Peninsula Community Legal Centre has joined worldwide celebrations of International Women’s Day, by signing a statement of its intention to commit to creating a community that is safe and accessible for women and their children.
Donned in white, purple and green, the centre’s predominantly female staff took a break from their day to meet in the boardroom for an inspiring lunch and to witness the Centre’s signing of The Peninsula Model’s ‘Creating Safety, Equality and Respect in our Community: a Catchment Wide Strategy to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children’.
John Baker, Prevention & Community Engagement Coordinator, Frankston / Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership, says:
“The Peninsula Model is part of the Frankston & Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership. This is a catchment-based partnership between a range of health and community service organisations, key stakeholders, consumers, carers and communities throughout Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. The partnership is working on addressing gender equity and the prevention of violence against women and their children at the policy and practice level within organisations.”
Its strategy includes the vision “For women and their children to live free from violence; feel safe and respected, valued and heard in their relationships, workplaces and within the community. We strive for every woman, man and child in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula catchment to have equal access to opportunities that enable them to reach their potential and participate fully in the social, economic and cultural aspects of their lives.”
Jackie Galloway, Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Community Legal Centre, said:
“International Women’s Day should be celebrated. It is important that women are recognised for their achievements since the turn of the twentieth century. With a large proportion of the Centre’s workforce (76%) being women and 60 percent of our clients in the last financial year being female, we are delighted to be acknowledging this day together as a team.”
“We know that by taking part in International Women’s Day, we will be contributing to the international effort to raise awareness that the social injustices women face in so many countries is a global human rights issue. A day like this forces modern society to talk about the prejudices and inequality which still exist in the 21st century,” she adds.
“Violence against women and girls remains one of the most prevalent violations of human rights”, she said. “Last year, more than a quarter of our clients reported family violence. We helped many women by providing free legal advice and assistance, including duty lawyer services at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court and Dandenong Family Law Courts. We have recently welcomed interim additional funding for 2016-17 from the Victorian Government, which is enhancing our ability to provide legal help to people dealing with family violence. Our Centre is also provides community legal education about family violence and actively supports local family violence networks and partnerships.”
Peninsula Community Legal Centre is a not-for-profit organisation that provides free advice on many legal issues, with ongoing assistance available for clients experiencing disadvantage. In addition to its family violence services and general legal services, the centre also operates specialist programs in family law, child support, tenant and consumer advocacy and rooming house outreach, which also frequently assist clients experiencing family violence. For more information about free legal services, please call (03) 9783 3600 or visit www.pclc.org.au.
10 March 2016
Saskia Rijfkogel, Education and Policy Lawyer
PENINSULA COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRE INC.
 A copy of the full statement is available at http://www.peninsulamodel.org.au/sites/default/files/media/Final%20PDF%20single%20page%20copy%20of%20stratgey%20%283%29.pdf,p.5
 Ibid, p7.