Gannawarra Goes Orange

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Each year between 25 November and 10 December, Gannawarra Shire Council partners with local health agencies to host the Gannawarra Goes Orange campaign, which raises awareness of family violence and its impact on our rural communities.

The campaign, which coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and International Human Rights Day on 10 December, involves lighting one of the Gannawarra’s most prolific buildings – the Kerang Memorial Council Chambers – orange as a visual representation of the campaign’s message. Other visual reminders also include the installation of flags and banners along the Murray Valley Highway in Kerang and Cohuna – a major thoroughfare for traffic travelling between the Murray River towns of Echuca and Swan Hill.

Events held during the Gannawarra Goes Orange campaign traditionally include a pledge ceremony, held at a major location within the Gannawarra. This event, which attracts up to 200 people, sees municipal and community leaders uniting with schoolchildren to pledge to call out any form of violence or harassment against women.

The campaign also highlights the work completed widely by the Gannawarra Local Agency Meeting (GLAM) - a partnership between Gannawarra Shire Council, Northern District Community Health (NDCH), Kerang District Hospital, Cohuna District Health, Mallee District Aboriginal Services, Victoria Police, Mallee Family Care, Murray Primary Health Network and the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership – to reduce the prevalence of family violence.

Council is required by law to work towards the prevention of family violence and respond to the needs of victims.

The rate of family violence incidents across Gannawarra continues to be of concern. In 2019 there were 273 family violence incidents, or a rate of 2,607.0 per 100,000 people (compared to the Victorian rate of 1,231.5). In the vast majority of cases, women were the victims of family violence and a concerning number of incidents occurred with a child, or children, recorded as a witness.

Council will continue to work towards supporting communities, organisations, and cultures that are non-violent, gender equitable, non-discriminatory, and that promote respectful relationships. In this way we will address the underlying drivers of family violence and create a safer community for all.

If you, are someone you know, is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, please phone 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Gannawarra Goes Orange 2021

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In 2021, Council will again partner with local health agencies to lead the Gannawarra Goes Orange Campaign as part of the Victoria Against Violence 16 Days of Activism, occurring from Thursday, 25 November to Friday, 10 December.

Council has received funding to support the statewide message, Respect Women – Call it Out, and will again use the Gannawarra Says No to Family Violence message across the Gannawarra in prominent locations.

The campaign aims to raise community awareness of high rates of family violence across the Gannawarra Shire and what can be done to turn this situation around.  

This year’s local campaign also includes a number of workshop opportunities that community members are encouraged to participate in:

  • Thursday, 25 November: Bystander Action: Real World Responses to Gender Inequality (click here to register)
  • Wednesday, 1 December: Introduction to Gender Equality & Respect (click here to register)
  • Friday, 3 December: Introduction to Gender Equality & Respect (click here to register)
  • Thursday, 9 December: Introduction to Bystander Action (click here to register)

Gannawarra Goes Orange 2020

The 2020 Gannawarra Goes Orange Campaign pivoted due to the COVID-19 pandemic to include an online campaign and a video declaration that Gannawarra says NO to family violence. To learn more about events held, please click here(PDF, 3MB) .