Rainbow Coffs Harbour LGBTIQA+ group supports World Aids Day

Rainbow Coffs Harbour members at the Big Banana as it turned red for World Aids Day.

WORLD AIDS Day on Friday 1 December saw the enduringly iconic Big Banana in Coffs Harbour lit up red.

Observed annually on the first day of summer in Australia, the worldwide movement run by UNAIDS is a focus for sharing information about the AIDS/HIV plight.

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Robyn Dever, the Director of Rainbow Coffs Harbour, a local group advocating for LGBTIQA+ issues, told News Of The Area, “The day provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

“We asked the community who were interested in coming along to the Big Banana red illumination and showing their support to wear something red, and have their picture taken by the big red banana.

“Over 40 people turned up, which was absolutely awesome,” she said.

Robyn took along her red flag bearing the World Aids Day ribbon symbol.

“The World Aids Day red ribbon came about in 1991 when people chose to wear it to increase awareness and show support for those suffering from AIDS.

“In those days, it was still a highly stigmatised disease for the gay community, and this was also a way to show our community that we cared, and to educate the greater community,” she said.

In this, the 35th year of World AIDS Day, the theme was ‘Let Communities Lead’, a theme that resonated with the local Rainbow Coffs Harbour group.

“HIV treatments have now put this illness in the chronic disease category, but there is still a fair amount of stigma out there,” Robyn said.

“It is up to our communities – whether that be the LGBTIQA+ community, or the community of the greater Coffs Harbour to lead the way, to support, to educate, and to be there for each other.”

UNAIDS, the organisation who run the annual awareness day, stated, “Because change depends not on a moment but on a movement, the message Let Communities Lead will not only ring out on one day it will continue to echo throughout December and beyond.”


Director of Rainbow Coffs Harbour, Robyn Dever, with her World Aids Day flag.

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