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April 14, 2024

Mullum March 4 Justice this Sunday

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Byron Shire Councillor Sarah Ndiaye helping out with the banner for next Sunday’s March in Mullum. Photo Facebook.

The Mullum March 4 Justice will be held for the second time this weekend starting at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Sunday.

Mullum March 4 Justice organiser, victim’s advocate and law reform campaigner, Eileen Culleton will share her story seeking as she continues to seek justice for the rape and murder of her 20-year-old sister.

‘Earlier this month our PM made an apology in response to the report handed down by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins,’ said Ms Culleton. ‘With no structural changes or measurable actions taken over the last 12 months, Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame were unimpressed. At the National Press Club on 9 Feb 2022 Higgins said “They are still only words. Actions are what matter”.

‘This is why women and those in the community who support justice plan to march again, in support of the end of sexual abuse and assault on women and children and for national legislative change on sexual offences.’

Last year over 1,000 women gathered in Mullumbimby as part of a nationwide women’s movement calling for justice and action on violence against women and to bring attention to the gendered violence and discrimination in our Parliament and our workplaces.

One hundred thousand women in over 200 cities

A banner-making workshop was held yesterday at the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre in preparation of this Sunday’s event and Ms Culleton said that over one hundred thousand women in over 200 cities around the country called for justice. ‘And on Sunday 27 February, women will gather once more to raise their voices and bring awareness to the need for systemic change in workplaces, homes and society in general.’

‘We want justice for crimes of gendered violence. We also want stronger sentencing for those convicted of rape,’ said Ms Culleton.

‘The recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data regarding sexual assault offenders and their outcomes in the criminal justice system have shown that a quarter of convicted rapists did not receive a prison sentence.

Rapists deserve to be given a jail sentence

‘Rapists deserve to be given a jail sentence. It is unjust for men to be given a suspended sentence and a good behaviour bond. Or community service. Or even weekend detention. We are saying enough is enough.’

Greens Candidate for Richmond Mandy Nolan will co-MC the event with Alexandra Hudson. Nolan has long been an advocate for women’s rights and will be pushing the need for more women in leadership roles at the next election. ‘It’s time to end the boy’s club that enshrines male privilege at the cost of so many women’s agency. For too long we have smiled for men we don’t like and we have dismissed sexually inappropriate behaviour from our friends and colleagues. But no more. Enough is enough.’

Women are invited to rally and march on Sunday

Women across the shire are invited to attend the rally and march on Sunday February 27 from12pm at Mullumbimby Civic Hall. They are invited to wear black and to bring a mask. All are encouraged to abide with social distancing and safe gathering in accordance with the event’s COVIDSafe Plan. Women of all ages are welcome. Men are invited to walk at the back of the march.

Community leaders and survivors of sexual abuse and harassment will address the crowd before the march to Byron Shire Council chambers. ‘We will be marching in solidarity with women across the nation,’ said Ms Culleton.

Other speakers on the day include: Byron Shire Councillor Sarah Ndiaye, Ilona Harker, Alexandra Hudson, Rachel Cavanagh, Emily Finch and Mandy Nolan.

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