Tuesday 16 March 2021

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria yesterday attended the ‘March 4 Justice’ Melbourne rally in Treasury Gardens. The event was one of 40 rallies held across the country attended by over 100,000 Australians.

Sparked by recent high profile allegations, the focus of the rallies were the issues of gendered violence, sexual assault, discrimination and gender inequality.

“We thought it was really important to take a stand on behalf of our sector which is made up of a predominately female workforce, and is built on the legacy of many pioneering women,” Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle said.

“Like many, I’ve been pretty disgusted by recent events in our political landscape, but the issues of domestic violence and workplace sexual harassment have been around for a very long time, and women are saying enough is enough. Women need to be heard, we need to be taken seriously, and meaningful action needs to happen.”

“It was really promising to be amongst so many Victorians coming together in solidarity, to create a cultural shift. The speeches were also a great reminder of the diversity of voices in this movement, which we need to keep elevating. This includes First Nations women, women of colour, transgender women, and gender non-conforming people.”

In early December, Nicole hosted a forum on the fifth Sustainable Development Goal, Gender Equality, which included the Victorian Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams MP.

“During the discussion, it came up that just by providing accessible, supportive and non-intimidating environments, neighbourhood houses can be a place of refuge, support and disclosure for women experiencing domestic violence. During my conversation with Minister Williams, we agreed on the potential to strengthen capacity within the sector so staff felt confident and supported to handle these situations when they happen. I’m hoping we can make this happen in the near future.”

You can watch the forum here: