ACON, Australia’s largest community-based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) health and HIV/AIDS organisation, has appointed a new CEO.
Nicolas Parkhill, who is currently ACON’s Director of Community Health, was selected from a field of local and international candidates following the resignation in July of long-serving CEO Stevie Clayton.
Mr Parkhill has over 15 years experience in the public and community health sectors. For the last three years, he has headed up both the health promotion and operational divisions of ACON. Prior to that, Mr Parkhill worked in a variety of senior management and policy development roles for NSW Health and the NSW Cabinet Office, many with a specific focus on alcohol and other drugs. He also has a background in campaign management and public relations.
ACON President Mark Orr says Mr Parkhill is taking the reins during a period of tremendous growth and development for ACON.
“ACON has been a recognised world leader in HIV prevention, support and policy for some time,” Mr Orr says, “However, over the last few years, ACON has also become a leading agency for GLBT health with programs and services that cover sexual health, mental health, alcohol and other drug use, ageing, homophobic violence, domestic violence, community care and housing.
“We currently have 150 staff and 700 volunteers working across nine locations in NSW in partnership with a wide range of government, healthcare and community organisations. Leading such a complex and diverse organisation is an enormous challenge but we’re confident that Nic’s knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and dedication will ensure that ACON continues to meet the needs and expectations of the people and communities we serve.
“On behalf of the ACON Board, I also thank our outgoing CEO Stevie Clayton for her outstanding contribution and wish her all the best in her new endeavours.”
Mr Parkhill says he’s honoured and excited to take on the new role.
"In the mid-90s I worked as a campaign coordinator at ACON and that really developed my passion for being involved in community led HIV responses,” Mr Parkhill says. “I am delighted to now be in a position to lead an organisation that makes such a valuable contribution to the health and wellbeing of GLBT people and people with HIV."
“Having worked closely with ACON’s Board, staff and volunteers for the last three years, I have an enormous amount of respect for their expertise, dedication and hard work, and I look forward to working with them and our stakeholders as we continue to build our community’s health and wellbeing.”
Outgoing CEO Stevie Clayton says Mr Parkhill will make an outstanding leader. “Nic genuinely understands and values the unique character of the communities we serve as well as the various issues that affect their health and wellbeing. I’m very proud of the work he’s done during his time so far at ACON and wish him all the best in his new role.”