Trigger Warning: Violence Against Women
I love to go outside and go for a walk. I have my music blaring, I am with my dog and the sun is shining. I’m at my happiest. During lockdown, going for walks was one of the only things that kept me grounded and sane. It became a part of my everyday routine, and it was something that I would look forward to after a long and boring day. However, this is not a story about how much I love to walk and all of the positive health benefits it can have. Instead, it’s a story about how a girl whose love for going on walks was stripped away from her.
It is bittersweet to announce that Banksia Gardens’ Gender Equity Officer, Emily Sporik, will be leaving the Good People Act Now (GPAN) Project after five years.
As a young girl growing up in Iraq, I would always stare at myself in the mirror, focusing on my long hair which my mum prided herself on and my feminine features which my relatives always commented on telling me I would never struggle to find a husband. And I hated that!
I, Chloe Falzon, am a feminist, and I know that people might question why. ‘Sexism is in the past, we don’t need feminism anymore!’. ‘Feminists are still a thing? But women are equal now!’. To these people, I have a few questions.
Trigger warning: Abuse, Sexual Assault
Feminism. It’s a big word in the media at the moment, a controversial one to say the least. A lot of people are scared by the word. They get defensive, they claim that feminists are just overreacting “man haters”. That feminism is not actually needed anymore, we got what we wanted, why are we still fighting? Well, we are still fighting because gender inequality is still a prominent problem in 2021, even if it’s not always seen. The problem is systematic and acts as the building blocks for the patriarchy our world is built upon. There is not the time or space for my personal stories with sexism and gender inequality, so instead I’m going to focus on the stories that have been in the news as of late.
Danielle Farah and the GPAN Youth Action Group
Dear Cr Joseph Haweil and team,
My name is Danielle Farah and I am writing on behalf of the Good People Act Now (GPAN) Project from Banksia Gardens Community Services (BGCS), to bring your awareness towards the lack of female representation and diversity within Hume City Council’s leadership team. The GPAN Project’s key focus is preventing violence against women in Hume by addressing its major driver, gender inequality. The following proposal comes from the perspective of a lifelong Hume local and young female, with my own experiences with gender inequality whilst living, working and studying in the community and also from the young people of the GPAN project who are striving for a more equitable community.
I was 17 and I was pregnant, which is never ideal. There was no celebration, no baby shower, no gender reveal party. Just harsh whispers, nasty comments, and two families at war.
Aria Nanai & AJ Brennan
What does the Eurydice Dixon Gender Equality Champion Award mean to you both?
My name is Chris. I’m a 26-year-old male, primary school teacher from Geelong, Victoria. I would consider myself a fairly stereotypical middle-class man and because of this, I am conscious of my privilege. I joined GPAN at the beginning of 2020 after attending the previous two GPAN Trivia nights in 2018 and 2019.
The GPAN team asked me to answer some questions from the male perspective and hopefully I can share some of my thoughts and experiences.
Like most of us at this point, I feel oversaturated with ‘covid-dating content’, and would quite happily go the rest of my life never hearing the word ‘unprecedented’ ever again. However, the concepts I am grappling with extend beyond walking coffee dates or updating Hinge profiles. My concerns lie with the delicate balance of upholding my own feminist values of independence and autonomy, whilst also allowing myself to be vulnerable and ‘need’ my partner for support and stability at a time where the rest of my life is unpredictable and I feel I cannot control my own trajectory.