2017 Media Releases

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Family violence on the agenda at school panel discussions

17 November 2017

Mitchell Shire Council and Victoria Police are spreading the message that family violence won’t be tolerated, starting with some of the Shire’s youngest residents.

Ahead of White Ribbon Day (25 November), a panel discussion featuring Victoria Police, Mitchell Shire Council CEO and White Ribbon Ambassador David Turnbull and Mitchell Youth Council Mayor Audrey Flannery will be held with Year 9 students from Seymour and Wallan secondary colleges.

The panel discussions will be followed by an activity where students will decorate bags with key messages about violence prevention, respect and equality.

It comes as statistics show there are 20.1 family violence incidents per 1000 people in Mitchell Shire, above the Victorian figure of 12.4.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said helping reduce instances of family violence was a major priority for the Council.

“The data shows us that reported family violence rates in Mitchell are higher than the state average, and we all have a role to play in making sure that number decreases,” Cr Sanderson said.

“Council is committed to proactively working alongside the Victorian Government and other support agencies to help achieve this.

“Hosting events like this demonstrate Council’s commitment to make this happen, as does our commitment in our Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan, which outlines decreasing incidences of family violence as a priority.”

Mitchell Youth Council Mayor Audrey Flannery said she was looking forward to speaking to her peers about such an important topic.

“It is really important that we get the message across to young people that family violence isn’t acceptable,” Ms Flannery said.

“The earlier we start to instil these messages in our young community, the better chance we have of reducing domestic violence.”

White Ribbon Day is an annual event that aims to stamp out family violence, particularly against women.

Mitchell Shire Council will also be taking part in the 16 Days of Activism social media campaign from 25 November to 10 December. Keep an eye on Council’s social media channels for more information.

The panel discussions will be held at Seymour Secondary College on Tuesday 21 November and Wallan Secondary College on Thursday 23 November. They are not events open to the wider community.

For more information on White Ribbon Day or for family violence support, please visit www.whiteribbon.org.au.