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    TOGETHER WE STAND: Wimmera performer Dave McMaster, playing the bagpipes, leads hundreds of people in Horsham’s annual Walk Against Violence. The newly renamed Wimmera Committee Against Family Violence organised the march. Picture: LOTTE REITER
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    Horsham Art's Council performers and Horsham YMCA Aquatic Centre staff hold up domestic violence statistics at a Walk Against Violence presentation in May Park. The statistics followed a one-minute silence for victims of domestic violence.
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    Wimmera performer Dave McMaster, playing the bagpipes, leads hundreds of people supporting the Wimmera Committee Against Family Violence's annual Walk Against Violence in a march down Firebrace Street in Horsham.
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    Horsham Primary School students participating in a Walk Against Violence march.
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    Horsham College students march into May Park for a presentation as part of the Wimmera Comittee Against Family Violence's annual Walk Against Violence in Horsham.
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    Horsham Art's Council performers and Horsham YMCA Aquatic Centre staff hold up domestic violence statistics at a Walk Against Violence presentation in May Park. The statistics followed a one-minute silence for victims of domestic violence.

Communities unite against violence

The former Wimmera White Ribbon Committee turned a new chapter on its domestic-violence prevention campaign at an annual Walk Against Violence.

Wimmera performer Dave McMaster led hundreds of people in the awareness march along Horsham’s Firebrace Street, ending in May Park for a presentation and barbecue.

Following the collapse of its leading national organisation – White Ribbon Australia – the committee used the event to announce its new name: Wimmera Committee Against Family Violence.

Chair Geoff Miller said the group would continue to raise community awareness of family violence.



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He also announced five regional, anti-violence male ambassadors.

The men’s positions were organised before White Ribbon Australia’s demise in early October, making them the last regional ambassadors under the White Ribbon name.

Mr Miller said the ambassadors were men who were prepared to stand up and be counted in addressing the issue of male violence against women. “They are men who commit to doing their bit in changing attitudes and behaviours to create a safe, equal and respectful society for everyone,” he said.

Ambassadors are GWMWater managing director Mark Williams, AXIS Employment consultant Steven Holmes, Horsham Rural City Council technical operations co-ordinator Shane Podolski, and Victoria Police officers Eddie Malpas and Josh Barnett.

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy spoke at the event.

She said while there was still a long way to go in eliminating domestic violence, the event’s turnout showed ‘we are making good progress’.

“Every year I like to participate in the march and it’s fantastic to see so many supporters come out and join the march, but also show support street-side,” she said.

“Unfortunately, in our region, we have some of the highest rates of domestic violence, not just in the state but across Australia.

“We know we need to do better and that’s why we’re out supporting the Wimmera Committee Against Family Violence.”

– Lotte Reiter

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