Say NO to Family Violence campaign launch

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — I recently had the great honour of launching a Say No to Family Violence awareness campaign at Kambrya College with the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. The minister joined with me, principal Michael Muscat, students and local community organisations to make a stand against these appalling acts of violence that are sadly all too common.

The City of Casey has the highest reported incidence of family violence in Victoria, with 3759 incidents in the past 12 months alone. Our campaign will seek to not only raise awareness of the devastating impact family violence has on our community, but also help put an end to the harm caused by these terrible acts of violence. Kambrya College was the first of many to unveil its very own Say No to Family Violence campaign banner. The college did an exceptional job, and I was so pleased to hear that during the design, students and their arts teacher, Debbie Russo, spoke openly and honestly about this important issue. The school’s wonderful principal, Michael Muscat, also spoke at the launch and said:

Family violence in our community casts a very long shadow, especially on women and youth. We must stand united and reject it in all its forms.

Thank you, Michael, and student leaders Brooke Smith, Callum Sweet and Alex Clarke, who were our fantastic hosts. We were all so very touched by the beautiful musical tribute to victims of family violence performed by students. Well done to Eden Fernandes, Lauren Murrant, Sara Heitmann and Adrian Viol for their spine-tingling performances — and a few tears too.

I am so very proud and honoured to be able to work with such a wonderful local school. Their passion, care and dedication to our campaign has been inspiring, and I know that together we can, and will, make a difference within our community. It is only the beginning, but as I speak many more are joining our campaign, putting their hands up and saying no to family violence.