On Sunday, at least 110 community members joined us to acknowledge the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is also the first day of 16 Days of Activism
Against Gender Based Violence. This event began with a magnificent Welcome to Country by Wadawarrung woman Corrina Eccles who brought our attention to our nature filled environment. She also highlighted the high numbers of Aboriginal women who are, as she put it, not just survivors of violence but surviving it. Kelly Busittil from the Women Making it Happen group then provided some statistics about gender based violence and invited attendees to take action by participating in activities following the walk. Moorabool Shire Councillor Tonia Dudzik then shared a personal story and poem from her childhood before highlighting some actions that people could take in their own lives to make a difference.
Being led by members of the Women Making it Happen group, the community members walked around Maddingley Park for at least half an hour, with more than 150 t-shirts hanging up around the path with messages from the community making a stand for a safer, more respectful and equal community. Afterwards there was a free BBQ, a female cricket match, t-shirt painting, pot decorating and planting, an opportunity to write a message on a leaf to be displayed at the Bacchus Marsh Hospital, and an arts and writing competition for primary school students. Amy McDonald from the Women Making It Happen group performed, singing a number of songs which were also enjoyed by both attendees and Apple FM radio listeners.
We would like to thank the following groups and organisations for their support:
Moorabool Shire Council and the Department of Health and Human Services for providing us with funding for this event.
Women Making it Happen group for planning, promoting, volunteering and implementing activities on the day.
Apple FM for broadcasting the whole event live and for having an inspiring playlist for us to enjoy.
Bacchus Marsh Cricket Club for coordinating the BBQ and cricket match.
Bunnings Warehouse Melton for providing the items for the pot decorating and planting activity.
Daytek for supplying us with the clothesline for display.
Speakers – Corrina Eccles, Kelly Busuttil and Tonia Dudzik
Singer – Amy McDonald