Tuesday 3 January 2012

Our DES Awareness Week - a response

The Daily Telegraph published a controversial article about Events Calendars by Melissa Matheson last week, "What say we call it a day" (31/12/11) with the subtitled comment - "The calendar is now jam-packed with worthy and not so worthy causes - and there's a ribbon for every one."

It was a shame that our DES Awareness Week June 1-7 did not even rate a mention, as this would have fulfilled our whole aim - to raise awareness of DES. Had it been mentioned, it would have certainly been categorised as a worthy cause. However, the fact it did not rate a mention may well demonstrate the stiff competition DES Action Australia-NSW as a marginalised unfunded group is up against with other campaigners, armed to the teeth with expensive PR company back-up.

The article had a sweeping statement that campaigners want your attention and, naturally, money. Our campaign has never asked people for money, but instead directly offers Australians information to help prevent cancer fatalities and reproductive health complications - vital health information as a result of a drug disaster that the government currently refuses to provide Australians in public health programs. With the sheer number of calendar campaigns all clamouring for attention, Matheson raises the issue of public exhaustion trying to keep up and the risk that public empathy may turn to apathy. It is hoped this never happens. The response to DES Awareness campaigns over the last seven years has shown the Australian public to be extremely appreciative of the information offered - information they would not have otherwise found.

Events Calendars open a window of excellent opportunity for marginalised organisations with worthy causes. In fair play, media should be focusing equally on those campaigners doing it tough with worthwhile causes. Indeed, a follow-up article about the experience of campaigners, like DES Action Australia-NSW, doing the hard grind without any ribbon and stifled by the PR power of larger campaigners, would be a positive move for public good. Focusing on the worthy campaigns at the fringe would bring something new to many people and simultaneously do justice to the underlying principles of Events Calendars.

1 comment:

Bonnie Heim said...

As a developer of a health awareness information site, I look for awareness days/weeks that have a link to a site specifically about the disease or condition and the awareness date on that site. I'd like to add your DES Awareness Week, if you can send me a link to a website (not a blog link). Cheers, Bonnie Heim, www.healthaware.org