LGBTQ+ communities in Sydney and across New South Wales will soon have access to an integrated, community-controlled and inclusive health service specifically designed to meet their needs in ACON’s new health centre, Kaleido Health, set to open later this year.

The first of its kind in New South Wales, Kaleido Health is a specialised LGBTQ+ health service that will provide integrated and multi-disciplinary care for sexuality and gender diverse people across the state.

Situated in the Belltower building on Gadigal land in Sydney’s South Eveleigh precinct, the centre will provide LGBTQ+ people access to a range of primary care and specialist health services including general practice, sexual health services, mental health support, gender-affirming health care, drug and alcohol interventions, cancer screening services and more.

ACON, NSW’s leading LGBTQ+ and HIV health organisation, has been working towards the establishment of a dedicated LGBTQ+ health service since 2016 and its opening in spring 2024 marks a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ health care in NSW.

The NSW Government provided $4.2m in funding for the development of Kaleido Health as part of the NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy 2022-2027. The bold vision for the centre directly aligns with priorities of NSW Health.

Kaleido Health will operate in partnership and with a degree of integration within the NSW Health system. Our primary partnership with Sydney Local Health District has been instrumental in the planning and development of the building for the service, and will provide some in-reach clinical services when operations commence.

Kaleido Health will also work with other partners including Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, and with other health organisations, specialists and allied health practitioners to provide additional services.

Work has commenced on transforming the historic Belltower building into the Kaleido Health Centre. The building is well-connected by public transport with Redfern Station next door being linked to 14 major train lines and is accessible with step-free access via an elevator.

Development of the name and branding has been led by award-winning design agency Frost*Collective – another long term partner of ACON. Recruitment for key operational positions will be underway soon, and clinicians and other health professionals can register an expression of interests via the website.

Kaleido Health is due to open in spring 2024. Watch Kaleido Health’s launch video here.

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Quotes attributable to ACON Deputy CEO and Kaleido Health Project Lead Karen Price:

“ACON is excited to announce that later this year we will be opening Kaleido Health, a new community-driven health service for LGBTQ+ people in NSW.

“The centre will deliver integrated care that is designed with the health needs of sexuality and gender diverse communities in central focus. LGBTQ+ people will be able to access a wide range of health services in a space that is for them, run by community, for community.

“ACON has been engaged in advocacy and education efforts for a long time to learn about the health needs of LGBTQ+ communities. We have applied this deep understanding of our communities in building this service, which we think will make a big difference in NSW.

“We’ve also taken inspiration from community-controlled health services operating in areas such as Aboriginal health and women’s health, and learned from service models that have been operating in the USA for over 50 years. Importantly, we’ve applied our relationships and knowledge of the NSW health system and our own experience in health service provision.

“With some services provided by partner organisations such as Local Health Districts and Networks, Kaleido Health is a service that will benefit from expertise in the system, in a for-purpose service designed around the health issues we know our communities need most.

“Through Kaleido Health, we aim to directly improve access to appropriate, safe, inclusive and person-centred LGBTQ+ health care,” Price said.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:

“I’m incredibly proud the NSW Government is providing funding for the new Kaleido Health Centre being established by ACON, and I want to acknowledge the great work of ACON in championing greater inclusivity in our society and their strong legacy advocating for improved health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals over many years.

“Our state has come a long way in supporting improved health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals but there is still much more to do. I look forward to NSW Health working with ACON to ensure the Kaleido Health Centre makes inroads in this space so everyone in NSW receives the high quality healthcare they deserve,” Park said.

Quotes attributable to NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce AM:

“NSW Health is proud to be a part of the Kaleido Health Centre, which will give LGBTIQ+ community members across NSW greater choice about the healthcare services they can access.

“The formation of this centre is so important in helping address the diverse healthcare needs of the LGBTIQ+ community.

“Partnerships are critical to NSW Health, and this collaboration with ACON reflects our commitment to delivering the best care for LGBTIQ+ people.

“Kaleido Health will add to and integrate with services provided by our Local Health Districts and Networks, including state-wide outreach and shared care arrangements to support people in rural and remote areas,” Pearce said.

Quotes attributable to Sydney Local Health District CEO Dr Teresa Anderson AM:

“Sydney Local Health District has a long and proud history of delivering care to our diverse LGBTIQ+ communities.

“We are excited to partner with ACON to open Kaleido and look forward to continuing to create opportunities to improve the services delivered and how we deliver them to the LGBTIQ+ community. It is our belief that our success can only be achieved by working together and leading by example in our actions,” Anderson said.

Quotes attributable to Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network CEO Nathalie Hansen

“The Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN) is pleased to be a proud supporter of ACON and have partnered with success to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTQIA+ people in our community.

“CESPHN has continued this partnership working with ACON on the establishment of Kaleido Health which will deliver integrated whole of person care for the LGBTQ+ community – this specialist primary care service will deliver multidisciplinary care, providing an improved health experience and outcomes for LGBTQIA+ people.

“Congratulations ACON from CESPHN on this announcement and your work toward opening Kaleido Health later this year – we look forward to continuing to work with you to promote greater access to health care for our community,” Hansen said.

Quotes attributable to St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney Acting CEO Linda Patat

“Our decades-long partnering with ACON has been vital for the community. The new Health Centre and the wrap-around supports it will provide is welcome news for the community, and St Vincent’s is delighted to be providing some of these specialist services,” Patat said.

Quotes attributable to ACON President Dr Justin Koonin:

“Establishing Kaleido Health is a bold and important step for ACON, one that is inspired by our Strategic Plan and organisational purpose – that ‘we are here to create opportunities for people in our communities to live their healthiest lives’.

“In our almost 40 years, we’ve learned a lot about the health needs of LGBTQ+ people, and the barriers that stop them receiving the care they need.

“We are extremely grateful to the NSW Ministry of Health and the NSW Government for their support.

“We also want to thank our partners in the NSW Health system, especially Sydney Local Health District, who have been crucial to the development of this service. And we acknowledge the support of Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney.

“ACON looks forward to working with the NSW Government, NSW Ministry of Health, health organisations, research bodies and other partners and supporters in the operation of Kaleido Health to improve the health of our communities,” Koonin said.