What is the Positive Speakers Bureau?

The Positive Speakers Bureau Changing Voices videos are compelling and inspirational viewing to more fully understand the realities of living with HIV.

Our speakers are the human face of HIV and help to reduce fear, myths, stigma and discrimination.

Key messages are also delivered on HIV and STIs prevention, education and the promotion of safer sexual behaviours for the people of Victoria.

The Living Positive Victoria Positive Speakers Bureau is run by and for HIV positive people who are highly trained public speakers and presenters.

Speakers develop their presentations in response to each request and are selected to speak in accordance with their subject matter knowledge and experience in particular areas.

Where do our speakers talk?

In the 2010-15 period we delivered over 770 presentations to an audience of over 34,500 people. 75% of talks are to years 7-10 Secondary school students. Other talks are to universities, hospitals, NGO’s, community, training and corporate organisations. 

Rural and regional schools are a particular focus for the Positive Speakers Bureau. The rural talks are at no cost to schools as the Department of Health and Human Services provide a grant to cover costs. Our secondary school program involves our speakers presenting on HIV & sexual health along with their personal narratives in accordance with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and the Catching Online sexuality education curriculum tool.

Speaker training

All speakers attend formal training workshops and are provided with comprehensive skills development. These areas of training include:

  • Effective communication and adult learning techniques
  • STI and HIV courses including international and national epidemiology
  • HIV & mental health well being
  • Individual coaching  
  • Media Coaching, digital multimedia and presentation training

The Positive Speakers Bureau talks are informed by:

  • The Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • The State and National HIV/AIDS and STI Strategies
  • Latrobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society
  • The Ottawa and Bangkok Charters of Health promotion
  • The UNAIDS GIPA Principle – The Greater involvement of People living with HIV and those affected by HIV and AIDS.

Our speaker’s primary aim is to talk about their personal experiences of living with HIV. However topics such as discrimination, homophobia, sexuality, social justice and equity of healthcare access are common discussion areas.


The Positive Speakers Bureau staff are funded by the Victorian Government.

The Speakers Bureau is reliant upon the fees charged to provide training and pay for the speakers’ presentations.

Unrestricted educational grants are received from HIV pharmaceutical companies to support the speakers’ presentations where schools and NGO’s are unable afford the fee and for the speakers’ professional development.