Wednesday, 11 May 2016

My Vote My Voice – The Right to Vote, the Right to Stand, Friday 12th August 2016

 My Vote My Voice August 2015 

PhotographerSophie Nowicka

This is an invitation from National Council of Women Victoria for students to take apart in our annual My Vote My Voice event run by Young NCWVic. Here is your chance to make a brief presentation on ‘The Right to vote; the right to stand – the involvement of women in local government in Victoria’ in Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament of Victoria on Friday 12 August 2016. 

Our 2016 event is designed to encourage students to investigate the level of participation of women in the community, particularly local government, past, present and future. The Australian Local Government Women’s Association has provided copies of ‘The Right to vote; the right to stand – the involvement of women in local government in Victoria’, for each participating school, to help students in their research. 

Students are invited to make three minute presentations on the 2016 theme, to the invited audience of students, community members and a panel of ALGWA members.

Although places are limited, we would welcome up to 6 students from your school, with no more than 3 to speak, and accompanying staff or parents to attend. We have arranged the half day program with on-arrival refreshments and photographs from 8.30 am, then students and guests will move to the Legislative Council Chamber for a program of speeches, student presentations and panel comments that will conclude at 12 noon. We hope some of your students will be able to attend on August 12th. 

Further details and photographs are available on the YoungNCWVic facebook page Students from participating schools and their teachers are encouraged to send some information about their preparation for the event via Young NCWV’s blog 

Please register your school group as soon as possible, not later than noon on not later than noon on Friday 15 July. via 
For further information, ph: 9421 1602/ 0447 351 234. 

My Vote My Voice 2016 has the support of the President of the Legislative Council, and the Education and Community Engagement Unit, Parliament of Victoria; Australian Local Government Women’s Association(Victoria), the League of Women Voters Bessie Rischbieth Trust and the Victorian Electoral Commission see: website       facebook     twitter

Volunteers - Let’s hear it for us

National Volunteer Week 2016 is 9-15 May gives us a chance to congratulate ourselves for our voluntary work and to thank others who willingly donate ‘time and talents’, service and skills, for the benefit of others, without being paid.

For National Councils of Women across Australia, and for our affiliated organizations, volunteering is what makes our work possible.  However staff in some enterprises seem rather dismissive of volunteers, and people from other countries seem to find our willingness to volunteer a strange thing to do.

One way or another, volunteering still seems a very Australian thing to do. From the 2010 Census, it appeared that 38% of women aged 18 years and over were volunteers compared to 34% of men. And Regional Australians (41%) were more likely to volunteer than Australians who lived in major cities (34%). While all capital cities have high volunteering rates compared to other parts of the world, Darwin shows the greatest percentage of volunteers (43%).

Willingly giving time to do work for an organisation or community group, on an unpaid basis, can be rewarding for individuals, young or old.

However care needs to be taken that the relationship between the volunteers and those they help, especially the organisations where they make their contribution, is based on mutual respect and common understandings about the work that is to be shared.

In this issue of NCW Victoria News we are featuring material from the Volunteering Victoria a great resource both for organisations looking to encourage volunteers, and for individuals considering becoming volunteers together with some fresh volunteering opportunity for you with NCW Victoria.

Ending Violence

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence has completed its task in a year and a month. The documents in eight volumes, total about 2,000 pages, and the RCFV website warns not to attempt to print the report using home office equipment.

Not surprisingly a number of our affiliates were at the read over provided to stakeholders on Wednesday 30 March. We were pleased to have secured a place at the briefing and that our Gauri Kapoor was able to be our representative.

We understand that the Victorian Government is bringing forward the State Budget to avoid a clash with the Federal Budget, and that a specific Women’s section will be part of the Budget, with elements to begin to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission. We also know that Rosie Batty has accepted the role of Chair of the Victorian Advisory Committee to oversee the roll out of Victoria’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

The report is a very big read, and we are thankful that Grandparents Victoria has been kind enough to provide for us their two page summary of the matters addressed in the recommendations, and gives one some confidence that the recommendations might go some distance to resolving the complex problem that is Family Violence. The submission made by NCW Victoria, while recognizing that this type of violence can occur right across the community, stressed our awareness of the difficulties faced by women and children of diverse background, and the RCFV report appears to propose approaches and timeframes to address these issues.

The most hopeful sign is found in the 30 March media release from Georgie Crozier MP, Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family Violence & Shadow Minister for Women - Implementing these recommendations will clearly require significant additional funding. We cannot afford to waste another year. No Victorian should have to live in fear or grow up in an abusive home. The Liberal Nationals Coalition and Labor have a bipartisan approach to dealing with family violence and supporting victims and we are confident that the proper implementation of key recommendations will see improved outcomes.

Students Awards at Parliament House

On Monday 29 February 2016, students, guests and NCW Vic members came to the Legislative Council Committee Room, Parliament of Victoria, to present awards from the 2015 program and to talk about the 2016 My Vote My Voice theme.

Our host the Hon. Bruce Atkinson, President of Legislative Council, spoke to open the event and spoke about struggle for recognition of the right to vote and to stand for local government in Victoria. It was and it is challenging for women standing for local council. However, we can see now that there are more women elected to council and there will be even more in the future.

NCW Victoria Youth Adviser, Sarah Morgan, introduced students who were there to receive NCWV Civic and Citizenship Awards as individuals and school teams. Victoria Waid (Academy of Mary Immaculate), Diya John (St Monica’s College in 2015, now at Mac.Robertson Girls High School) and Rachel Rockman from Methodist Ladies College were individual awardees; and University High School, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School and Ruyton Girls’ College were school awardees.

It was also exciting to hear from a young MP Joshua Bull, Member for Sunbury. He congratulated the 2015 Awardees and presented the Civic and Citizenship Award certificates and envelopes to the students and schools. Victoria Waid now a law student responded on behalf of the Award recipients.

After refreshments Diya John was part of the panel and talked about how she became a more confident speaker. Diya was a lead speaker at the 2015 ‘My Vote My Voice’ Beijing +20 event. She is now heading to New York for a week for this year's meeting of the UN Commission on Status of Women thanks to the assistance of NCW.

Other speakers on the panel were Cr Coral Ross, President of Australia Local Government Women’s Association, Dr Deborah Towns, University of Melbourne, and Pam Hammond, NCW Victoria. The 2016 theme is Women in Local Government: Past, present, future.

Report supplied by YoungNCWVic member and media intern, Yvette Wang.
Photographer: Sophie Nowicka