Several of Sunraysia’s largest organisations and businesses have come together to form a strong and united voice in support of Respect Victoria’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
The international campaign aims to galvanise action to address gender inequality and prevent gender based violence before it starts and in Sunraysia is being embraced by organisations including Mildura Rural City Council, Lower Murray Water and SuniTAFE.
The 16 Days of Activism started last Thursday 25 November and will run through until Friday 10 December.
Councillor for Community Development and Gender Equality Helen Healy said 16 Days of Activism was a powerful way to strengthen the message that as a community we must be committed to learning about gender inequality and the pivotal role it plays in gender based violence.
“Gender based violence causes severe harm to families and communities, particularly women and children, which is simply not good enough and must change,” Cr Healy said.
“Fortunately there are things that we can all do to help turn this around and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is great initiative to highlight this.
“Standing up for what we think is right, and by being an active bystander or ‘calling out’ sexism, harassment, discrimination and gender inequality when we see it, are powerful methods to help bring about the change that is needed.
“But it can also include simple actions like not laughing at sexist jokes, giving a disapproving look, standing up for the person affected, or supporting others when they ‘call it out’.”
SuniTAFE and Lower Murray Water have undertaken the following activities as part of the 16 Days of Activism
Diploma of Community Services students have been working on a range of projects to raise awareness in our community about gender inequality and violence including:
- designing ‘No to Violence’ t-shirts
- designing eye-catching ‘Respect is’ stickers for local organisations
- producing information packs which have been delivered to local organisations to help them become involved and get active during the 16 Days
- a display of all of this work at the Mildura Visitor Information and Booking Centre.
Lower Murray Water
Lower Murray Water staff came up with a creative idea to paint respect-themed artwork on rocks for the 16 Days of Activism, which have been placed at various locations within the local community.
It’s a concept which has been embraced by SuniTAFE students, who created similar pieces of ‘rock artwork’ which accompany their display at the Mildura Visitor Information and Booking Centre which will remain at the booking centre until Friday 10 December.
SuniTAFE CEO Geoff Dea said it was encouraging to see young people so engaged and embrace the 16 Days of Activism.
“Our students and staff have an understanding about gender inequality and its links to gender-based violence. Importantly, the need to do something about it, gives us hope that we can bring about change in our community,” Mr Dea said.
Lower Murray Water Managing Director, Anthony Couroupis said staff have been really supportive of the 16 Days of Activism.
“Large organisations are in a powerful position to raise awareness about gender inequality, and we’re proud to stand alongside Mildura Rural City Council and SuniTAFE to support this initiative and all it represents,” Mr Couroupis said.
Residents are encouraged to drop in to the Mildura Visitor Information and Booking Centre from now until next Friday 10 December to view SuniTAFE students’ work and take up the opportunity to explore the gender equality book display at the library as well.