About the Positive Speakers Bureau

The Positive Speakers Bureau members are the human face of HIV and help to reduce fear, myths, stigma, and discrimination and to more fully understand the realities of living with HIV. The Positive Speakers Bureau is run by and for HIV positive people who are highly trained public speakers and presenters.

Speaker’s tailor their presentations in response to each request and in accordance with their subject matter knowledge and experience. Our speaker’s primary aim is to talk about their personal experiences of living with HIV. However topics such as homophobia, sexuality, social justice, and equity of healthcare access are commonly discussed alongside HIV and STI prevention and the promotion of safer sexual behaviours.

All speakers attend formal training workshops and are provided with comprehensive skills development. Areas of training include:

  • Frameworks for public speaking, effective communication and adult learning techniques
  • STI and HIV courses including international and national epidemiology
  • HIV & mental health well being
  • Individual coaching
  • Media coaching, digital multimedia and presentation training.

And talks are informed by:

  • The Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • The State and National HIV & AIDS and STI Strategies
  • Latrobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society
  • The Ottawa and Bangkok Charters of Health Promotion
  • The UNAIDS GIPA Principle – The Greater involvement of People living with HIV and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Where do our speakers talk?

Speakers are asked to present to groups big and small at universities, hospitals, NGO’s, community, training and corporate organisations. Rural and regional schools are a particular focus for the Bureau. Rural talks are at no cost to schools thanks to grants provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our secondary school speakers present on HIV and sexual health along with their personal narratives in accordance with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and the Catching Online sexuality education curriculum tool.

The majority of speaking engagements are for 60, 75 or 90 minutes duration including a question and answer session. Most presentations are with two speaker’s dependent upon the size of the groups. Dual presentations with a male and female speaker provide significant benefits to audiences delivering different gender perspectives, stories and experiences.

In the Financial Year 2022/23 our speakers presented to a total of 2535 people. Male speakers delivered 79 personal narratives and female speakers delivered 20, as part of 20 dual and 45 single presentations. This includes:

• 6 Event presentations
• 16 secondary school presentations (metropolitan and rural schools)
• 5 university presentations
• 6 health sector talks
• 9 community sector talks, 6 talks at Thorne Harbour Health peer education and volunteer programs
• 23 government sector talks, 21 of these at the Victoria Police Training Academy Community Encounter sessions

Living Positive Victoria works in collaboration with Positive Women Victoria to reflect the different impacts of HIV on gender and sexuality of PLHIV in Victoria.

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Living Positive Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.