Monday, June 24, 2024

DV survivor to lead Mildura walk against violence

Domestic violence survivor and Victorian Young Achiever of the Year Award recipient, Conor Pall, will lead Mildura Rural City Council’s 2023 Community Walk Against Family Violence this month.

Despite being just 20-years-old, Conor (pictured) is already a force to be reckoned with in the push to end family violence, using his own lived experience to advocate for change in the family violence system.

He’s the Deputy Chair and youngest member ever appointed to the Victorian Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council (VSAC). The Council was established following the Royal Commission into Family Violence to ensure victim survivors have a formal mechanism to advise government on family violence reforms.

Conor is also studying a Bachelor of Social Work at RMIT Melbourne, with an aspiration to complete a master’s in public policy.

Most recently Conor became an author, channelling his lived experiences into a heartwarming children’s book, The Shadow that Follows. The book aims to empower young readers with a message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

He is also Mildura’s current Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year.

Conor said he was looking forward to contributing further to the push to stop family violence in Sunraysia.

“Australian Bureau of Statistics data tells us a story – that 95% of all victims – regardless of gender – experience violence from a male perpetrator. The common denominator in the story of family violence is men,” he said.

“We have to start at the beginning and teach our kids about respectful relationships. Show men and boys that it’s ok to express their emotions, to share space with women and to be themselves without getting tied up in outdated hypermasculine ideas of what it is to be a man.

“Because we – men and boys – are the answer in the fight to end all forms of violence.

“I invite you to walk in solidarity with victim-survivors on Friday 17 and stand against violence in our community.”

Councillor for Gender Equity, Helen Healy said Conor was the ideal person to lead this year’s Community Walk Against Family Violence.

“Conor serves as an inspiration to all of us, particularly young people in our region,” Cr Healy said.

“He’s been a courageous and powerful advocate for the prevention of family violence in so many ways.

“Through his formal positions with organisations such as the Victorian Victim Survivor’s Advisory Council he’s playing a critical role bringing about structural and policy change, including change to the justice system.

“Conor’s numerous achievements and roles with our community meanwhile have made him a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless young people in our region.

“This is vitally important if we’re to bring about generational change in our work to prevent family violence.”

This year’s community walk coincides with national White Ribbon Day on Friday, 17 November and will start in the Langtree Mall at midday.

It will take participants along Feast Street, down the Langtree Avenue connection and along Mildura’s riverfront, concluding at the recently completed Powerhouse Place.

An important component of the annual event is the numerous displays and information stalls from service providers involved in dealing with and preventing family and gendered violence. These displays will be positioned at the Powerhouse Place at the conclusion of the walk for participants to visit.

The event will include the now traditional free community barbecue.

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