Attendees of the Community Respect & Equality Summit standing together on a grass overall together showing their unity to prevention of family violence in Geraldton

“We all deserve respect, to know we matter and to be safe” – Marika Yarran, Desert Blue Connect Aboriginal Liaison Officer

This was the underlining message that echoed in the hearts and minds of the 100+ individuals who attended the Community Respect & Equality Summit that Desert Blue Connect hosted in Geraldton last week.

The Summit brought people from a range of local sectors, service organisations and government together with national domestic violence prevention minds, to work together on sustainable strategies for the prevention of family violence in Geraldton.

The Summit Welcome Reception took place on National Sorry Day at Bundiyarra and commenced with a minute silence lead by Amangu leader Donna Ronan to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on the mistreatment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We also heard from guest speaker Damian Martin, former Wild Cat skipper, who touched on his experience seeing inequality of women in the professional basketball industry throughout his career and how addressing gender issues is at the forefront of working to prevent violence against women.

The main focus of the Summit was on primary prevention, which aims to prevent the problem before it happens. Survivor and Angelhands Inc founder Dr Ann O’Neil, Our WATCh senior practice adviser Audrey Walker and The Men’s Project general manager Paul Zappa were among the stand out speakers.

Attendees walked away from the Summit with a real grasp on the local issue here in Geraldton and the practical tools and strategies needed to help play their part in the prevention of family violence in our community.

Find out more about the Community Respect & Equality Project at

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