16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Heather Nancarrow

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Hear from Heather below.

Heather Nancarrow

The annual 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women  is an opportunity to expand the effort and achievements of the activists who do this work all year round.”

“Without activism there would be no protection from, nor education about, the atrocities inflicted on women, predominantly by men.”

“ Indeed, the violence against women policies, laws and prevention efforts in place exist only because of decades of activism: but the work is far from over.   

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Lyn Anderson

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Lyn’s story below.

Lyn Anderson, Helem Yumba CEO

We spoke to Lyn Anderson, CEO of Helem Yumba, a healing centre.

Lyn has witnessed how Helem Yumba has evolved from having a clinical-focused approach to a healing perspective which uses a family-centred approach.

Activism is the driving force behind the work Lyn does, and she believes this should apply to all of us in the sector. As people experience ongoing impacts of colonisation and gendered violence, their trauma and needs remain unmet by society. Lyn focuses on exploring and identifying these causes of trauma and looks at ways to respond.

“That should be happening all the time, not only during the 16 days. Not only is our trauma minimised and kept under, so are the harms caused by the patriarchy now, gendered violence. It’s tough talking about it. It’s the men who need to stand up and say ‘I want to stop it.’ I’ve been involved in doing some work with blue collar workers about gendered violence. No one wants to know about it. There has to be that active, push, poke, prod. People will feel uncomfortable, but that’s what activism is about. So I’m talking on both fronts, both the hurt caused by colonisation and through the patriarchy.”

Don’t be silent, don’t be a bystander. Get engaged; for too long our fear about standing out and taking against the norm keeps us silent. The more silent we are, the more our women and children will be harmed.

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Nat and Kim

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Nat and Kim’s story below.

Nat and Kim, Nawamba House

Nat and Kim work at Nawamba House, which provides accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Working at Nawamba House, they use a client-focused approach which empowers women to be decision makers for themselves and their children.

It’s important for them to be able to incorporate human rights into the work they do, and ensure that women are aware of their rights.

“Activism is an integral part of the service we provide to women and children at the women’s refuge.  All informed decisions are made taking into account women’s choices, and those women are the masters of their own life.”

“As an activist service, when working with our women we are actively working with women to ensure that they are informed to make their own choices for themselves and their children.”

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Alex

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Alex’s story below.

Alex, YFS Facilitator

Alex works as a facilitator in the Responsible Men Program at YFS. This program focuses on behavioural changes in men who use violent and controlling behaviours in relationships.

He believes the reforms made to legislate coercive control as a form of domestic violence has significant potential to shape understanding of domestic violence as pattern-based abuse. However, he hopes that these changes are implemented in ways that consider experiences of survivors and those working in the sector.

Activism is important to Alex, and he believes he has a responsibility to acknowledge his privilege and challenge the patriarchal power structures that enable violence and misogyny.

“Men’s violence is a men’s problem, and if we place the burden of addressing this anywhere else but with ourselves, we’ve missed an opportunity to take accountability for the privilege and entitlement that we all have as men in a patriarchal cultural power structure.”

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Claudina

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Claudina’s story below.

Claudina, Immigrant Women’s Support Service Case Worker

Today, meet Claudina, case worker at Immigrant Women’s Support Service.

Claudina cites increased reporting and awareness of violence against women as a significant change in the sector.

She notes that every woman affected by violence is part of a family and part of the community. The violence they experience is a societal issue that can affect anyone, and the impacts are felt by the whole community.

Claudina believe activism is vital; we have a shared responsibility to make sure people’s voices are heard and their plight is not forgotten.

“We need to keep the ripple effect of change going. Do not go silent.”

“I have hope in the workers and the services doing this work and how we transfer that hope to the women we support.  That’s what keeps me going.”

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Stacey Ross

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Stacey’s story below.

Stacey Ross, The Centre for Women & Co CEO

Meet Stacey Ross, CEO and Changemaker at the Centre for Women & Co.

During her time in the sector, Stacey has personally witnessed the success of collective advocacy, and how important the outcomes can be.

“It is fundamental in every aspect of our work, we not only advocate for women, children, men daily, but then for our teams and service and then broader community as well.”

“It’s emmeshed in all of what we do and the history of our work as well. We are also in a very privileged position to be able to advocate and so there are layers to this answer, and for me personally; I take it very seriously.”

Stacey admires the determination of her colleagues, how they strive for change within their communities. She encourages others in the sector to reflect on the positive impact they are leaving for the future.

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Denise Copcutt

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Denise’s story below.

Denise Copcutt, Refuge Support Worker

Denise Copcutt worked as a refuge support worker for 27 years and helped hundreds, if not thousands, of clients in that time.

She started out in the sector around the time when DV protection orders came out, which made a substantial difference for victims going through court proceedings. Before this, there was no assurance of safety.

“We are the voice of our clients. If I hadn’t had the gift of the gab, an awful lot of things wouldn’t have gotten things done.”

“For me it was about always expecting that the people that I was speaking to on behalf of my client would always be willing to help my client as much as I did”

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Else Franks

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Else’s story below.

Else Frank, Sisters of Mercy Volunteer

We spoke to Else Franks, who used to work as a volunteer at Sisters of Mercy, and asked her to reflect on her years of social action.

Else believes activism is important for the sector, as it helps with visibility for the cause. She notes the importance of making connections as well, recalling how Dame Quentin Bryce was a prominent advocate for the DFV sector and used her position as a young lawyer to further support the cause.

“My message for the sector is borrowed from Senator Linda Burney: “Things you do today can make a difference to the future.”

I’ll add to “stick together, support each other, and keep an eye on what could be.” Just ask questions if you need to.

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Angela Lynch

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Angela’s story below.

Angela Lynch, QSAN Secretariat

Today, meet Angela Lynch, who currently works as Secretariat for the Queensland Sexual Assault Network. 

Angela has previously worked with Women’s Legal Services Australia as a national reform coordinator, where she helped develop changes to the Family Law Act to prevent unrepresented perpetrators of DFV from being able to cross examine victims during court proceedings.  

These changes were implemented and new laws were introduced, including a national service response through legal aid to support these changes.  

This campaign took roughly seven years of ongoing advocacy. 

Angela says activism plays an important role in systemic reform. 

“The role of activism, advocacy, and seeking policy, legislative and system reform is key to raising awareness and building community responses to sexual, domestic, and family violence.”  

“It is a way of encouraging government and other organizations to take a stand and take action on legislation, policy, and/or service gaps.  Though victims of violence can undertake their own advocacy and we must make space for this, they also expect workers in the sector to speak up on their behalf in a consistent manner and to ensure their interests are considered in decision making.” 

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16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists - Karin Swift

16 Days of Activism: Celebrating Queensland Activists

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

16 Days of Activism: From 25 November until 10 December, WorkUP Queensland will acknowledge and highlight the achievements of those working in the DFV sector in Queensland.

Read Karen’s story below.

Karin Swift, Independent Consultant

Karin Swift has been involved in various projects across the sector with organisations including WWILD, QDN, and WorkUP Queensland.

She hopes to see all forms of violence against women with disabilities recognized at a global level, and has brought worldwide attention to the cause by representing Australia at the UN.

On a local level, she has had the opportunity to be involved with projects that came out of Dame Quentin Bryce’s landmark report titled Not Now, Not Ever. This work was an opportunity to share how violence can impact us in different ways, and demonstrated how public awareness needed to improve to ensure women and girls living with disability are able to be free from violence.

“I am an activist by using my voice, my experience, and the experiences of my peers to influence change, to co-design products, services, and campaigns to make sure they are inclusive of women and girls with disabilities; to advocate and ensure change at local, national, and global levels.”

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