Mitchell Shire Council community development and youth services coordinator Natasha Rose, community development team leader Teagan Harris, life stages manager Buffy Leadbeater, art and culture officer Ange Stock and gender equality officer Abby Eager prepare for the 16 Days of Activism campaign. ​

A community walk against gender-based violence will underpin the Mitchell 16 Days of Activism campaign.

Steps Towards Change will take place in Seymour on Wednesday, November 29, starting at the GoTAFE campus at Loco Street at 10am, where victim survivor of family violence and an advocate for gender equality and respectful relationships Angela Barker will be the guest speaker. 

A one-kilometre walk will conclude at Goulburn Park, Seymour, with a community event, including support service stalls and a barbecue. 

Everyone is welcome, and attendees are encouraged to bring friends, family, and pets while donning orange attire. 

The 16 Days of Activism begins on Saturday, November 25, the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on Sunday, December 10, Human Rights Day. 

Safe and Equal, the peak body representing specialised family violence services providing support to victim survivors in Victoria, reports that one woman is killed nearly every week in Australia due to family violence.

On average, police attend a family violence incident every six minutes in Victoria. 

Children are present in 30 per cent of family violence incidents attended by police and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children. 

Current data shows there are significantly higher rates of family violence in the Mitchell Shire than neighbouring local government areas. 

Mitchell Shire Council, alongside its partners including health agencies, support services and media partners, is making it clear that family violence is not tolerated or accepted within the community. 

Mitchell and Murrindindi shire councils have collaborated with several organisations and victim survivors to develop the Community Resource Guide to family violence. 

The guide provides information about local support services, understanding and identifying the signs and respectfully responding to family violence. 

It is a tool for community members who may be experiencing or helping someone experiencing family violence. 

The guide also offers information to help understand and identify family violence and what happens if reported.

It will be available on the Mitchell and Murrindindi websites, at Customer and Library Service Centres and at community centres and support services. 

Mitchell Shire Mayor Louise Bannister said the current family violence statistics were alarming. 

“They are not just numbers; they represent lives affected. It’s a call to action for us all,” she said.

“This campaign is not just about raising awareness but a commitment to action against gender-based violence.”

Cr Bannister said everyone had a right to feel safe, have equal access to support and live a life free from violence. 

“We’re very proud to have launched the Community Resource Guide. It’s not just a guide; it’s a tool to empower,” she said.

“It provides crucial information about family violence and support services available in our region. 

“Knowledge is power, and we want our community to be informed and resilient.” 

For the smooth flow of the walk, temporary road closures and detours will be in place, with the following sections of roads to be closed, and gradually reopening as the walk progresses: 

  • Loco Street, between 30 Loco Street and Railway Street 
  • Railway Street, between Loco Street and Guild Street 
  • Guild Street, between the intersection of Railway Street and Progress Street 

Attendees are advised to plan for additional travel time and anticipate potential delays. 

People can visit council’s website for more information about local events and visit the Respect Victoria website for information about the campaign. 

Check out our 16 Days of Activism wrap on our print edition this week!

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