Regional, rural and remote parts of Australia are commonly assumed to be socially conservative enclaves in which people of diverse sexualities, genders and bodies have either never lived, are deeply hidden/closeted, or have fled. Teddy will provide a counter narrative to this misrepresentation, in reflecting on his experiences as ACON Regional Outreach Development Manager, working to support LGBTI people and people with HIV in regional areas of NSW. Whilst there are clearly unique and challenging social determinants of LGBTI and HIV health which need to be recognised and addressed in regional areas, Teddy will present first hand evidence of the queer life which exists in country NSW, and the range of services and communities doing incredible work to forge connections and understandings between metropolitan and regional communities.
Teddy Cook is an health promotion specialist, country town romancer, community advocate, speaker and educator. Teddy has worked at ACON since April 2012, and is now the Regional Outreach Development Manager, working with communities across country NSW including from Wollongong to Wilcannia to Wagga, Wodonga and whoop whoop, on HIV prevention and support, and LGBTI health priorities. Teddy has participated on a number of NGO boards, is an affiliate member of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Peer Advocacy network for the Sexual Health of Trans Masculinities (PASH.tm) and head dude of the GRUNT Campaign.