Sydney activist GARY BURNS has again called for ACON (formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW) to be shut down, after confirmation that notorious convicted paedophile GEOFFREY LEONARD has been using its facilities.

Mr Burns was approached late last year by several gay community members who had expressed concern that Leonard – who has previously been convicted of raping two minors, and who has advocated a legal age of consent of “at birth” – had been attending workshops at ACON’s premises run by the ‘Sydney Gay Freethinkers’ friendship and support group.

Leonard was attending the Sydney Gay Freethinkers workshop held at ACON’s premises on Monday nights, it was alleged.

ACON, which is funded by taxpayers to the tune of $11.1 million per annum, funds the Sydney Gay Freethinkers through its ‘Hand in Hand’ program and also provides in-kind support such as the use of ACON’s meeting rooms.

ACON CEO NICHOLAS PARKHILL denied the reports at the time, claiming Leonard had never used ACON’s facilities or even been there.

However in a new development, Mr Parkhill has admitted to NSW Health that Leonard had been attending the Sydney Gay Freethinkers workshops at ACON.

In a latter to Mr Burns, DR KERRY CHANT, Deputy Director-General, Population Health and Chief Health Officer, NSW Health, said: “I am advised that the Chief Executive Officer of ACON, Mr Nicolas Parkhill, received confirmation from the coordinator of the ‘Sydney Gay Freethinkers’ group that Mr Geoffrey Leonard was dismissed from the group over two years ago and has not participated in the group since that time.” (See attached letter.)

Mr Burns said ACON kept changing its story, having previously denied Leonard had ever been there at all.

“When I first raised these concerns, ACON’s CEO Nicolas Parkhill said Leonard had never been there. He has maintained that Leonard has never been there. Now he’s telling NSW Health Leonard has been using their premises but not for two years.

“ACON’s excuses keep shifting around like deck chairs on the Titanic. My information is that Geoffrey Leonard has been attending until six months ago, when I first started asking questions.

“ACON must come clean about exactly when and why rock spiders like Geoffrey Leonard have been at ACON.”

Mr Burns said the issue disturbed him because Leonard was not a member of the gay community, and Leonard’s use of gay community facilities reinforced outdated and offensive stereotypes about links between gay men and paedophilia.

Geoffrey Leonard is not a gay man. He is a paedophile,” said Mr Burns.

“Our community has had to battle for many years stereotypes that gay men are kiddie fiddlers. Yet our self-appointed gay government, ACON, is reinforcing these stereotypes by giving succour to people like Geoffrey Leonard. Why?”

Mr Burns also challenged ACON’s attempt to distance itself from the Sydney Gay Freethinkers group.

“ACON has tried to make out that they have nothing to do with the Sydney Gay Freethinkers group, but the fact is they allow the so-called Freethinkers to use ACON’s premises at 7.30pm each Monday.

“ACON also provides funding to the group through its Hand in Hand programme, which funds community groups.

“This means the NSW taxpayers are funding it, because ACON is funded by NSW Health money and other government grants.”

Mr Burns also challenged ACON’s assertion that there was “no impropriety in [Sydney Gay Freethinkers’] use of ACON premises”.

“How would they know what’s going on at these meetings?” asked Mr Burns.

“They could be grooming young boys for sex. For all they know, Jack the Ripper could be there. Unless ACON is monitoring the meetings, they’d have no idea what goes on there.”

The latest scandal for ACON comes after last month’s bad publicity for the organisation when Burns and other activists questioned ACON’s finances, and a ‘how to use illegal drugs’ guide called Routes of Administration” drew widespread outrage.

As revealed in ACON’s 2009/10 financial report, ACON – which claims to be a ‘GLBT* health and wellbeing organisation’ – spent only $819, 872 on programs and services for the GLBT community, with the rest of its $12,638,998 budget going to areas such as salaries, administration, travel, and unspecified events and activities.

“Between its financial misappropriation, it’s so called harm minimisation guide which gives techniques for snorting, shafting and injecting drugs, and hosting convicted Geoffrey Leonard at workshops, I feel it’s time ACON was shut down and its health promotion work taken over directly by the NSW Government.

“ACON is exactly that – a con. It is a disgrace to our community.”

Acon Letter 1


Media contact:
Gary Burns
(02) 9363 0372
0407 910 309!/garyburnsblog

More information:

Sydney Gay Freethinkers meeting time and place:

ACON’s Hand in Hand program, which funds the Sydney Gay Freethinkers:

ACON’s Routes of Administration drug booklet:

A copy of ACON’s 2009/10 Financial Report can be accessed by visiting The report shows that of ACON’s $12,638,998 budget, 88 per cent ($11,145,901) comes from government grants via NSW Health, the NSW Department of Community Services and other government bodies.

Footage –

* GLBT = gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sydney activist GARY BURNS has called for NSW Health Minister CARMEL TEBBUTT to resign in the wake of the scandal over the ‘how to take drugs’ booklet “Routes Of Administration” produced by ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW.

Burns said that in light of Tebbutt’s failure to response to concerns over the booklet and other concerns about ACON – which have drawn widespread publicity in both the Fairfax and Murdoch press – Tebbutt should join the 22 other Labor MPs who have resigned ahead of the NSW State Election.

Burns said the NSW Government-funded Routes Of Administration booklet, which details numerous techniques for taking drugs including snorting, injecting and shafting (insertion into the anus), posed a threat to the lives of children.

“There may be an argument for this information to be presented to known drug users within the confines of an ongoing treatment program,” said Mr Burns.

“But to have this information available online for absolutely anyone to access is outrageous.

“The booklet gives very specific information on how to take all sorts of drugs and makes it look like a walk in the park. Kids could access it and end up dying in the gutter.

“Ms Tebbutt has a son herself. Being a mother, she should know better.

“Her own son could end up dead in the gutter because of her inaction as a minister in an elected government.”

Burns also questioned why the NSW Government had given ACON funds to produce the booklet when it claimed to be concerned about gay and lesbian welfare.

“Last week, the NSW Government announced a $250,000 program called Proud Schools to help combat homophobia in schools,” said Mr Burns.

“Well, what good are anti-homophobia measures to a kid who ends up stone motherless cold in the morgue because they’ve attempted to follow ACON’s drug booklet.

“The Routes Of Administration booklet is a step-by-step guide to killing yourself.”

Burns added that he was insulted that Tebbutt apparently thinks “all homosexuals are drug addicts who spend their time shooting up and shafting” and questioned why the gay community needed drug “education” over and above that provided to the general community.

“The Health Department already has its own drug education and harm minimisation initiatives. Why it supports ACON doing extra so-called drug education specifically for the gay community is beyond me,” he said. “After all, we’re not an endangered species.

“It makes us look like a pack of druggies, which we’re not.

“I don’t even take a Bex powder when I have a sickly migraine,” he said.

Mr Burns concluded: “Ms Tebbutt, it’s time to go. Everything and everyone has a use-by date,, just like the milk in your refrigerator. And it’s quite obvious, love, that you have reached yours.

“It’s time to call it a day, go home, put your feet up on the poof and have a rest.”


More information:

To view ACON’s Routes Of Administration drug booklet, visit:

Media enquiries:
Gary Burns
(02) 9363 0372
0407 910 309!/garyburnsblog

Burns lodges police complaint over ACON drug booklet

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sydney activist GARY BURNS has lodged an official complaint with NSW Police over a ‘how to take illegal drugs’ booklet produced by ACON (formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW).

As reported by News Ltd newspapers this morning, the taxpayer-funded ACON booklet “Routes of Administration” is available for anyone to download at ACON’s website.

It gives specific and detailed information on techniques for taking drugs by numerous means including injecting, snorting and shafting (insertion of drugs into the anus).

Mr Burns today sent a written complaint to NSW Police, asking the constabulary to investigate ACON for breaching the NSW Criminal Code.

“I have today written to NSW Police Commissioner ANDREW SCIPIONE asking him to assign detectives to investigate ACON over their how to take drugs booklet,” said Mr Burns.

“It is my belief that this booklet encourages people to undertake illegal acts and is therefore itself illegal.

“As a concerned community member, I want to see ACON investigated to see if the organisation has broken any laws. I believe it has because ACON is aiding and abetting illegal drug use.”

Mr Burns said that while he supported harm minimisation methods, “Routes of Administration” went beyond that and actually encouraged people to break the law.

“ACON are trying to present this as harm minimisation when it’s not,” he said.

“Harm minimisation would involve giving this information to known drug users as part of a drug counselling programme, under supervision and with ongoing contact.

“That’s not what this is. This booklet is available for anyone to download from ACON’s website or can be picked up from ACON’s foyer, no questions asked.

“There is nothing to stop 13, 14, 15-year-old kids from picking it up or downloading it, trying the suggestions in the booklet and killing themselves.

“This is a very serious matter because if some kid tries the methods suggested by ACON, they might not be coming home for dinner.

“There won’t any need for you as a parent to set a place at the dinner table if your kid has overdosed on drugs and is laying stone motherless cold in a body bag in the morgue.

“Charges should be laid over this, and I think it would also be prudent to send the drug detection dogs around to ACON and give the place a thorough comb-over,” Burns concluded.

Burns’ call for police intervention follows several weeks of high-profile scandals for ACON, including the revelation in Fairfax newspapers last week that ACON spends only $819,872 of its $12,638,998 million budget (6.4 per cent) on its raison d’être – programs and services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community.



Finely chop powder, alternate nostrils says taxpayer-funded guide (News Ltd article):

Row over HIV health cash (Fairfax):

ACON’s “Routes of Administration” drug booklet:

ACON’s 2009/10 Financial Report:

Gary Burns
(02) 9363 0372
0407 910 309!/garyburnsblog

Oz taxpayers’ money funding guide to snorting cocaine, other party drugs

2011-01-23 16:10:00

The Australian taxpayers’ money is being used to fund a guide on ways to inject, snort, and swallow cocaine and other party drugs.

The guide, however, is being released under the guise of AIDS prevention.

The guide titled ‘Routes of Administration‘, is being published by the former AIDS Council of NSW, now known as ACON, which was set up to promote health and reduce HIV transmission in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, reports

The document, available at ACON’s offices and via the Internet, includes tips such as: finely chop powdered drugs before inhaling, alternate nostrils and rinse nostrils after snorting – using common house and office utensils.

Warning readers not to mix up their utensils with those of other people, the guide advises: “Using post-it notes with your name on is an easy way to keep track of your own equipment.”

What is the justification for such a guide you ask? They say Hepatitis C can be passed on from sharing equipment.

However, the guide doesn’t have many takers. Gay activist Gary Burns, most widely known as the man who sued radio broadcaster John Laws for vilification against homosexuals, believes that the guide is “dangerous”.

“It is way beyond harm minimisation. It is giving you a step-by-step guide to killing yourself,” he said.

A NSW Health spokesman said the harm reduction strategies in no way condoned drug use. (ANI)


Drugs and Proper Usage Guide Paid by Australian Taxpayers?

January 22, 2011 12:15 PM EST – by Larry Seely

Former AIDS Council of New South Wales, known now as ACON, has published a four page guide on how to correctly snort cocaine and other party drugs. The publication is in part a guide to prevent the spread of AIDS.

In the publication it teaches users how to use common house utensils for snorting cocaine. Other tips in the pamphlet include: rinse nostrils after snorting, chop powdered drugs finely before use, and don’t mix your utensils with other users.

The pamphlet is available at health offices and the internet and is paid for with $8 million thatACON receives from the State Government of NSW.

Nicholas Parkhill serves as the chief executive of ACON and has said that the booklet is a reproduction of a previous pamphlet and that it has been checked by drug and alcohol experts. Parkhill was quoted “This is not a ‘how to use drugs guide’ but a ‘how to reduce the harms associated with drug use guide’.

This surprise here is that another country other than the United States has developed such garbage on the taxpayer dollar.