President’s column

Ending violence against women starts with gender equality. This was the key message from OurWatch this week as it launched a new framework in Canberra that outlines an integrated, national approach to prevent violence against women and their children.

The framework, called Change the story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women, acknowledges the complexity of violence against women and their children as a social problem, but provides evidence to show that the problem can be prevented if everyone shows leadership and does their part.

As the level of government closest to the community, Local Government is well placed to influence social and community change by responding to local concerns and leading local prevention activities. Throughout the report, the role of Local Government in reinforcing a national approach to changing the story of domestic violence is recognised.

Local Government across Australia is supporting the reduction of violence against women and their children through a range of activities by individual councils and also through the representation of several ALGA Board members, including myself, as White Ribbon Ambassadors. Board members in the Northern Territory (Mayor Damien Ryan), South Australia (Mayor David O'Loughlin), Victoria (Clr Bill McArthur), and past President of the LGAT in Tasmania (Mayor Barry Easther) are some of the 2,000 White Ribbon Ambassadors across Australia. The Municipal Association of Victoria has also developed a set of factsheets on preventing violence against women, winning an international award earlier this year for its Prevention of Violence Against Women – Leading Change in the Victorian Local Government Sector booklet.

It should be remembered that at the closing of ALGA's NGA this year, the then Tumut Shire Council Mayor, Trina Thomson, moved a motion from the floor of the Assembly to support our advocacy at COAG to ensure the national campaign against domestic violence is appropriately resourced. I am pleased that we have continued our advocacy in this important area and that ALGA has provided input in the development and preparation of the OurWatch framework.


Mayor Troy Pickard
ALGA President