especially during COVID-19, hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve not for a single moment regretted the move out here.


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