From there to here
Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic) is a peer based, community organisation. HRVic does not condemn nor condone the use of drugs.
HRVic merely recognises that drug use happens and as such,
aims to reduce the harms associated with that drug use.
HRVic is a health promotion organisation that is guided by a belief that drug related harm should be treated as a health issue and not a criminal issue.
Our aim is to advance the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs by creating an environment in which individuals are empowered to realise their aspirations, meet their needs and participate fully in society.
Our membership, staff and supporters include current and former people who use drugs, their allies and their support networks and people who support the values and objectives of Harm Reduction Victoria.
We prioritise the issues and concerns of people who use drugs in all that we do within a community development framework.
The philosophy of harm reduction and advancing the health and human rights of people who use drugs guides all of HRVic’s work.
HRVic’s interventions are individually and collectively targeted, in order to promote a culture of safer drug use.
In 1987, in the face of a growing HIV epidemic, a group of drug users,
their friends, families and supporters established HRVic as an independent,
user-driven community based organisation.
Funded primarily by the VIC Department of Human Services, HRVic provides peer driven
and designed education, practical support, information and advocacy to current
and past users of illicit drugs, their friends, and allies.
HRVic has often led the way in developing innovative approaches to peer education and community development, and has contributed to Australia having one of the lowest
HIV rates among injecting drug users in the world.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The Nitty Gritty of our Itty Bitty!
Community Ownership and Accountability:
Harm Reduction Victoria is of and for our community. Through active engagement with our membership and constituent communities, Harm Reduction Victoria aims to identify and serve the needs of drug users in Victoria. We encourage a broad-based sense of ownership and involvement in all aspects of HRV’s operations.
Harm Reduction Victoria respects and represents all people who use drugs in Victoria, regardless of gender, sexuality, age, disability or ethnic group. We prioritise those at greatest risk of drug related harm and in particular people who inject drugs, due to the risk of blood borne virus transmission.
“Nothing about us without us”:
Harm Reduction Victoria asserts the right of people who use drugs to have a voice in decisions which directly affect our lives and to be involved in the response to drug use and associated harms in Victoria including drug related policies and programs.
Harm Reduction Victoria rejects all forms of arbitrary discrimination against people who use drugs. We believe that the stigma associated with drug use undermines human dignity and self-efficacy, and creates barriers to participation in the social, cultural and economic life of the community. We work towards the elimination of these destructive attitudes.
Harm Reduction Victoria is a health promotion organisation. We are guided by a belief that drug related harm should be treated as a health issue and not a criminal issue. Our aim is to advance the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs by creating an environment in which individuals are empowered to realise their aspirations, meet their needs and participate fully in society.
Partnerships and Collaboration:
In order to respond more effectively to the needs of people who use drugs, Harm Reduction Victoria is committed to pursuing partnerships and strategic alliances with other community sector organisations built on shared goals and trust.
Harm Reduction Victoria strives to be a model employer, to be accountable to our members and constituent communities for all of our actions, and to achieve optimal outcomes at all times.
For more comprehensive information, view the
Harm Reduction Victoria Strategic Plan here.
If the membership is the legs that carry and the board of directors is the brains of HRVic then the 11 permanent staff and over 80+ volunteers, are the heart of the organisation.
From a variety of backgrounds, qualifications and experience, the HRVic team is made up of current and former people who use drugs giving HRVic the advantage in drug related health promotion and a truely unique peer-spective.