VMIAC is extremely excited to welcome our new Consumer Research Development Officer on board, Brent Allan. Here’s a bit of background of how Brent got to VMIAC.
Brent has most recently been a senior advisor focusing upon programs and policy for both the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine based in Sydney (Australia) as well as with the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations based in Toronto (Canada). He is also the civil society representative to the International AIDS Society’s Global Industry Liaison Forum as well as to the Australian Commonwealths’ Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses.
He has been working in the community response to HIV/AIDS for over 25 years across a number of countries and has qualifications in health education, business, community services management as well as public and social health experience with local, state and federal governments, and internationally with the UNDP, UNAIDS the WHO and the Global Fund to End Malaria, Tuberculous and HIV.
As a gay man living with HIV for over 25 years he has been active in efforts to build the capacity of people living with HIV through advocacy, education and representation, and he regularly provides technical assistance to global networks, governments, civil society and industry on matters of best practice in community-based services, research and development.
Brent lives north of Melbourne with his partner of 22 years, a menagerie of animals both native and of the canine variety on a property that is off grid in a mud-brick house on 10 acres on Dja Dja Wurrung lands of the peoples of the Kulan Nations.
As a person who cherishes their resilience and has been living with PTSD and a bipolar disorder since early adulthood, Brent’s strategies to remain focused, positive and optimistic are multifaceted. This includes keeping a gratitude journal, e-mental health programs, excessive cuddles with his canine companions and occasionally throwing on a kaftan with an excessive amount of costume jewellery and dancing to classic disco (ideally outdoors in bare feet).