Domestic Violence


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 17:31 ): I wish to update the house briefly on some important work being done in the local area in the area of supporting women and children who are living through and who have lived through domestic violence. I note the member for Hartley's particular support for his fundraiser for the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service. There are a number of local initiatives that I wish to commend. In particular, Kathy Lilis (who the member for Hartley just spoke about in his contribution) was very welcoming, as she always is, in hosting me recently at the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service where I received a book called Walk In My Shoes: Stories of Survival celebrating the successes of women who have walked out of domestic violence and their stories.

This is a project that was undertaken by the Zonta Club of Adelaide. In particular, last week I was presented with this book by Maxine Panegynes and Wendy Bruce of the Adelaide Zonta Club and by Kathy Lilis of the EADVS. Maxine and Wendy have been running creative writing workshops with the women who have been the victims of domestic and family violence. They described the process of those workshops, and the creativity that was unleashed as a result of that work is impressive. It is captured in this book. Names, of course, have been changed and circumstances, where necessary, and there is an element of creative writing.

In reading the stories, it is a powerful message of the challenges that are faced by these women as we contemplate a range of measures which, indeed, the police are undertaking and on which I have updated the house on previous occasions, which we as lawmakers have to consider as well in contemplating legislative changes to make life easier. I think it is a useful insight so I encourage members to retrieve one of these books. Now you will not get it for free. They are on sale for $10 each and we are hoping there will be a second run.

I know a number of members of parliament will be attending the Morialta Community Quiz Night which my staff and I run every year, and this year it is on Friday 30 October. I know the member for Florey in particular will be eager to defend the title that her table won last year and other members who are involved. I hope this year they bring a bit of extra money so they can buy the book Walk In My Shoes that the Zonta Club of Adelaide will be selling on the evening. I encourage people to come along. It is on Friday 30 October at the hall behind St Joseph's School on Montacute Road, as it always is, just opposite the member for Hartley's office.

Maria Hagias the head of the Central Domestic Violence Service is our quiz master this year. We are all very much looking forward to that. Last year and the year before we had in excess of 200 members of the Morialta community present and both quiz nights raised in the vicinity of $5,000.

This year we are hoping to be even bigger and more successful in supporting the work of the EADVS. The support the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service gets through the national homelessness agreements, state and federal government to provide emergency accommodation for women and children fleeing situations of domestic violence, of course, comes with constraints. It is very difficult to be innovative when you are dealing with just the funding that is there for crisis care.

It gets support gets from members of the community through charitable fundraisers such as those done by the member for Hartley and the quiz night supported by members in the Morialta community, including members of this house. That is money that is able to be used for innovative purposes and for need where it is seen, even when it does not necessarily fulfil the strict bureaucratic requirements of the government support that the service gets.

It enables emergency loans to be given to women who, for whatever reason, might need to go through other purposes. I am aware of a number of women who have been refugees fleeing domestic violence situations who, for one reason or another, may not have been able to receive the regular funding arrangements. It also supports the centre to run programs in assisting women in their skill sets, running their households and supporting their children. It does some great work, and I commend Kathy Lillis and Alison Meneaud and all of the staff at the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service. I know they will put it to good use.

On Sunday I had the privilege of joining the Leader of the Opposition, Steven Marshall, and 130 members of the community in support of Arman, Anita and Atena Abrahimzadeh in their fundraising efforts as part of the City to Bay Fun Run for the Zahra Foundation. A number of members of this house, a good many members—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Lot of us!

Mr GARDNER: Lots of us were at the launch of the Zahra Foundation a couple of weekends ago at the Convention Centre. It was an extraordinarily emotionally powerful evening, I thought, and an opportunity for these three amazing young South Australians to reclaim that space for themselves and for their mother, who had her life so cruelly torn from her and from them a few years ago in that space. For them to have the courage to reclaim that space was extraordinary. They were supported by over 600 South Australians. They made it a joyful event, a celebration of their mother's life and of everything that she held dear and a celebration of the future that they are going to be giving the other families who are victims of domestic violence resulting in homicide. I pay tribute to them. I paid tribute on the night.

The Leader of the Opposition, the Premier, the federal Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Michaelia Cash, I thought all made terrific contributions. The interview with Australian of the Year Rosie Batty was profound and I think only surpassed by the brave and proud tributes given by Arman, Anita and Atena themselves. I think they have a lot to be proud of. The fact that 130 members of the South Australian community joined with the children and the Leader of the Opposition and myself in wearing those Zahra T-shirts to raise money on the City to Bay Fun Run, I think, further goes towards the incredible pride that our state has felt for these young people in making a positive impact for South Australian women.

The Zahra Foundation will be raising money to support the economic empowerment of women fleeing these circumstances. They have run their pilot project. We look forward to seeing their foundation do more work. I am pleased to report my own fundraising efforts. I was grateful for the support of members of the Morialta community and others who supported me to the tune of over $1,500 for my own efforts. I can report to those who did support me that, despite the fact that I had an unfortunate case of the flu in recent days, I did the walk. I felt it for the remainder of the afternoon and most of Monday and Tuesday as well, but it was just a small thing that I could do towards the more than $14,000 the Zahra Foundation was able to raise through the support of those walkers and runners on the weekend.

There is a lot going on in this area in the policing area. There is a lot going on in this area in the public debate. I think the extraordinarily tragic accounts of so many women dying as a result of this scourge in Australia are no longer behind the shadows, as they have been for far too long, and are no longer dealt with so silently, as they have been for far too long. It is clearly front and centre in the public consciousness. We, as lawmakers, need to be awake and constantly looking for ways to deal with it.

What I am encouraged to see is the extraordinary public involvement and engagement in this as well and the extraordinary way that members of our community are concerned and are trying to find ways for them to do what they can to make a contribution. We saw that at the launch of the Zahra Foundation, we saw that at the City to Bay Fun Run and I look forward to seeing it as members of the Morialta community come out once again to support the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service in the weeks ahead.

Once again, I commend the Zonta Club of Adelaide's book Walk in my Shoes to all members and look forward to its further success and further print runs.