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Positive Life CEO to lead the AIVL during transition

9 March 2016

From 15 March 2016, Positive Life NSW CEO Craig Cooper will be seconded into the role as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) up to 30 June.

AIVL is the national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs and is the peak body for the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations. 

Mr Cooper’s interim appointment follows the resignation of highly regarded AIVL CEO Annie Madden, who has led the organisation for sixteen years, having been appointed AIVL’s first executive officer in April 2000.

“I feel extremely privileged to have been offered this opportunity by the AIVL Board, and look forward to contributing to a smooth transition for AIVL and the team,” Mr Cooper said.

“I admire and respect all that Annie Madden has achieved for AIVL. Annie is not only highly regarded across Australia, but is acknowledged internationally for her work representing people who use drugs and her significant skills and knowledge including in harm reduction, HIV, hepatitis C, drug policy and law reform.

“This is a challenging time for national level peak community organisations in the blood-borne virus and sexually transmitted infections sector as the Commonwealth government realigns activities to the targets within the Seventh National HIV Strategy.

“AIVL, along with other national peak organisations such as the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), face funding uncertainty.

“Peak national level organisations like AIVL and NAPWHA have been central to Australia’s response to HIV and other blood-borne viruses over many years, and it is critical they continue to be central to that response.

“I take up this interim role in the spirit of non-government organisation collaboration, which is a founding principle of the Australian community blood-borne virus response,” he said.

During the period of Mr Cooper’s temporary secondment with AIVL, Positive Life NSW Policy Advisor Lance Feeney will act in the position of Chief Executive Officer.

“The Positive Life NSW Board is pleased to be working with Lance Feeney as acting CEO during this period and we have every confidence in the agency’s ability to continue to be effective as the voice of people with HIV in NSW,” Positive Life NSW president Jane Costello said.

Jane Costello, President – 0424 676 555 or email
Positive Life NSW is a NSW-wide community based HIV advocacy and support not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation. We work to promote a positive image of people living with HIV and aim to eliminating prejudice, isolation, stigma and discrimination. We provide information and referrals, and advocate for the needs and rights of PLHIV in NSW.
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