By Angela Norval
The Zonta Club of Bundaberg ended last year on a high, having spread the message that violence against women and girls was not acceptable through 16 Days of Activism from 25 November to 10 December.
President Tanya McLoughlin said the campaign started with a community event at the Bundaberg Multiplex Sport and Convention Centre which was attended by more than 40 people and included guests speakers Norelle Watson performing the Welcome to Country, Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey, Senior Constable Danielle Loftis from the Domestic Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit and Reverend Danni Clark.
“All spoke in support of the initiative to bring an end to violence against women and girls in Australia but also internationally,” she said.
“We were also proud to have White Ribbon Ambassadors attend the event and at the conclusion the group walked around to the historic fig trees to see them bathed in orange lights.
“The colour orange signifies hope for a future free from gender-based violence.
“Awareness of this message was continued throughout the community with local business hosting orange Zollies, which contained messages about stopping violence against women with contacts of support services for women who are suffering gender based violence.”
The Zonta Club of Bundaberg thanked the Bundaberg Eye Clinic; Alowishus; Bargara Golf Club; IGA Burnett Heads and Gin Gin; National Australia Bank in Bundaberg and Bargara; Bendigo Bank Gin Gin; Alliance Pharmacy Bargara and Gin Gin; Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service; and That Furniture Shop Over East for hosting a Zollie mannequin during the 16 Days of Activism.
The staff at That Furniture Shop Over East not only dressed their mannequin in orange but also wore shirts with a pledge to say no to violence against women.
The Zonta Club of Bundaberg is hopeful that many more businesses will agree to host a Zollie this year.
The club spread messages about stopping gender-based violence through daily messages on its Facebook page about recognising gender-based violence, support services women and girls could access, and suggested TED Talks that elevated stories of survivors and advocates.
The Zonta Club of Bundaberg will continue its work locally this year, starting on 7 March with an International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Rowers on the River.
“We are thrilled to have the inspirational Eleanor Carey as our guest speaker,” Ms McLoughlin said.
“Eleanor was the first Australian woman to row across the Pacific.
“She was out there for over 62 days, joining two strangers, and English athletes Cazz Lander and Megan Hoskin, at the eleventh hour to compete in the 2018 Great Pacific Race after a crew member dropped out.
“All this while keeping her business, The Generator Bundaberg, going at home.”
Eleanor will be sharing her experience of stepping into the unknown and the incredible power of consistency under extreme pressure.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online through the Zonta Club of Bundaberg Facebook page.