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Dash Heath-Paynter is the new CEO of Health Equity Matters

Health Equity Matters, Australia’s HIV and LGBTIQA+ health federation, has announced the appointment of Dash Heath-Paynter as its new chief executive officer.

Prior to a recent rebrand the organisation was known as AFAO, The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

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Dash Heath-Paynter takes on the leadership of Health Equity Matters after serving almost eight years as deputy CEO. During that period, they oversaw policy development, political advocacy and engagement. This encompassed the national community response to Mpox, including co-chairing the National Mpox Taskforce.

“We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Dash Heath-Paynter as our new chief executive,” Health Equity Matters President, Mark Orr AM, said. “Dash brings deep, sustained experience in HIV and LGBTIQA+ health advocacy and policy. Dash’s skills and experience will serve our communities well as we push for the virtual elimination of HIV transmission and a more robust community-led response to the health needs of LGBTIQA+ communities.”

Heath-Paynter is a member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) PICO Advisory Sub-Committee (PASC); the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) Advertising Consultative Committee, the National HIV PrEP Guidelines Committee and the National HIV Testing Policy Expert Reference Committee.

He replaces Professor Darryl O’Donnell who led the organisation for the last eight years. He announced he was stepping down in December 2023.

“It is a profound honour and privilege to take on the executive leadership of the Health Equity Matters at this pivotal moment,” Dash Heath-Paynter said. “My predecessor, Adjunct Professor Darryl O’Donnell established strong foundations for us to make monumental progress towards better health responses for LGBTIQA+ people, the virtual elimination of HIV transmission and continuing support for people living with HIV.

“We have an incredibly talented and motivated team at Health Equity Matters and we take seriously our role in protecting and promoting the partnership of researchers, clinicians, community and government that is at the centre of Australia’s HIV response.

“I look forward to working closely with the Federal Government to drive further progress for the communities we represent and serve.”

Prior to joining Health Equity Matters’ Heath-Paynter worked as a senior policy analyst at Health Equity Matters’ Victorian member organisation, the Victorian AIDS Council, now Thorne Harbour Health.

He is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Kirby Institute, at the University of New South Wales and holds degrees in law and arts. He is a graduate of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Executive Leadership Program.

Heath Paynter has also served as a director of The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, and has work experience at the Cancer Council of Victoria, and several law firms.

OIP Staff

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