Mildura Weekly : Friday November 11 Vol 11 No 2
8 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 MILDURA Rural City Council is now of- ficially a White Ribbon accredited work- place. The first, and only, White Ribbon ac- credited workplace in the municipality, MRCC staff and councillors attended an official ceremony on Wednesday, with a certificate presented by White Ribbon Aus- tralia’s Community Engagement manager, Liam Dooley. MRCC chief executive officer, Gerard Jose, congratulated the organisation on the two years of work it took to gain the accreditation, marking the day as a signifi- cant milestone for Council. However, he said the work had only just begun in end violence against women. “We still do have a long way to go,” Mr Jose said at the ceremony. “I read the other day the results of a survey, and it appears that men’s greatest fear is being laughed at by their partner in public, and women say being killed by their partner is their great- est fear. “So to me, that summarises that we have a long way to go to support our com- munity, including women, with respect and dignity and making it a safe place.” Tim Rodger, one of three MRCC White Ribbon Ambassadors, said that while the accreditation is a positive occasion, it also shines a light on the difficult year the or- ganisation has had. In May, MRCC employee Karen Belej was murdered at the hands of her partner. “It’s not right that a large number of women, friends, family, colleagues simply exist and suffer in silence and see it as nor- mal,” Mr Rodger said. “While today marks a significant mile- stone, our work has only just begun, and as an organisation and as a community we will keep up the effort. “We will continue to work within Council and the community to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.” By ALEXANDRA TRELOAR VICTORIA’S inaugural Lesbi- an, Gay, Bisexual, Transgen- der and Intersex Equal- ity Roadshow kicked off this week, with Mildura among the first regional towns visit- ed by the State’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Ro Allen. Commissioner Allen spoke to a cross-section of community members on Monday and Tuesday as part of the State Government’s roadshow, which will visit 17 rural and regional communi- ties across Victoria. The roadshow aims to work with local communi- ties to reduce discrimination and promote the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans- gender and intersex people in rural and regional areas. “Mildura has been so welcoming, it’s amazing,” Commissioner Allen said this week. “The town’s really ready to engage in these issues, and what I’ve found is there are lots of different pockets of stuff happening that show Mildura does really embrace diversity, and maybe we’ve just started a conversation that will help people co-ordi- nate their efforts.” Commissioner Allen said issues raised during the Mil- dura leg of the roadshow in- cluded the isolation and vis- ibility of LGBTI community members in the district. “I’m hearing that medi- cal services presume that they are heterosexual, asking lesbians if they need contra- ception, stuff like that, not taking the time to ask a few more questions,” Commis- sioner Allen said. “It’s the same thing we are hearing in other towns, lack of services or the ser- vices are here but they don’t understand their particular needs.” Commenting on the fact that the region has been “giv- en a bad rap” when it comes to gender and sexual equality, Commissioner Allen said the community is more progres- sive than it is given credit for. “What people told me Mildura was like, and what I found out when I got here, was totally different,” she said. “I had an awesome cof- fee with Glenn Milne from Council, he’s got his own beliefs but supportive in his own way, we park the issues we can’t agree on, but we can agree on taking care of the kids in Mildura so they don’t hurt themselves. “What’s not helpful to the community is if LGBTI issues are made political between councillors in Local Govern- ment, it doesn’t serve the community at all.” Admiring the actions by Mildura Rural City Coun- cil’s recent support of LGBTI equality, like the adoption of an inclusion plan, flying a rainbow flag at Council chambers and establishing a Mildura Pride community group, Commissioner Allen said Mildura is heading in the right direction. “That’s the stuff we should be celebrating, and unfortunately I have heard a lot of stories about people who have left, particularly trans people, and I think if we can get the message out that Mildura is turning into a different place, maybe young people might choose to stay,” she said. “You want them to, some of the smartest and bright- est kids are in this cohort, you don’t want them moving away, it just makes the whole place more friendly.” MEMBER for Mildura Peter Crisp has launched a scathing attack on the State Govern- ment after Mildura missed out on a share of $1.8billion in roads funding this week. Mr Crisp said that roads across the Mildura electorate were “crumbling and danger- ous” following years of State Government neglect. He said the Labor Gov- ernment’s “shocking” neglect of country roads has continued, even as $1.8billion was poured into Melbourne roads this week. “Our country roads are in a parlous state after two years of neglect by Daniel Andrews,” Mr Crisp said. “Just this week Premier Andrews found $1.8billion to pour into roads in Melbourne’s west, how- ever country Victoria has missed out yet again.” Mr Crisp said upgrades were desperately needed on the Calder, Sunraysia, Henty, Sturt and Murray Valley High- ways, to name just a few, and said the time was now for the community to make a stand, and to contribute to the Fix Country Roads, Save Country Lives campaign. “Community members can take part by taking a photo and sending it to me with the location, details of the hazard and their name,” he said. “Residents in this electorate are often required to drive long distances, and it is not acceptable that they are forced to do so on such dangerous roads.” Nominations for the Fix Country Roads, Save Country Lives campaign can be made by emailing details to peter.crisp@parlia- ment.vic.gov.au. Mallee’s first LGBTI roadshow sparks lively conversation • ENCOURAGING EQUALITY: Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Ro Allen, in Mildura this week as part of the State’s first ever Statewide LGBTI Equality Roadshow. Mildura roads crumbling and dangerous due to State Government neglect: Crisp City Council now officially White Ribbon accredited SALES PHONE: 1300 791 672 FAX: (03) 5023 7200 www.titanaustralia.com 36-42 Te nth Street, Mildura Please send us an email with any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org AUSTRALIA TYRES | WHEELS | AXLES As part of the Titan International Group of companies, Titan Australia is a leader in the design, development and sales of the toughest and most durable wheels, undercarriages, axles and tyres for agriculture. Titan keeps you heading in the right direction TOUGH. DURABLE. BUILT TO LAST.
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