Blue Mountains News

Mayoral Breakfast launches 16 Days of Action: Blue Mountains Says NO To Violence

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 27 Jan 2024 - Posted: 28 Nov 2023
Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, with students from Katoomba and Winmalee High Schools and members of EViE. Behind them is a display of flags made by community members in workshops organised DV West.
More than 80 people gathered at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub on Friday, 24 November, to attend the annual Mayoral Breakfast that launches the16 Days of Action campaign.

Their goal was to send a unified and powerful message: the Blue Mountains Says NO To Violence.  

The annual Mayoral Breakfast was held on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

This day marks the start of the United Nations global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which concludes with Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Blue Mountains City Council Mayor, Mark Greenhill, said: “The purpose of this Mayoral breakfast is to send a resounding message that the Blue Mountains Says NO To Violence.

“To declare together that violence and abuse against women and children will never be tolerated. To inspire men to take action to help stop that violence; and to acknowledge the strength, courage, and power of survivors and their supporters.”

Violence against women is a serious and widespread problem in Australia and the statistics that demonstrate this are confronting.

In Australia, intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor. In their lifetime:

  • 1 in 3 Australian women will experience physical violence
  • 1 in 5 Australian women will experience sexual violence
  • 1 in 2 Australian women will experience sexual harassment.

Removing gender inequality is the single best thing we can do to improve the safety of women.

Cr Greenhill, said: “I am proud that Blue Mountains City Council is taking positive action to improve gender equity for our community and our staff. 

“Council’s Gender Equity Strategy, adopted in August 2021, cemented Council’s commitment to gender equity and is our framework for delivering equal opportunity and fairness in treatment to people of different genders in the Blue Mountains.”

Cr Greenhill expressed admiration and gratitude for the exceptional work that Blue Mountains community service organisations do to support women and help prevent gendered violence: “The theme for this year’s international campaign is ‘UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.’ Council and community are united in this commitment. United we are stronger, we are safer, and we can achieve change. United, a future free from gender-based violence is not impossible; it is inevitable.”

Other speakers at the event included Chair of the Domestic and Family Violence Mayoral Advisory Committee, Councillor Suzie Van Opdorp, a member of the community with lived experience of family violence, members of EViE (Ending Violence, improving Equality), and students from Winmalee and Katoomba High Schools. An Auslan interpreter accompanied the speakers.

From Friday 25 November,16 Days of Action events will take place across the Blue Mountains.

Events include flag making workshops at Katoomba and Springwood libraries, morning teas, a movie screening, market stalls, and much more.

Everyone is invited to participate and raise awareness of how we can all help prevent gendered violence.

Cr Greenhill, said: “I encourage everyone to take part in these local events, spread the message by sharing our social media posts, and keep an eye out across our villages for footpath stickers, banners, and the orange women cutouts made by the Women’s Shed for Zonta. Each of us across the Blue Mountains can say NO to violence.”

The Mayoral Breakfast and16 Days of Action events are presented in partnership with Blue Mountains City Council and the Blue Mountains Coalition Against Violence and Abuse (CAVA).

To join a16 Days of Action event, view the calendar at: here

To read the Gender Equity Strategy, visit: here

 
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