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As family violence duty lawyers, we often hear people make excuses for those who have inflicted family violence on them. Some go so far as to resist taking out an Intervention Order or not supporting a police application for an Order.
These cases always stick in our heads. Two recent cases highlight the problem.
The first case concerned a young mother with infant children and a partner in jail. She wanted an Intervention Order to protect her and her children. But she also wanted her partner to be allowed to visit her upon his release as he had nowhere else to go. The Intervention Order application flagged serious concerns about his violent behaviour, and a risk assessment highlighted the dangers. However, she told us that his behaviour wasnt his fault. Despite knowing that she needed protection, she excused his behaviour and was prepared to compromise the Orders ability to protect her and her children.
The second matter involved a mother who had taken out an Intervention Order against an adult son who had assaulted her. Despite his violence, she still wanted him to come home. She told the court that she didnt think she needed an Order to protect her. And she didnt support the police application for an Order. Her excuses for his behaviour exposed her to further violence.
An Intervention Order doesnt necessarily mean that you no longer love the other person. It simply means that you are no longer willing to put yourself or your children at risk. It is not a zero sum game. You can love somebody against whom you have taken out an Intervention Order.
People and relationships are complex. There are many reasons why a victim will excuse or play down a perpetrators violence, not least of which may be the perpetrators controlling behaviour.
Unfortunately, however, when victims excuse their abusers behaviour, the abuser is less likely to take responsibility for their behaviour and address it.
Part of our role as family violence duty lawyers is to encourage victims to prioritise their safety, which sometimes means helping them to distinguish between their feelings and a clear and present danger.
Ultimately, the responsibility for addressing family violence rests with the perpetrator. And it is vital that we do not blame the vic...
AROUND 1000 people visited Cape Patersons eco village The Cape
Five homes were opened to the public as part of Sustainable House Day.
Two stages amounting to 66 lots have already been completed and the lots are almost entirely sold.
Stage three is on the way, anticipated for summer.
The homes in the eco village have all been designed for comfort and to showcase the best practices for energy efficiency.
The eco village is the first of its kind in Australia. People journeyed from as far as northern New South Wales to participate in the open day.
Each homes energy bill is 20 percent of bills charged to conventional homes, with some zeroing their energy bills.
Designers and contractors were on hand throughout the day to answer questions.
Tad Hendry from Adapt Design Group designed and built his family home in The Cape.
The house has an 8.7 star rated home and features a combination of design choices to maximise efficiency.
The house works with the sun to naturally heat the house during winter, which has the opposite effect to cool the house over summer.
(The estate) is important on a range of levels. It helps to decrease energy bills and its a place we really need to be in on a global level. We need to start living more sustainably for the benefit of the planet, Mr Hendry said.
It also brings us back to the old values. It is a great community to live in and everyone knows their neighbours.
The reception (on the open day) was phenomenal. The scale of interest was incredible.
Experts in sustainable living also presented.
On top of this, people had the opportunity to try out electric bikes and electric cars.
The Cape director Brendan Condon said the electric vehicles were being promoted because the houses were designed with electric vehicles charging points and a solar public electric vehicle charging station would be installed in the estate.
Included in the estate is an innovative community garden.
It is a highly productive food garden fed by surplus rain water harvested from homes in stage one.
The garden is used by 30 gardeners and uses efficient wicking beds.
Another attractive feature of the estate is that it is 50 percent open space.
Interest in stage three of the estate can be registered at liveatthecape.com.au.
IN a show of incredible community spirit, local businesses have
rallied around the Noahs Gift Charity Ball.
The ball will honour the memory of Noah Jones, whose first birthday is on October 1. He died due to a cardiology condition, aged less than a month.
Parents Emma and Nathan of Cape Paterson organised the charity ball to give back to the cardiology ward at the Royal Childrens Hospital.
The event is set to be held on October 6 at Inverlochs RACV Resort with a something blue theme.
The tickets have already been completely sold out.
We wanted to do something for Noahs first birthday. It is something positive for us to look forward to; holidays and special occasions are difficult for families that suffer loss, Emma said.
This was a good way to honour his memory and give back to the Royal Childrens Hospital.
Initially, the Jones family aimed to raise $10,000. This has been achieved in ticket sales alone and the family is now hoping to donate around $30,000 to the hospital.
The tickets sold for $120 a head. Tickets provided entry, dinner, entertainment and a complementary drink, as well as inclusion in the door prizes.
What has been truly extraordinary is the support from the local businesses.
Around 70 businesses have sponsored the event, resulting in an amazing range of raffle and auction prizes.
The prizes have been sorted into five categories, guaranteed to suit everyone.
The categories are mans cave, female pamper hampers, for the home, mums and cubs, and food and entertainment.
There are 25 hampers in total, all exceeding $500 in value.
Also up for the grabs is a framed and signed 2010 Collingwood premiership jumper complete with a certificate of authenticity, and a framed and signed 2017 Richmond premiership jumper.
Mini fundraisers have also taken place at several local businesses already, with all proceeds to be donated to the hospital.
We were surprised by this incredible support; it is beyond what we expected, Emma said.
The night would not be possible without these sponsors and we have no words to express how grateful we are.
We wanted to do something special for our son and people have gone above and beyond to help us out, which has allowed us to give back to this great cause.
Although tickets to the event have sold out, people can still make a donation and have the opportunity to win a fabulous raffle prize.
There was such a big response to the event that we have decided to open up the raffle to the community and give everyone a chance to be involved, Emma said.
If you are interested in buying a raffle ticket, you can email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
MATILDA Abraham is a little girl with a big heart.
A Year 4 student at Newhaven College, Matilda recently raised $67.80 for the Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary.
An enterprising young lady who was born at Wonthaggi Hospital, Matilda designed her own donation box and appealed to the public to support our local health service.
Last year Matilda donated funds to the Royal Melbourne Hospital but decided this year to donate to the Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary, which is raising funds for a much needed ear, nose and throat microscope.
Matilda was thrilled by a surprise visit from Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary members Barbara Hallett and Eileen Ridgley recently, who proudly presented Matilda with a certificate of appreciation and thanked her for her outstanding efforts.
When asked if she might like to join the auxiliary one day, Matilda smiled and said she will think about it.
ENGAGING with others and learning how to be more environmentally
friendly were at the heart of Inverloch-Kongwak Primary Schools
Green Day last Tuesday, September 11.
The multi age day program was put together by the Kids Matter Student Action Team and Green Team with a focus on teaching students the importance of being sustainable and environmentally conscious.
With the school awash with green clothes and costumes, students were treated to an array of activities and presentations.
One activity saw students split into teams and race to see who could sort rubbish into the correct bins first, while another presentation demonstrated what can and cant be flushed down the toilet.
The day also ran with support from ResourceSmart Schools, South Gippsland Water, Unwrapped Gippsland, and South Gippsland and Bass Coast shire councils who held various classes throughout the day.
Inverloch Primary School principal Brett Smith said the day was as much about socialising as it was learning about sustainability.
It being a multi age day involving both Inverloch and Kongwak means students really get to interact and engage with each other, Mr Smith said.
The day helps them learn about the environment and how to be green, but it also fosters a healthy community as well.
With over a dozen classes being run on different environmental topics, students were rotated around the school so they could experience everything the day had to offer.
A select group of students also ventured beyond the school grounds, helping clean up the streets and beaches of Inverloch.
Sustainability is something we try to highlight in our curriculum, Mr Smith said.
Its an incredibly important aspect of life so to be able to instill it in our kids now while also allowing them to have fun and develop friendships is a great thing.
MORE than 800 people packed out the Korumburra Indoor Recreation
Centre across two shows to take in Korumburra Primary Schools
senior production of Aladdin on Thursday.
With students in grades 4 to 6 performing, onlookers were treated to a dazzling display of colour, dance and song as the stage was turned into Arabia.
Grade 6 student Alana Lopez Freeman was outstanding in her lead role as Princess Jasmine, as was her male counterpart Will Roberts as Aladdin.
The show has been planned meticulously over the course of the year, spearheaded by performing arts teacher Tanya Jackson with assistance from the entire Korumburra Primary School community.
Assistant principal Dan Wells said the two shows were a great success and well worth the months of hard work.
To see it all come together the way it did was just fantastic, Mr Wells said.
The students were so engaged throughout the whole process and were really excited to perform in front of their families and friends.
While Mr Wells said the performance had taught students a plethora of dancing, singing and acting skills, it also allowed for much personal growth.
Getting up on stage and performing in front of people is a really difficult thing to do, Mr Wells said.
For every student to get up there and give it a go shows how much confidence and self belief the production instills in them over the course of it all.
The senior performance of Aladdin follows the juniors rendition of Space and Beyond last week, which was also a huge success.
RATEPAYERS in Leongatha and Mirboo North may have a new shire
councillor after the state election in November.
South Gippsland Shire Cr Meg Edwards preselection as a Liberal candidate for Eastern Victoria Region in the Legislative Council will result in a councillor vacancy if shes elected.
The Victorian Electoral Commission said a countback will be held, based on candidates for Cr Edwards Tarwin Valley Ward at the 2016 election.
In a countback, votes for the vacating councillor from the last election are redistributed to unsuccessful candidates according to the voters preferences, a commission spokesperson said.
A candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the votes is declared elected. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the least votes is excluded and their votes are also redistributed. This process continues until a candidate can be declared elected.
Unsuccessful candidates for the ward at the 2016 election included then incumbent councillors Jim Fawcett and Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, who received 712 and 558 first preference votes respectively.
Another candidate, Graeme Winkler received 530 votes. They were the candidates to poll the most votes after current councillors Maxine Kiel, Don Hill and Edwards were elected.
The 2018 Victorian State election will be on 24 November 2018.
AN incredible $12,500 was raised by the Bunurong Inverloch team
in the 2018 Outback Air Race and donations are still rolling
Inverloch pilot Michael Malone thanked the local businesses and the community for supporting his team.
The money will be donated to the Victorian Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Mr Malone embarked on the trip of a lifetime with Western Australian pilots Margaret Halsmith and Dave Jones.
The Outback Air Race is a challenge for pilots to perfectly map out their flight plans.
The race left Brisbane on August 18 and finished in Broome on August 30.
Stops were made along the way. The race reflected who could best estimate their time of arrival at each stop, rather than the fastest.
Bunurong Inverloch ranked fifth in the last leg, but was in the middle of the pack for the overall results.
It was certainly challenging. It was a fantastic experience and we met a lot of great people, Mr Malone said.
Mr Malone enjoyed flying over the mines in Mt Isa and Katherine Gorge.
He also enjoyed making stops in different parts of the country. During the stop in Katherine, Bunurong Inverloch had to wait for F18s to take off before they could go, which was another interesting experience.
The name Bunurong Inverloch also sparked conversation with race pilots and many expressed interest in flying over and visiting Inverloch.
All teams were required to raise $6000 prior to the race, with proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Collectively, well over $1.5 million was raised.
The support we received from friends, family and local businesses was absolutely fantastic. I had no idea we would get anywhere near $12,500, Mr Malone said.
EIGHT year old Mattea Riccardi of Leongatha played basketball
recently. For most primary school children, this would be a normal
For Mattea though, it served as a special moment that marked her return to health following a car crash that nearly took her life in February this year.
Smiling uncontrollably as she took to the court, Mattea played the game that she loved with her trademark determination and grit, the same qualities that have helped her overcome a broken hip, a dislocated bone in her neck, a punctured lung, internal injuries, swelling on the brain and a slew of other injuries.
Her mum, Anna, who was driving the car as it was struck in the side by another vehicle, watched her daughter play in amazement.
When I saw her play basketball for the first time since the accident, I finally realised everything is going to be good, Ms Riccardi said.
It was a really special moment. Just seeing her play, the smile on her face, it was all just so amazing.
Anna was driving Mattea, her younger son Julian, 4, and her mother Nancy home from a basketball tournament in Warragul when the accident occurred.
Mattea and Julian were airlifted to the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, with Julian having also suffered a broken eye socket, which has since healed well.
Mattea was placed in an induced coma as doctors at the hospital worked to save her life.
Now, just six months later, Mattea is working on recapturing her life that they saved.
Shes doing incredible, Ms Riccardi said.
The bones in her neck have largely healed and her organs are functioning well. With her head, we just need to make sure she doesnt get hit and the screw in her hip still needs to be taken out, but a apart from that its like she is back to normal.
Normal for Mattea included returning to St Laurences Primary School in Leongatha, which she pleaded to go back to earlier than expected.
She only missed about a term and a half, Ms Riccardi said.
Initially the doctors wanted her to only go for an hour each day because of her head injuries, but Id bring her home and she would desperately want to go back. She was determined. When she did go back, she coped really well with it.
Ms Riccardi said the community support she and her family had received during their tumultuous ordeal was overwhelming.
To me, the community genuinely helped us heal, Ms Riccardi said.
We could feel the prayers and the positive energy. People were stopping me and asking me how we were doing and it meant a lot. The Leongatha Basketball Association was so helpful. It organised all kinds of fundraisers and set up donation stuff. We had thousands of kids from Maffra to Cranbourne in the basketball community who bought temporary tattoos of Matteas name.
Ms Riccardi said while its impossible to put into words how much the community outpouring has meant, she hopes they understand e...
THE communities of Mirboo North and Foster can likely expect new
fire stations if the Coalition wins the state election this
That is the word of The Nationals Gippsland South MLA Danny OBrien, who said the Liberals-Nationals have promised $2.1 million for a new Mirboo North station and are working on a pledge for Foster.
The MP continues to push for a commitment from both sides of politics for a new primary school at Foster and is also seeking funding for stage two of new works at Korumburra Secondary College.
Councils can expect more roads funding with the reintroduction of the Country Roads and Bridges Program which Mr OBrien said would give South Gippsland Shire Council an extra $1 million a year and reduce rates pressure.
He is hoping council would receive funding for new streetscapes in Leongathas Bair Street and Korumburras central business district from the Coalitions Regional Growth Fund, and police numbers could be increased.
Where there have been new police, none have been allocated to South Gippsland. That is certainly a concern, Mr OBrien said.
With the state election to be held on Saturday, November 24, Mr OBrien is hoping he will have at least one opponent. Labor is yet to announce a candidate but is tipped to do so.
Mr OBrien is just hoping the candidate is local given at the last election, Labor fielded the then personal assistant to the state secretary.
THE Korumburra Business Association has just broken the 100
member mark which is a great sign for business in the town.
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Lorraine Brunt was in attendance at last Thursdays annual general meeting at the Burra Brewery and lauded the work that the association has been doing over the previous 12 months.
Being at this meeting last year and compared to this year feels very different, Cr Brunt said.
The Korumburra Business Association has gone from strength to strength and completely re-energised Commercial Street and the community.
Ms Brunt said new businesses like the Burra Brewery were encouraging to see and will inspire others to pursue their dream of owning their own business.
When the Korumburra Business Association and South Gippsland Shire Council work together as friends and not enemies things can really happen for the better, Cr Brunt said.
Some important changes have been made to the committee.
After eight years in the association, holding a range of significant roles including treasurer and most recently, vice president, Brian Hess stepped down to give others an opportunity in power.
Following suit was Adrian Hughes, who left the committee after two years of service.
Kate McDowell Murphy was unanimously voted in to replace the outgoing Mr Hess as the associations vice president while Gil Freeman and Paul Whelan also officially joined the committee.
Taking place at the recently opened Burra Brewery, Korumburra Business Association president Noelene Cosson proudly announced that the association had reached over 100 members fuelled by their partnership with the Prom Country Regional Tourism.
Key projects and areas that were attended to throughout the meeting included the Pick my Project competition and the Karmai worm project.
Secretary Shirley Arestia informed those in attendance to vote for the numerous projects Korumburra has entered in Pick my Project a state wide competition in which towns can earn grants from the state government. Ms Arestia highlighted the Southern Lights Winter Festival and asked attendees to go online and vote for the festival.
President Noelene Cosson also updated members on the latest from the Karmai work project, saying the latest plan is to create a mosaic near the train line.
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