You would have no doubt seen the advertisements and banner ads, not to mention countless emails asking for volunteers, attendance, support and money. AIDS Awareness Week is about to start and most of the activity is happing on World AIDS Day on December 1, our most important fundraising day of the year for HIV education, treatment, care and support.

In the spirit of a culture of care, I want to draw your attention to today. Today is International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women. Why am I writing a column about violence against women?

Violence against women is one of the biggest human rights violations worldwide and by eradicating it we are creating a society that is safe for everyone — men, women and children.

I think about it like this. The women who experience violence could be anyone — they are friends, cousins, sisters, mothers or even daughters. They are women from our community.

White Ribbon Day is a chance for you to influence your family and friends to take action to end violence against women. All over Australia a range of people are undertaking all sorts of projects to create social change. One way they are doing this is by simply acknowledging the problem and breaking the silence that allows violence to occur.

In the same way that there will be many women out buying and selling red ribbons on World AIDS day, I hope that there are as many men out there buying white ribbons today.

For more information about White Ribbon Day, or to make a donation go to

To support World AIDS Day either by volunteering or making a donation go to

And remember, red and white are a tried and true colour combination.

info: If you want any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in western Sydney, you can contact Matt Vaughan at ACON on 9206 2064 or [email protected]

Matt Vaughan is the Community Development and Liaison Officer for the ACON Western Sydney Community Development Team.

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