Forward planning

With the addition of the PLWA Victoria program in 1988, the VAC/GMHC consisted of five programs, including Education, Support, Personal Services and Organisational Services. Each of the smaller working groups that had developed over the three years since the incorporation of the VAAC was integrated into this structure. Together they faced an enormous workload. In 1990 President Peter Grant wrote ‘There is so much to be done. Our resources and time are limited. Therefore, we need to be clear about what we want to do, when and why’.66 It was clear that the organisation would have to adapt to meet future challenges.67

The Development Program was formed in 1991 out of a squeeze on resources and the recognition that government funding would not continue to cover the costs of current and future activities of the VAC/GMHC. Program Convenor George Butman reported:

This year the Council spent more money than it received. If we do not establish alternative sources of revenue, we will be forced to cut services at the very time of greatest need. We must be able to pay for vital projects which governments are too scared to fund because of the possibility of public controversy.68

An Endowment Fund was established to receive donations and bequests and the program took charge of coordinating all of the organisation’s events. With the incredible hard work of an army of staff and volunteers and ‘the enormous community goodwill’ of people who donated their goods, services, skills and time, the 1991 Laird Auction raised $58,672, quadrupling the amount raised the previous year.69 The Development Program was pioneered by Leigh Holloway, who was an experienced fundraiser with the VAC.70 Ill health forced him to resign from the program the following year, and sadly he passed away in 1993. Holloway received the VAC/GMHC President’s Award in 1992 ‘for his ideas, commitment, enthusiasm and skills which contributed significantly to the growth and success of the AIDS Council’.71


Peter Grant, Keith Harbour, Caroline Hogg

Incoming President Peter Grant (right) with previous President Keith Harbour (left) and Victorian Health Minister Caroline Hogg at the VAC/GMHC Annual General Meeting, October 1989.

Leigh Klooger