In 1985, Ankali formed as an organisation to provide people who had been diagnosed with an AIDS-defining illness with friendship and emotional support. The first Ankali volunteer training was held in May 1985.
Ankali has always attracted a wide variety of volunteers. In the early stages of the epidemic, volunteers were matched with clients who were not expected to live long. Today, Ankali volunteers can form long relationships with the people living with HIV and AIDS to whom they provide friendship and support.
Today, Ankali is a division of The Albion Centre, within the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
Jenny Jagger has long been a volunteer in many different areas. She had friends who were gay growing up and feels her life is good and that giving something back to society is a gift. She has volunteered with Ankali for more than 26 years and is now a group leader. When she first joined the organisation at the height of the epidemic, Ankali had 200 clients waiting for carers.
Jenny has forged a deep connection with Blair, who has been her client and friend for over two and a half decades. She describes their pairing as an ‘amazing match’ and says there has been a lot of laughter and banter in their relationship. In 2000, Jenny and Blair signed up together to volunteer for the Sydney Olympics. She continues to volunteer with Ankali and says it has been a very positive experience.