Archive for August, 2011

Colac-Otway Mayor and Council asked to become leaders who challenge homophobia locally

// August 24th, 2011 // 2 Comments » // AVP news, Incidents, Media discussion, Within Victoria

Colac-Otway Mayor and Council have been asked by the AVP to step-up and challenge local homophobia by supporting the AVP’s rural and regional “AVP Connect” initiative. This comes as media reports the Colac Mayor denies homophobia after a mob chased comedian Joel Creasey to his car after he attended an anti-discrimination forum in Colac over the weekend.

AVP head Greg Adkins wrote to Colac-Otway CEO Rob Small, a director and judge of the world’s most livable cities, saying “We see your Council (as) being part of the solution. With your knowledge of what it takes for a city to be liveable, we are particularly interested in seeing Colac-Otway becoming liveable for the individuals who experience homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated violence and crime. Research shows that only one in ten incidents is being reported (in rural and regional parts of Victoria). Your Council are local leaders who should be part of the solution to the incident comedian Joel Creasey and many others experience in your patch”.

Colac-Otway Mayor, Cr Brian Crook has been asked by the AVP to become a local supporter of their new campaign to have a network of key people in rural and regional cities and towns in place as local “champions” with whom people experiencing homophobic harassment, prejudice and hate motivated crime, can access in assisting in them reporting to police, accessing information and support through the AVP help to create a greater understanding of what is taking place, where, when, how and by whom when it comes to perpetrators of homophobic harassment and violence.

“Homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated violence is underreported. Available data suggests only one person in ten experiencing violence in rural and regional parts of Victoria is telling anyone, be they police, a friend or family member or even a loved one”, said Greg Adkins.

““AVP Connect” is out now promoting how people can step-up to make a positive difference in the lives of people in towns just like Colac, Warrnambool and surrounds. The media commentary about the incident in the town in which you are the Mayor provides a great opportunity to build a vibrant and responsive support network accessible by people living with homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated crime, linked to individuals who too are champions for AVP Connect in their local towns. This is a chance to make a very real difference in local lives.” he said.

Adkins also raised with the Mayor the fact that people who abhor violence often sit back and don’t challenge homophobes “at the times they kick into gear”. He suggested that “AVP Connect”, linking with the Anti-Violence Project of Victoria Inc. can provides the platform for individuals who abhor violence and want to make a positive difference to be able to step-up in their local community. “Without these networks, violent people go unchallenged and individuals and their communities continue to get hurt”, AVP executive director Greg Adkins said.

People living in rural and regional areas seeking more information about “AVP Connect” or know friends and family who might step-up to make a difference, are asked to please email Zhitian Zhang at AVP and for more information about how you as Colac Mayor, and your council can step-up and become leaders in local government seeking to challenge homophobic harassment, prejudice and hate motivated violence and crime, I’d welcome you to directly contact me on 0407664442 or by email:

Adkins invited the whole Colac-Otway community to join their Council and step-up to make a difference on homophobic harassment and prejudice motivated violence and crime in their municipality and surrounding districts.

AVP welcomes appointment of John Searle as new chair of VEOHRC

// August 23rd, 2011 // 3 Comments » // AVP news, Media discussion, Within Victoria

The Anti-Violence Project of Victoria welcomes appointment of John Searle as new chairperson of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

We join with the Victoria Attorney-General Robert Clark in acknowledging John Searle’s leadership skills, professional experience and ability to engage the community, as facets of the new VEOHRC chair which make him “well placed to fulfill the role” and see Mr Searl as well qualified to challenge discrimination in all its forms, wherever it rears its ugly head in Victoria.

“As President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria Mr Searle fully understands the impact prejudice motivated crime and harassment have on community.  This links communities of culture, faith, sexuality and gender in the work that VEOHRC is charged to undertake”, said AVP executive director Greg Adkins.

“AVP looks forward to the VEOHRC under Mr Searle’s chair, becoming even more engaged with the issues impacting Victoria’s diverse LGBT and Allied community which in many ways lag behind multiculture and multi-faith community in infrastructure support and societal change measures to end discrimination and violence.”

For more information contact: Greg Adkins 0407664442