Seedlings of hope – planting in solidarity and support for victims of domestic violence

Sunshine Coast residents are invited to take part in a special tree planting event on Friday 4 December in Mooloolaba in an act of solidarity and support for victims of domestic violence.

It comes as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls kicks off on Wednesday 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until Thursday 10 December – Human Rights Day.

Sunshine Coast Council will provide 500 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers for up to 300 people to help plant on the dunes at Mooloolaba Foreshore Reserve.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was partnering with the Sunshine Coast Make It Stop committee to deliver the special tree planting event.

“Sadly, domestic and family violence doesn’t discriminate. It affects all genders, sexual orientations, races, religions and social classes,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Domestic and family violence in our Sunshine Coast community is completely unacceptable.

“Everyone has the right to be free from harm and to live without fear of violence or abuse.

“Council is calling on residents as well as domestic and family violence support services to attend the tree planting to help raise public awareness of domestic and family violence in our community.

“The trees planted will act as a lasting legacy to acknowledge victims of domestic and family violence on the Sunshine Coast as well as rehabilitating and building resilience in our coastal dunes.”

Today the new chair of the Sunshine Coast Make It Stop committeewas announced, with former professional Australian tennis player and local Sunshine Coast resident Mark Kratzmann taking the position.

“The Sunshine Coast Make It Stop committee was established in October 2019,” Mr Kratzmann said.  

“Since the announcement in 2019, the Queensland Police Service and Sunshine Coast Council along with key organisations and local leaders have been working behind the scenes to re-establish a regional committee.

“Our purpose is to continue to raise awareness and educate about the impacts, signs and types of domestic and family violence, and to inspire and empower our community to act against it, seek help, and provide support.”

Queensland Police Service Superintendent Craig Hawkins is also a member of the Make It Stop committee.

“We all have an important role to play in preventing domestic and family violence, as well as supporting survivors of violence,” Superintendent Hawkins said.

“People can take action by firstly recognisingthe signs of domestic violence, which may not always be immediately obvious, secondly by listening carefully and without judgement and thirdly by referring and connecting a person in need to the most appropriate service.”

The Queensland Government has online resources about recognising domestic and family violence, the support and services available to victims, and advice on how to respectfully and safely help someone that is in a domestic and family violence situation.

Registration to the tree planting event is essential.

When: Friday 4 December, 7:30–9:30am (visit the website to select your start time)

Where: Mooloolaba Foreshore Reserve

Beach Access 180 – 184 (SE of the Lifeguard Tower)

Off Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba

Registration Desk – Bottom of Beach Access 180

Visit council’s What’s On website for all the details. www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/whatson

Register herehttps://dfvcommunitytreeplanting.eventbrite.com.au