National Council of Women of Victoria

News and Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events

Latest News

The Annual ‘My Vote My Voice’ Student Event 2019

The ‘My Vote My Voice’ 2019 event was held in the Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament of Victoria, on 19 August. This year’s theme was: Male and Female Youth as Future Voters, drawing on NCWV’s partnership with Australian Local Government Women’s Association, the Victorian Electoral Commission and the League of Women Voters’ Bessie Rischbieth Trust. Students were invited to make group presentations on this theme to an audience of students, community members, Parliamentarians and a panel of eminent people.

The event commenced in Queen’s Hall for welcome and photographs. We were welcomed by the Hon Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Women, Youth and Prevention of Domestic Violence. The Keynote speaker was Ms Amy Carpenter, Education Coordinator, Victorian Electoral Commission. She stated how annoyed she gets when hearing people say that young people are apathetic and not interested in what is going on beyond their world. There is passionate action occurring all around, but attitudes towards political processes is reducing.

>> Click here to read Ms Amy Carpenter's speech

We then had speakers from Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, Melbourne Girls’ College; Oberon HS; Al Siraat College; Fintona Girls’ School; Nth Geelong Sec College; Kingswood College; Westall Sec College; Genazzano College; Coburg HS and University HS. All speakers had researched peer attitudes and spoke confidently on the topic, with different perspectives taken by each school. There were personal anecdotes, passion and humour in the presentations. One common element was that there needs to be more ‘Civics and Citizenship’ content in the core curriculum. Schools also brought students as observers and some parents attended, as well as some Parliamentarians and many NCWV members and their guests.

An evaluation sheet was completed by panel members (and others). Panel members were Cr Coral Ross OAM, Mayor Boroondara and President of MAV; Cr Sandra Wilson, past Mayor of Hobsons Bay; Cr Trent McCarthy, Darebin Council, with Dr Deborah Towns OAM chairing. In addition to this feedback, we have audio of the event provided by the Hansard staff at the Parliament. The following schools have received awards:

.

>> Click here to view the printable version of the article

Pam Hammond, Hon Secretary, Convener NCWV Civics and Citizenship Program, and Education Adviser.

NCWV May Forum: Safe Streets for Women & Girls

Held on: 2 May 2019, 10:00-11:30am
ICW-CIF theme: Social protection for all women and girls: Sustainable development for the world This Forum conforms with SDG 11 “… make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

The focus of the May Forum was on what makes a Safe City/Safe Streets. This includes wide streets, pedestrian malls, good visibility, good lighting and clear signage. Everything that is considered to be good planning. The Forum was very well received with positive feed-back, evaluation forms indicated the subject was interesting and topical. An outcome from the Forum for NCWV to pursue, would be the safety of bicycle trailers for children, raised in a question by Janice Latham. There is opportunity for us to monitor the movement and safety of pedestrians and cyclist in the City, also the city lighting to give feed back to the Town Hall. Members could note issues in their area for feedback to local Council.

Martin and Phuong, VicRoads presenters for Safe System Road Infrastructure Program (SSRIP), part of Regional Roads Victoria (RRV), outlined the improvements to accessibility and safety for pedestrians and cyclists being delivered through the SSRIP – Pedestrian Area program, Safer Cycling program and Safe Travel in Local Streets program.

On average there are 40 pedestrian deaths per year and over 500 serious injuries, almost half of which are female. Pedestrians aged 65 and over represent almost one third of the total, with females being just over 50%. This is far too high – we would like it to be zero, but there is a lot of work to do. To help promote active transport (i.e. walking and cycling), RRV encourages councils to:

SSRIP developed a hot spot map to target areas with highest densities of fatal and serious injury (FSI) crashes, then contacted those councils to get as many involved as possible. There is a budget of $31 million over 31 councils for this program, including development and evaluation to be completed by 2020. Councils were offered access to funding for development, so that they could engage consultants to develop projects without budget risk.

These include Bayside roundabout crossings, Wombat crossings, Countdown timers, strategic cycling corridors, Protected intersections which provide a safer passage by enabling cyclists to hook turn, let cyclists do left turns more easily, and make it easier for drivers to see cyclists. There is also a Blind Spot Mirror Trial to help cyclists and drivers see each other better and reduce risk of trucks turning into cyclist.

Transport Accident Commission – TAC has made grants available to councils to help them provide better facilities for walking and cycling. VicRoads has grants for local community groups to promote road safety in local areas.

Hoa Yang, ARUP Design Consultant, outlined the findings from a research collaboration between Monash University’s XYX Lab and ARUP. Over the past year, they have analysed lighting measurements across 80 different sites in the City of Melbourne to find practical measures around how we can use lights to make our city feel safer at night time. This project uses a human-centred design approach to generate a framework to understand what lighting qualities give a perception of safety. The research data collected are the beginning of a knowledge bank that gives designers a better understanding of how light impacts urban experiences in Melbourne.

The rate of development in lighting technology in the past decade allows lighting design to be cost effectively customisable and tailored to the individual experience. The amount of design decisions that can be made due to these advances, position lighting as a key enabler of smart design.

New and retro-fitted lighting opportunities are happening all around the world, presenting an opportunity for city design to use light to curate positive experiences.

The current Australian lighting standards for pedestrians are based on pre-LED technology and are in need of a re-think. The standards revolve around the amount of light falling on a surface, and do not consider the perception of brightness and experience of the larger urban context by its users. The tendency in designing for public spaces to choose a worst-case scenario by stakeholders to de-risk, too often resulting in a poor lit outcome. This design approach often leads to over lighting spaces resulting in negative experiences of the space due to glare, also contributing to light pollution and excess energy consumption. Safe perceptions of spaces correlate generally with a higher level of colour rendering, suggesting that distinguishing shapes and colours more accurately makes people perceive spaces as safer. This validates current design principles where people feel more comfortable in warm coloured light. The research has created the largest sample of night time analysis known to the researchers globally.

The findings from the measurements have allowed definition of a baseline for the lighting qualities that contribute to a safe perception of space in Melbourne for young women and girls. Contact: hoa.yang@arup.com

Nancy Pierorazio, Senior Policy Officer City Safety, Social Investment branch, City of Melbourne: Designing in safety for women, outlined City of Melbourne’s commitment to preventing violence against women, promoting women’s safety and advancing gender equality in the municipality and workplace. City of Melbourne projects include: “Women in the life of the city”, a partnership with Victorian Women’s Trust to develop a list of notable women to address the gender bias in street names. Since the introduction of this list, three new streets/lanes have been named: Warrior Woman Lane (Lisa Bellear), Hoff Boulevard (Dr Ursula Hoff), Bale Circuit (Alice Marian Ellen Bale).

“Girls Walk, Melbourne CBD”, Working with Plan International to pilot their Free to Be campaign in Melbourne: Hosted Girls walk of Melbourne CBD; Free to be digital mapping tool; Design thinking workshop (led by XYX Lab).

“Women’s Right to Walk Freely” Partnership with Victoria Police, Victoria Point Owners Corporation and Plan International to better understand safety issues and needs of women and girls who live, work and visit the Stadium Precinct and Docklands. Project involved: Day and night safety audit of precinct; Girls walk: Plan youth activists and local female residents took decision makers on a walk to share experiences; Safety audit report and recommendations provided to Victoria Point Owners Corporation and Development Victoria.

“Safe Nights Out for Women (SNOW)” Pilot of a gender and safety audit tool in five licensed venues to help identify design elements and management practices that may facilitate sexual harassment in and around licensed venues. “Equality (Art) Works” Commissioned female artists to deliver public art work by and for women:

“Guide to reporting sexist advertising” Helps people navigate process for formal complaints; provides links to online advocacy tools; encourages community to play an active role in challenging culture of violence against women.

Projects underway:

Q&A Session raised the following issues, responses included:

The May Forum, “Families: Support for Children”, held on May 3rd 2018, was well attended by NCWV members. This was chaired by May Hu JP OAM, Coordinator NCWV Standing Committee, and moderated by Elida Brereton, Executive NCWV and Board member of the Hornbrook Academy. Anne McLeish OAM, CEO Grandparents/Kindship Carers Victoria spoke on ‘Family Rights’ saying it’s important that grandparents have their voices heard and that in Victoria there is insufficient representation for children. Dr Allison Cox, Berry St Director of Take 2 Program, which provides therapeutic services for traumatised children to achieve physical and emotional safety for them via work on attachment. In 2015/16 in Aus. there were 13,000 children in out of home care. Liana Buchanan, Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People spoke on ‘Human Rights in the home: Children’s rights to safety, care and protection’. She has an oversight to children’s services, including enquiries about individual children and systemic issues. There is a huge underestimation of danger to children in family violence. Anne recommended a statewide symposium, with relevant politicians and organisations included to come up with positive recommendations. This will be linked to other NCWV Respect projects such as Troubled Youth.

Full report by Terri Dry click here

Anne McLeish OAM, Dr Allison Cox, Liana Buchanan

 

youngncwv

Strategic planning advice obtained by NCWV from Deakin University and the pink paper exercise from early 2013 confirmed the urgent need for National Council of Women of Victoria to bridge the generation gap by embracing the new social media and to find ways of involving younger women in its work.

In order to create a framework to engage younger women, we looked for an opportunity to have some young women to take on a task that could be successfully accomplished within a given time frame.

The idea is to get the under 30s to facilitate the involvement of the secondary students in the NCWV project ‘My Vote, My Voice’ linked to the Victorian Electoral Commission Passport to Democracy program.

We have been trying to involve younger women through one or another of our affiliate or partner organisations working under the supervision of an experienced NCWV member.

Thanks to some great work by the younger women with whom we already have contact, we now have a social media set up for YoungNCWVIC. This will help their work with us on projects like the My Vote, My Voice students event at the Parliament of Victoria each year.

The Gmail address is youngncwvic@gmail.com and a blog has been created at the youngncwvic Wordpress page linked with with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Hootsuite links. Tumblr is a way of enabling students to post photographs of themselves working on the presentations they will bring to the Parliament if they choose to speak at our annual event and thus helps build momentum for engagement in the project, as well as act as a base set of information about the progress of the project.

For more information on this year's My Vote, My Voice event click here

Instilling Respect For Women Starts From The Ground Up!

Women have rights and responsibilities.
All women are deserving of respect.

The NCWV has produced this brochure to raise awareness among affiliates, organisations and individuals about women’s rights and responsibilities. Please feel free to print the brochure and use it as a starting point for raising awareness and discussion in your organisation or with others who may find it useful.

>> Click here to download the brochure.