On Wednesday, June 18th, David Shoebridge MLC of the NSW Greens and Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney, co-hosted a fundraiser to support Sydney’s HIV/AIDS Legal Centre.
“The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre provides an essential missing link in legal advocacy. For well over a decade it has been fighting discrimination in public health,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The centre’s Principal Solicitor, Indraveer Chatterjee also highlighted the importance of tackling discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS.
“The stigma surrounding HIV has continued unabated for the last 20-25 years,” Mr Chatterjee said.
“We try and ameliorate that stigma through fighting for law reform around HIV-specific issues in the law.”
Mr Shoebridge and Mr Greenwich hosted Wednesday’s fundraiser in order to help raise funds the centre needs to remain operational following two years of state budget cuts to its funding.
“The centre has received dramatic cuts from its state funding and for that reason its survival depends upon the community stepping up to the plate and ensuring that it continues,” said Mr Shoebridge.
The fundraiser was successful in raising $1,000 to put towards the $50,000 the centre needs to raise to continue to operate at its current levels.
“It was a big success. The support of David Shoebridge and Alex Greenwich as well as a variety of state and federal sector organisations has been significant and very much appreciated,” said Mr Chatterjee.
In addition to raising funds for the centre, the fundraiser also aimed to raise awareness of the importance of the work the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre does each year.
“It is the very fact of the provision of legal advice or representation itself that can often do wonders to strengthen the resolve of a person affected by HIV to move forward and take their rightful place in society,” David Buchanan SC said in his address at the fundraiser.
Mr Greenwich feels that although the breakfast was successful in raising funds for the centre, its significance was also in its success in raising awareness about the work of the centre.
The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre’s current public fundraising campaign ends this week, however next week it will be transferred to a new platform and will continue operating.
“The success of the centre’s public campaign so far as given me a lot of hope and I am confident that they will reach their goal,” said Mr Greenwich.