Who am I as a leader? Promoting community belonging and influence through the Positive Leadership Development Institute Australia 

Stream: Communities and Leadership
Date: Friday, 1 April 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.45 pm


Objective: The PLDI program, developed in Canada, aims to build leadership and resilience capacity among people living with HIV (PLHIV). Evaluation activities accompanied the translation of this program to Australia in 2013-2015. Key insights from these activities will be described to promote community dialogue regarding effective approaches to empowering PLHIV to contribute to and influence their local communities.

Method: Qualitative telephone interviews of workshop participants (N=59) from Australia and New Zealand were held at one and six months following five workshops. Pre and Post (six months) online emotional intelligence assessments and the Connor-Davidson 10-point resilience scale were conducted at four different intervals – pre-workshop, immediately post workshop and again at one and six months.

Results: Across five domains of emotional intelligence the average score of participants increased by 4.24%. Psychological resilience levels also increased and remained stable across the testing period. Interview themes included doing leadership differently – to each their own, learning from each other – a ‘family’ of peers, and challenges of integration – theory into practice.

Conclusions: PLDI graduates are demonstrating increased and sustained levels of emotional intelligence and psychological resilience, supported by insights from the qualitative interviews. Outcomes regarding community influence will be observed over the longer term, but PLDI graduates already report an increased sense of connection and belonging to HIV community.


Brent Allan (Presenter), Living Positive Victoria
Brent Allan is the Chief Executive Officer of Living Positive Victoria, member of the Victorian Ministerial Taskforce on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex populations, appointee to the Commonwealth Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and civil society representative to the International AIDS Society's Industry Liaison Forum. He has been working in the community response to HIV/AIDS for over 25 years both in Australia and internationally and one of the founders of the Positive Leadership Development Institute Australia.

Christy Newman, Centre for Social Research in Health
Dr Christy Newman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health.

Graham Brown, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society