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					                                                                                                                                          Issue 1 July/August 2007
ask miss                                      phoenix workshops
pennypincher                                  The next round of Phoenix Workshops will take place on Thursdays in mid-July at
                                              The Sanctuary in Newtown. Each round of workshops is limited to 12 participants.
Financial Advice from BGF
                                              Phoenix Workshops provide relevant and up-to-date information for anyone living with HIV
Q. I used to run my own                       who wants to:
                                                Return to work and / or study
business as a contractor and                    Learn new skills
for some years didn’t lodge
any Tax Returns. I am now
                                                Find alternatives to paid work
                                                Initiate some other “life change”                                                               The BGF Client Newsletter
on the Disability Support                     The topics covered in the workshops include:
Pension and can’t work                          Setting achievable and realistic goals




                                                                                                                                                                  welcome
                                                Managing a balanced and healthy lifestyle
anymore. Although I’ve never
heard anything from the
                                                Disclosure of HIV status
                                                Financial planning and budgeting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    be part of
Tax Office, I’m worried what                    Information and advice regarding work, study and volunteer options                                                                                                                  the new bgf
                                                                                                                                                                  from the CEO                                                      client advisory
will happen if they track me                  If you’re interested in taking part or would like to find out more about the Phoenix
down. Should I “let sleeping                  Workshops, please contact Kim Donohue in the Positive Futures Project at BGF
dogs lie?” – Robert.                          on 9283 8666 or via email to kim.donohue@bgf.org.au
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    committee
A. Unfortunately, Robert, a Tax debt
never goes away and at some time
                                              how do i find                                                                               I’m delighted to launch the first issue
                                                                                                                                          of positivelinks, the Bobby Goldsmith
                                                                                                                                                                                        Services Administrator, describes how
                                                                                                                                                                                        ACON’s Genesis Workshops help newly-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As part of our organisation’s desire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to enhance client involvement in

in the future it will surface. There is
no amnesty on a tax debt and the GIC
                                              an S100 prescribing GP?                                                                     Foundation’s newsletter designed
                                                                                                                                          specifically for our clients.
                                                                                                                                                                                        diagnosed people to come to terms with
                                                                                                                                                                                        life as a positive person.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    our activities, we’d like to invite you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to participate in BGF’s new Client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Advisory Committee. This committee
(General Interest Charge) starts accruing     It is neither ethical nor legally proper for BGF to recommend a GP for clients, as the      From the feedback you’ve given us        Addressing the issue of isolation also           will provide regular input and
from the time that the tax return was         relationship between a patient and their GP is a very personal and private one.             recently, we’ve realised that many of    underpins the launch of the BGF Online           suggestions into BGF’s services and
due to be lodged. The maximum penalty         It is common for friends and peers to recommend a “good GP”, but it is important to         you are not aware of the full range of   Forum: the new internet peer support             service delivery.
in each financial year is $550.               remember that where some of us prefer a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach, others         services that are available through      service for our clients. Joining the Online
                                              need a more sensitive approach from their GP.                                               BGF. positivelinks is one of a series    Forum offers an opportunity for you              If you want to be a member of the BGF
However, if you voluntarily bring the                                                                                                     of initiatives that we are currently     to share information and experiences             Client Advisory Committee, please send
matter to the ATO’s attention, it will        All S100 GPs (GPs who are able to prescribe HIV antiretrovirals), are listed through the    implementing so as to communicate more   with others who are also HIV positive.           us a brief expression of interest explaining
look more favourably at whether               ASHM (Australian Society for HIV Medicine) website at www.ashm.org.au/ashm-directory/.      regularly and effectively with you.      You can read the existing posts, take part       why you would like to be involved and the
penalties and GIC should be applied.                                                                                                                                                             in an ongoing conversation         qualities, knowledge and experience that
The Commissioner of Taxation also has         Alternatively, you can obtain the ASHM directory; HIV, hepatitis and related services by    positivelinks will be a
the discretionary power, under Hardship       phoning (02) 9368 2700.                                                                     bi-monthly publication          “positivelinks or start up a discussion on                you would bring to the Committee. This can
                                                                                                                                                                                                 a new topic.                       be done by post, (P.O. Box 97, Darlinghurst,
Provisions, to write-off part or the whole                                                                                                which can be sent by post         is one of a series                                      NSW, 1300), by fax (1800 651 012), or by
of the debt. For this to happen, an
application needs to be submitted on          contact details for hiv/aids                                                                or email, or downloaded
                                                                                                                                          from our website. Each
                                                                                                                                                                            of initiatives that Please let us know what you
                                                                                                                                                                                                      think of positivelinks. Not
                                                                                                                                                                             we are currently only would we love to hear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    email (bgf@bgf.org.au).

both financial and medical grounds and
a valid reason given for not lodging a        support services                                                                            issue of positivelinks
                                                                                                                                          will have a feature                implementing” from you, we also want to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The deadline for submitting your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    expression of interest is 5pm on
tax return in the first place. Each case is                                                                                               subject as well as regular                                  make sure the newsletter      Friday 20 July. If you would like more
                                              ACON: 9206 2069 acon@acon.org.au                 Food Distribution Network:
reviewed individually.                                                                                                                    columns such as Ask Miss                                    is as useful as possible.     information, please contact Bev Lange
                                              Albion St Centre: 9332 9600                      9699 1614 info@fdn.org.au
                                                                                                                                          Pennypincher (financial advice), contact      If you have suggestions for topics and      on (02) 9283 8666.
If you want to pursue this, I recommend       Alcohol and Drug Service: 9361 8000              St.Vincents Hospital Pharmacy: 8382 3180
                                                                                                                                          details of HIV/AIDS Support Services and      information you’d like to see covered
that you make an appointment with             BGF: 1800 651 011 bgf@bgf.org.au                 St.Vincents Dental Hospital: 8382 2607
                                                                                                                                          information of interest.                      in positivelinks, please email us
a Financial Counsellor at BGF before
approaching the Australian Tax Office.
                                              Department of Housing: 9268 3444
                                              Domestic Violence Help Line:
                                                                                               Sydney Dental Hospital: 9293 3333
                                                                                               Sydney Sexual Health Centre: 9382 7440     We’ve chosen peer support as the feature
                                                                                                                                                                                        at bgf@bgf.org.au, write to us at           receive
Keep in mind, too, that if you were
receiving Centrelink benefits while not
                                              1800 65 64 63                                                                               subject for the first positivelinks
                                                                                                                                          in part to address the isolation that many
                                                                                                                                                                                        PO Box 97, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300 or
                                                                                                                                                                                        call 1800 651 011.                          positivelinks
declaring income to the ATO, Centrelink
will be made aware of this.
                                                                                                                                          PLWHA face.                                   I hope you enjoy reading the first issue
                                                                                                                                                                                        of positivelinks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    by email
                                                                                                                                          In this issue, James Fraser, BGF’s                                                        Not only are emails the best way for us to
If you want to ask Miss Pennypincher a                                                                                                    Housing Support Worker Floating Care,                                                     keep you up to date with what we’re doing,
question, email us at bgf@bgf.org.au or                                                P.O. Box 97, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300                has written an informative case-study of                                                  but they’re better for the environment, too.
write to Ask Miss Pennypincher, c/BGF,                                                 Web: www.bgf.org.au                                a peer support network he organised in        Bev Lange, CEO,                             Email bgf@bgf.org.au to have the next
PO Box 97, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300                                                                                                         the UK while Richard Kennedy, our Client      The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation              issue of positivelinks sent to you by email.
                                                                                       Email: bgf@bgf.org.au
                                                                                       Phone: (02) 9283 8666
             I
positivelinks Issue 1 July/August 2007
                                                                                       Fax: (02) 9283 8732
every day people                                                                                                                                                   the genesis                                                         other peer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       support
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       services
the significance for peer support                                                                                                                                  workshops                                                           for plwha
                                                                                                                                          By Richard Kennedy, BGF Client
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       after hours
In 1996 I returned to the                    To address these issues, I started running
                                             a lunch club, which was held every
                                                                                            to support one another. This is what Peer
                                                                                            Support is all about.
                                                                                                                                          Services Administrator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A monthly social discussion night for newly
UK and volunteered for                       second Thursday to correspond with                                                                                                                                                        diagnosed gay men on the second Thursday

a rural HIV organisation.                    the HIV clinic. I promoted this through a      Here at BGF, we’ve created a new online       For people who have just been diagnosed with                                                 of every month.
                                                                                            peer support service for our clients: the
Although the clients
                                             newsletter and flyers and initially made
                                             it open to HIV positive people only. The       BGF Online Forum. Topics so far have          HIV, things can seem very scary and uncertain.                                               planet positive
were known to the                            results were encouraging and before long       included housing issues and Centrelink        Dealing with your emotions can cause stress and                                              A quarterly social night for people living
                                                                                            benefits, whilst questions have been asked
organisation, there
                                             it was averaging 12 people a lunch.
                                                                                            about health and services for PLWHA.          the future may seem bleak.                                                                   with HIV and their friends. It is supported by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       PLWHA (NSW), ACON and the Positive Living
were hardly any clients                      For the first time, a diverse group of every
                                             day people with one shared connection
                                                                                            I would encourage anyone who has
                                                                                            internet access to go to www.bgf.org.au,      Although you are supposed to receive           give you an opportunity to explore issues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Centre with music by Ruby. Planet Positive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       is on at Annie’s bar (back of the Carrington
who knew each other.                         – their HIV positive status                                 have a look and take part in     pre- and post-test counselling, many           about health, sex and relationships in a      Hotel) 563 Bourke St, Surry Hills.
At the HIV clinic, people                    – were regularly socialising
                                             with each another. They           “Living with HIV
                                                                                                         the ongoing conversations.       people report that this is rarely done         totally safe, confidential and supportive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       For more information about After
                                                                                                                                          these days. The health system is               environment.
would arrive with hats                       soon found they had a lot             is a journey           For those who do not have
                                                                                                                                          overloaded and GPs are just too busy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Hours and Planet Positive, please call
                                                                                                          access to the internet,                                                                                                      Glenn Flanagan on 9361 6011 or email:
pulled low to hide their                     of similarities. Not just side
                                             effects from medications
                                                                                 and there are you can contact us on                      As a result, you start worrying about          I strongly recommend Genesis to anyone
                                                                                                                                                                                         who has been recently diagnosed               glennf@plwha.org.au.
faces. Sometimes,                            and isolation issues, but          many stages.” (02) 9283 8666 for more                     things such as “When should I start
                                                                                                                                          taking medications and how will the side       with HIV. For me, it put everything into
                                                                                                          information. We can give
people would miss their                      shared interests, such as
                                                                                                          advice on cheap computer        effects impact on my life?”, “Will I still     perspective. I discovered that this was not

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       GIVEAWAY!
                                             rambling (bush walking to Australians),                                                                                                     something that I was dealing with alone
appointments for fear                        canoeing, nightclubbing or swimming.           prices, cheap internet connections and        be able to work and what happens if I
                                                                                                                                                                                         and that living with HIV is a manageable
                                                                                            IT training courses. The other alternative    get sick and have to take time off?” and,
of disclosure.
After talking to several of the clients, I
                                             Others started meeting outside of the
                                             charity’s office hours, as this was when       is to use a local internet café.              most frightening of all, ”Who do I talk to
                                                                                                                                          and how am I going to tell
                                                                                                                                                                                         prospect. Indeed, some years later,
                                                                                                                                                                                                         several of us from the        Dying City
                                             they felt most isolated. The group learned
realised that they did not know much         from each other and many strong and
                                                                                            BGF is also looking at running a volunteer    my friends and family?”                 “I strongly            group I attended still keep   presented by
                                                                                            induction course in the new financial year.                                                                  in touch with each other,
about their HIV status, apart from           enduring friendships were formed.                                                            All of this impacts heavily           recommend                                              Gaiety Theatre
                                                                                            Volunteering is a great opportunity to        on the way you feel after                                      occasionally meeting
being told what pills to take and to get
                                                                                            meet people and do some invaluable work                                        Genesis to anyone for coffee and a chat
regular blood tests as part of their HIV     By meeting people who deal with the                                                          the initial diagnosis.                                                                       Gaiety Theatre is an independent
management. One by one they would            same things on a daily basis, you can          at the same time. We shall have more                                               who has been              and sharing stories and       Theatre organization dedicated to
                                             find answers to all sorts of questions,        information about this in a future issue      The Genesis Project is           recently diagnosed information.                             presenting plays that give visibility
open up to me, asking the same questions
                                             including some you might never have            of positivelinks.                             a weekend workshop                                                                           to gay or lesbian characters.
(usually about protease inhibitors) and
                                                                                                                                          for men who are newly
                                                                                                                                                                                  with HIV.”             The workshops are free
expressing a common need to meet             considered. Living with HIV is a journey
                                                                                            By James Fraser, BGF Housing Support                                                                         and further information can   The political and personal collide in
others in the same situation who would       and there are many stages. Each is as                                                        diagnosed within the last
                                                                                            Worker Floating Care                                                                         be obtained from Jeff Jones at the            Dying City, the fourth play by Christopher
not run a mile because of their diagnosis.   valid as the other and we should all help                                                    2 years and is held four times a year at
                                                                                                                                                                                         HIV Health Promotion Unit at ACON             Shinn, one of America’s most exciting
                                                                                                                                          The Positive Living Centre in Sydney.
                                                                                                                                                                                         on 9699 8756 or 1800 063 060.                 young playwrights.
                                                                                                                                          A joint venture of PLWHA (NSW) Inc. and
                                                                                                                                          ACON, the weekend workshop explores            Alternatively, more information               Craig is a US soldier who shoots himself
                                                                                                                                          these questions and more in a closed           is available on the ACON website              while in Iraq. A year later his wife Kelly and

                                             join the bgf online forum                                                                    workshop where you work through these
                                                                                                                                          issues with gay men in a similar situation
                                                                                                                                                                                         www.acon.org.au.

                                                                                                                                                                                         You will be required to attend a short
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       gay twin brother Peter are still in crisis.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Both characters are forced to face the truth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       of the untidy past as the story which moves
                                                                                                                                          to yourself and with facilitators, most of     face-to-face interview, as workshops are      between the night before Craig leaves for
                                             The BGF Online Forum is our new internet peer support service for our                        whom have been participants in previous        modified to suit the needs of individual      war and a night a year after his death.
                                             clients. It is designed for you to share your views and hopes, discuss                       Genesis workshops.                             participants, and a commitment to the
                                             ideas and use as a resource base and source of information.                                                                                 whole weekend is required, but                Thanks to Gaiety Theatre, BGF has two
                                                                                                                                          Not only do the workshops provide                                                            double passes to Dying City give away
                                                                                                                                          accurate and up-to-date information on         I can assure you that it is a weekend
                                             Joining the BGF Online Forum is easy. Log on to www.bgf.org.au and                                                                          well worth attending and one you will         to our clients for Sunday 8 July at 5pm.
                                                                                                                                          treatments, how to access community                                                          To win one, please email your details
                                             register a user name and password to have unlimited access.                                                                                 remember for a long time.
                                                                                                                                          services and legal issues such as                                                            to murray.black@bgf.org.au with
                                             What are you waiting for? Drop in, have a look and get involved.                             disclosure and discrimination, they also                                                     DYING CITY in the subject line by 5pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       on Thursday 5 July.
             I
positivelinks Issue 1 July/August 2007

				
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