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2016 White Ribbon Day "Benalla March Against Violence"

Thursday 24th November - Benalla community does us proud.

The sense of community at the 2016 Benalla “March Against Violence” for White Ribbon Day was just amazing with over 700 people joining together to make a strong statement that Benalla says  “No to Violence”. This would rate as one of the largest regional White Ribbon Day marches in Victoria.

Growing from humble beginnings where 45 attended the first march in 2010, the Benalla “March Against Violence” has captured the imagination of the local community where in 2016, 700+ people attended. From all walks of life, we saw masses of students from both Benalla P-12 College and FCJ College who walked shoulder to shoulder with nurses, tradies, firies, police, professional people as well as familes, kids and babies. Sporting clubs like Goorambat Football and Netball Club came wearing their uniform. Other groups proudly carried their banners of support in a powerful display of community support.

Due to the size of the march, VicRoads made the decision to close Bridge Street for the duration of the march. Led by the local CFA FireTruck the marchers walked the length of Bridge Street from Carrier Street, across the bridge and finished at the Rose Gardens.

In the gardens, White Ribbon Ambassador Neil Stott reminded everyone of the very high numbers of Family Incidents reported to the Police, which increased again in 2015/2016 by 32%. He spoke of the growing community support recognising 24 local business, community groups and sporting clubs who have joined the “Benalla White Ribbon Day Supporters Program”.  Three representatives of these supporters spoke about their own journey, Miss Joanne Rock, Principal of FCJ College, Benalla; Dave Donehue from Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning and Ms Barbara O’Brien, Principal of Benalla P-12 College. Their stories told their own journey’s to help stop family violence in their community.  Mr Stott said that we can make a reduce family violence by challenging fathers to be positive role models of respect to their young children as they grow up and all men to call out bad behaviour wherever they see it.

The speeches concluded with the School Captains of both schools leading everyone in the White Ribbon Oath, I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.

If any agency, business or community group wants to join the “Benalla White Ribbon Day Supporters Program”, contact Neil Stott on 5761 4500

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