2022 looks set to be a big one with some major projects already in the pipeline – some of the key things we’re excited for this year include:

  • Renewal of the National Hepatitis C Strategy, National Hepatitis B Strategy, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander BBV and STI Strategy
  • Collaboratively implementing the National Finding 50,000 Project, which will see diverse and complimentary interventions implemented to get Australia back on track to achieve our hepatitis C elimination goals
  • Collaboratively implementing Australia’s first new National Policy Forum for people with lived experience of hepatitis B to strengthen the diverse voices and representation of people impacted by hepatitis B nationally
  • Collaborating with the State and Territory Hepatitis Organisations to co-design an enhanced infrastructure for the implementation of the National Hepatitis Infoline as an embedded and resourced activity of the Australian national response to viral hepatitis
  • Continuing the work started in 2021 to strengthen the impacts of the World Hepatitis Day Network and increase the impacts of World Hepatitis Day in Australia.
  • The Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference 2022
  • And so much more!

We look forward to working with so many of you on these important initiatives.

In this edition, you will find:

Congratulations and thank you to Paul Harvey, Hepatitis NSW on his outstanding contributions

After nearly 30 years working with Hepatitis NSW, Paul Harvey is due to retire this week. Many of our own staff have worked alongside Paul over many years and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his incredible dedication to hepatitis C elimination and more recently also to hepatitis B elimination.

We asked Paul to tell us a little bit about his experiences from starting as a volunteer in the 90s to his most recent role as Information and Communication Manager:

“Way back in the early 90s, I surprised myself by getting involved in a community group. I’d been living a bohemian and rather aimless life (lots of immediate pleasures but not a lot of commitment or direction), and I quickly realised and enjoyed a feeling of anchoring from the support group. We were a disparate group of people here in Sydney, initially around a dozen, and we leaned on each other’s skill sets. I discovered personal skills which included creating documents – “how to” guides for volunteer phone workers and producing newsletters. Other people worked with interstate collaboration, fundraising, media and volunteer recruitment and management. Our community group was a fertile petri-dish and we quickly grew and expanded our activities. It all seemed very exciting to me.

Our early milestone events seem very clear: we gained funding from NSW Health, a seeding grant; we secured our first office, a temporary room in a commercial terrace building in Surry Hills; we employed our first CEO, Stuart Loveday, a move that set us up for decades to come. Other milestones were less obvious. I remember Don Baxter the ACON CEO reminding us that we had a greater influence than we realised. Although not a milestone, per se, Don’s comments stuck in my memory, probably coming at a time when things weren’t going as well as we wanted. In effect, he was commenting on the growing success of Hepatitis NSW’s networking and relationship building. Whether it was individual medical specialists or professional bodies, local health districts, Sydney City, South Sydney or other LGA councils, other States and Territories, nursing, AOD and NSP networks, we would work with almost everyone who shared our path or had mutual goals.

My work as a person with lived experience and as a speaker was always tinged with feelings of vulnerability and fears around stigma. It was about a mixture of low self-esteem and fear of scrutiny or criticism; traits that played some role in my contracting hep C back in the 1980s. With Hepatitis NSW I didn’t see myself as a confident or clever public speaker, but others – effective and engaging speakers – did exist and they played valuable roles while I tended to avoid the limelight. Perhaps our most effective speakers were the team assembled and supported by David Pieper and Alastair Lawrie – our Community Mobilisation Volunteers. These stars were recruited in the lead up to 2016 and they worked hard building community action in their local regions across NSW always with an eye on their local politicians and media.

Looking back on 28 years of work in this sector, there is much that I am proud of. There is our sheer volume of output. I remember working closely with Stuart Loveday, putting in long days, often working overnighters to meet so many deadlines. On the specifics side of things, in addition to the past Hep Review magazine, I am very proud of the recent “Triffids” hep C cures video (currently 2nd highest view count globally), and the current “Cold Chisel” hep C cures video. These are projects that were hugely enjoyable in a creative sense and I’ll remember them fondly. But there is an oft forgotten project: the HepCAustralasia online support forum, which up until 2016 was an integral part of our online presence. It is hard to over-emphasise the impact that the forum had on the Australian and New Zealand hep C landscape. Over a decade, it supported thousands of individuals through the difficult pre-DAA years of hepatitis C. “Newbies” became members; some became moderators; some became conference speakers. It was a pleasure and honour to work with the dedicated team of people, all volunteers, who built and maintained an incredibly vibrant healing and supportive environment.”

Hepatitis Australia job vacancy: Project Lead for the National Policy Forum for People Impacted by Hepatitis B

  • Full Time
  • Flexible work arrangements negotiable

Hepatitis Australia is seeking a project lead to co-design and establish Australia’s first National Policy Forum for People Impacted by Hepatitis B, within Hepatitis Australia, to enhance the national hepatitis B response.

Affected communities with lived experience of hepatitis B are the critical source of expertise and advice on ways to harness leadership, community capacity and good-practice related to sociocultural-specific responses to hepatitis B.

This role will be responsible for coordinating this national project and providing high quality policy and project management support. The Project Lead will recruit people living with hepatitis B and design and deliver the forum in partnership with people living with hepatitis B.

Find out more

World Hepatitis Day Network

Hepatitis Australia will be facilitating the World Hepatitis Day Network again this year, and we are looking for broad sector engagement.

The World Hepatitis Day Network connects workers in the hepatitis space to coordinate delivery and promotion of World Hepatitis Day in Australia. The purpose of the network is to provide national support, encourage collaboration and share information regarding World Hepatitis Day, held on 28 July each year.

The network meets for one hour approximately every six weeks. The first network meeting will be held on 22 February 2022.

If your organisation would like to be involved in the network, please contact Grace Hogan at [email protected]

World Hepatitis Summit funded places closing soon!

The World Hepatitis Summit 2022, being held June 8-10 in Bangkok, Thailand, has several fully or partially funded scholarships available.

The World Hepatitis Summit (WHS) is an innovative, large-scale, global meeting to advance the viral hepatitis agenda and provide a platform for a broad hepatitis community to take stock of progress to date, share ideas, experiences and best practice in addressing the many challenges of viral hepatitis.

It is the only global hepatitis conference which is focused on public health and it provides an unrivalled opportunity to focus a global audience on the implementation of a viral hepatitis response and so drive progress to make the elimination of viral hepatitis a reality.

The conference is offering different levels of support in order to bring as many members together as possible. Applications are available for World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) members who submitted an abstract to the conference. If you have not submitted an abstract, you can contact WHA at [email protected] to discuss your eligibility.

Applications close Tuesday 1 February 10:59am Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (31 January at 23:59 GMT)

Apply now

National Cancer Plan 2023-2033 Consultation: submissions due 18th February 2022

Cancer Australia is developing the Australian Cancer Plan to provide an overarching national approach to cancer control that meets the needs of all Australians, now and in the future. The plan will impact policy decisions and funding relating to cancer over the next 10 years, so it is important that it accurately reflects Australia’s needs.

Liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Australia, and hepatitis B and hepatitis C are leading causes of liver cancer. This consultation provides a unique opportunity to improve funding and research for hepatitis prevention and treatment, and thereby reduce the impacts of liver cancer on the people we work with and for. Hepatitis prevention is cancer prevention.

We encourage you to review the Plan and have your say through the Cancer Australia survey: https://consultations.health.gov.au/cancer-care/australian-cancer-plan/

Review plan

Hepatitis Australia will be making a submission. If you would like to contribute to our submission please contact us.

Abstracts and scholarships open for INHSU 2022

Abstract submissions and scholarships are now open for our 10th International Conference on Health and Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2022). The event will be hybrid, with the in-person event taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from 19-21 October, with sessions also available online.

Abstract and scholarship submissions are due by 20th March 2022. You can find out more by following the links below:

Abstract submissions

Scholarship applications