I who may well be...

Musings from the perspective of a human being who may well be not locatable completely within the usual categories of male or female or gay or straight or transsexual or intersexed or exploiter or exploited or supplier or consumer or performer or spectator.

Friday, February 13, 2009

SWOP abandons sex workers' lobby

My former employer, ACON/SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project), has apparently decided that membership of the national sex workers group is not worth it. ACON, formerly the AIDS Council of NSW, which has controlled SWOP since being asked to temporarily auspice it when it was set up in the early 90s, has made this decision. ACON is controlled by its Board, which has no sex worker representation at all. If supporting sex worker advocacy by supporting the national advocacy body is not part of ACON's core work, then how can it claim any authority to speak to sex workers about their work?

With disgust at the hypocrisy of institutions claiming to be community organisations and then displaying no commitment or more than purely token responsiveness to that community, here is the email from the national sex workers group advising of SWOP's determination to be irrelevant to sex workers. ~norrie mAy-welby, employed at SWOP (NSW) 1997-2007, Outreach Worker, Outreach Coordinator, and Acting Manager.


It is with great regret that I inform you that after almost 20 years, as of the 1st of July 2009, SWOP will no longer be a member of Scarlet Alliance.

The ACON Board made this decision on the basis of SWOP being unable to pay for their membership from their Health Departments funds, and that fundraising to pay for the membership fee would deter from SWOP's core work.

Elena Jeffreys
Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association


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