House debates

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Statements by Members

Reclaim the Night March

1:33 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Every year, on the last Thursday night in October, the women of the Hawkesbury march to Reclaim the Night. The main street of Richmond is closed to allow a few hundred women, children and—I am pleased to say—men to feel the freedom of walking the streets without fear. The march starts at The Women's Cottage—an amazing place where women with broken lives, fears and sadness are helped on a journey of recovery, thanks to a model in which women help women.

I congratulate Hawkesbury's new council, including mayor Mary Lyons-Bucket, deputy mayor Barry Calvert, and councillor Danielle Wheeler, for their decision that the cottage will have 10 years rent-free so it can continue its work at a time when funds are being cut left, right and centre. Our promise to The Women's Cottage, had we won government, was funding to put towards their renovation, the plans for which, now that their tenure is more secure, can progress with even greater confidence. I note the work of the whole team there, led by a committed board and The Women's Cottage new manager, Nicolle Lewis, and her predecessor, Sharon Payne.

The march is a chance to chant, shout and make a noise, knowing that, for once, the streets are ours. I acknowledge the Hawkesbury Local Area Command for their support in stopping the traffic so the march could happen and motorists' patience as we made our way down Windsor Street to Richmond Park, where, in spite of a little bit of rain, we were able to remember those whose lives were lost to sexual violence and to celebrate being women, alive and thriving.