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Towards 2030: First Quarter Update

In the 40 years since our founding, Thorne Harbour Health has changed enormously. We release our annual report and strategic plan to track this progress and change – these documents help us plan for our future and keep us accountable to the communities we serve.

We recently released Towards 2030, our strategic plan for 2024-2029. This lays out five years of goals, helping us measure our progress towards a world where our communities are healthy and live safely with dignity and wellbeing.

So, a little over three months in, how are we progressing towards these goals?

Expand the Reach and Impact of our Programs:

In early December 2023, we introduced the Director of South Australia role. This newly created position is responsible for our services in South Australia as well as our SAMESH program, in collaboration with Shine SA. With our team in Adelaide growing rapidly, we needed someone to lead our expansion.

Since accepting the position, Rebecca Ellis has implemented several initiatives that have brought our people closer together. She’s strengthened and invested in outreach, grown the volunteer program, and supervised activations at festivals and universities.

As our name becomes more recognisable in Adelaide, we hope more people in our communities will take up our services and refer their friends – improving the collective wellbeing of our LGBTIQA+ communities and people living with HIV in South Australia.

Exercise Trusted Leadership:

A large part of this goal involves influencing public policy and law reform, ensuring that the government listens to the needs of our communities. The Parliament of South Australia has recently launched an inquiry into the potential for a Human Rights Act and Thorne Harbour is strongly in support.

A Humans Rights Act will strengthen protections for South Australia’s LGBTIQA+ communities, including addressing gaps and deficiencies in existing legislation. An Act would ensure that human rights are considered when the government designs new laws, policies, or regulations.

We urged the committee to explicitly include protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and innate variations of sex characteristics.

Develop Our Communities:

Every year Midsumma is one of the busiest times for our organisation. For 2024, we were proudly involved with Carnival, Pride March, and Victoria’s Pride. We also brought our own events to the mix, including Wise Words, No Pride in Racism, the AIDS Memorial Walk and Queer Pool Party.

Our presence at festivals is important because it allows us to connect directly with our communities. We answered countless questions about our services and gave away thousands of postcards, pamphlets, and pride fans.

Midsumma and other queer festivals empower our communities to stay connected, resilient, and proud. We’re able to raise awareness about health and wellbeing over a period when many people have an increased need of support.

Build a Robust and Highly Adaptable Organisation for the Future

For the second time ever, Thorne Harbour Health is running Frida, our all-staff internal conference. The conference is an important opportunity for knowledge sharing and professional development.

We received fantastic input from staff, with over a third submitting an abstract for presentation. People from diverse areas of our organisation, including alcohol and other drugs, family violence, housing, and health promotion will all come together to share their work.

We hope that Frida will strengthen our organisation’s culture and equip our staff with the skills they need to better serve our communities.


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