The 2018 Annual Northern Beaches DV Network and Zonta Northern Beaches Breakfast was held on White Ribbon Day, 23 November, at the The International Management College, Manly. It was wonderful to see over 150 attendees from the local community come together to help stand up and speak out against violence against women.
It was particularly great to see support from Manly Police Station, Manly & Warringah Rugby Clubs, as well as students from local high schools. All of these organisations are in a position to influence the future and help towards solving this terrible problem.
Guest Speaker, Jen Armstrong is a strong, educated working mother of three who is also a Domestic Violence Survivor. It was an honour to hear her speak. Jen told us how social workers and police officers helped her walk away from an abusive relationship and rebuild a healthy life for her and her children. Jen rebuilt her life to complete her university education, establish the The Beauty Bank, establish a career in sports management and to become 2016 NSW Woman of the Year.
We also had the honour of Guest Speaker Lisa McAdams sharing her experiences as a Domestic Violence Survivor. Unfortunately Lisa was kept in Melbourne due to extreme weather conditions so was forced to live stream, but it did not stop the emotion felt in the room as Lisa shared her story. Lisa is a strategist, solutions consultant and author of the book “Domestic Violence - Changing Cultures, Saving Lives”.
Thanks to Zonta for organising the raffle and to the local woman who generously donated a day on the harbour for live auction. Well over $2000 was raised and will be used towards the “Love Bites” programme run in local high schools by Community Northern Beaches.
There were 72 candles lit in tribute to the 72 women who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence and there was a call for all of us to stand up and speak out to our politicians to change laws and to our friends and communities to change attitudes so that this number does not continue to grow.