Michael Tizard is the new General Manager of ACON Northern Rivers.
Michael Tizard is the new General Manager of ACON Northern Rivers.

Ending HIV the goal of new health service boss

ACON Northern Rivers has a new general manager, Michael Tizard.

Originally from Mildura in Victoria, he attended La Trobe University in Melbourne where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work.

He worked in government and not-for-profit organisations in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, with a focus on child protection, family support and early childhood education and care.

For the last five years, he was the CEO of C&K, Queensland's largest Early Childhood Education and Care provider.

His experience with HIV/AIDS comes from the time he volunteered for the Victorian AIDS Council in the early 1990s, as a member of care teams.

Mr Tizard said he bought a cattle property in Fairy Hill, near Casino, at the end of 2017.

He is raising his 14-year-old twin foster sons as a single dad, sharing the property with two dogs and a herd of Angus cows.

"We moved full time to the area at the end of 2018, and I commenced as the Regional Manager of ACON Northern Rivers at the end of January 2019," he said.

"My professional goals are to strengthen health services to the LGBTIQ community in the Northern Rivers, working with the community to identify service gaps and responses to better meet their needs and to improve their health outcomes".

Mr Tizard said this will involve extending existing health promotion and counselling services in Lismore and across the Northern Rivers and working with other providers to deliver culturally safe services to the LGBTIQ community.

"ACON's goal is to prevent and end HIV and to provide high quality health services to LGTIQ communities," he said.

"We aim to continue to promote safe sex in our local community and to promote early testing, treatment and the use of PREP and PEP to prevent infection.

"HIV is our primary focus, however we have a commitment to our community to address higher levels of mental health issues, higher levels of substance use and the impacts of long term stigma, vilification and marginalisation."