Early risers in Ballina on Saturday morning would have noticed a large group of people walking beside the river and over the bridge to the Marine Rescue Tower, many dressed in purple. This was Rotary Ballina’s walk against domestic violence.
The walk also commemorated one hundred years of Australian Rotary. Ballina on Richmond Rotary’s President Dave Harmon proudly led the walk with his family, carrying the Centenary Baton.
The walk started in Captain Cook Park, after a breakfast hosted by The Cove Ballina.
Mayor David Wright said the walk was in a very good cause, and thanked Rotary for inspiring the community, with people of all ages showing up for the walk.
He said volunteering and helping others was a very important part of Australian life.
‘This issue of domestic violence is the biggest issue we have,’ said Mayor Wright. He spoke about police and other groups taking a pro-active role locally. ‘I’m proud to see Ballina is leading the way in doing something about it.’ he said.
‘Lucky it wasn’t last Saturday or we’d all be underwater!’
Rotary District Governor Jeff Egan also spoke before the walk.
He said one hundred years of Rotary in Australia was a ‘magnificent achievement’ and noted that Rotary had been active in Ballina since 1949, with the local group being one of the leading clubs in the district.
Regarding the DV issue, Mr Egan said, ‘It’s such an important thing to change the cultural ethos in our country,’ suggesting that the anti-domestic violence campaign could go Australia-wide and then beyond, with calls from overseas already coming in.
A very diverse group of walkers (and dogs) then set off on the walk, along the Richmond river and across Missingham Bridge to the Marine Rescue Tower and back.