A permanent and visible reminder of Ipswich’s commitment to helping bring an end to domestic and family violence has been unveiled in Tulmur Place with the installation of a special Red Bench.
Community leaders including Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding, councillors, members of Zonta Club of Ipswich and Co-Chair of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council and Allison Baden-Clay Foundation Vanessa Fowler came together to unveil the bench.
Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann, a long-standing Zonta Club of Ipswich member and passionate campaigner against domestic and family violence, said the Red Bench was an important symbol of the city’s efforts to end domestic and family violence.
“This is more than a bench, it is a clear sign of our city’s unity and commitment in bringing an end to domestic and family violence,” Cr Kunzelmann said.
“The Red Bench initiative was started by the Red Rose Foundation whose motto is ‘change the ending: let’s stop domestic violence deaths’.
“An important step in achieving this goal is to raise awareness and community education of domestic and family violence and send a clear message that it is never justified and must stop.
“As well as being an important conversation starter, the Red Bench has a plaque with a QR code that links to practical information that people can access to get appropriate support.”
The Red Bench in Tulmur Place was installed by council in collaboration with Zonta Club of Ipswich, with the unveiling taking place alongside the club’s launch of 16 Days of Activism and ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Zonta Ipswich president Dr Pam van de Hoef, who has been a member of the club for nearly 20 years, said Ipswich City Council has always been a supportive and collaborative partner.
“Zonta Ipswich is very pleased to work with council on this project,” Dr van de Hoef said.
“Our members were proud to be front and centre at the unveiling, dressed in orange clothing to represent our club, and to launch our participation in this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign.”
Cr Kunzelmann said community partnerships were key to ending domestic and family violence.
“Council strongly advocates for the end to domestic violence and is proud to partner with agencies like Zonta, which are dedicated to building a safer world for women and girls and are important advocates against gender-based violence,” Cr Kunzelmann said.
“Council is represented on a range of local interagency networks including the Ipswich DFV Action Plan Working Group and the newly implemented Ipswich Domestic and Family Violence Integrated Service System Working Group.”
Zonta Ipswich is one of 1,133 Zonta International non-partisan and non-sectarian clubs throughout 62 countries that aim to empower women through service and advocacy.
The Red Rose Foundation launched the Red Bench Project in 2019 when it unveiled its first Red Bench in Cleveland, Queensland. Since then, more than 300 Red Benches have been installed across Australia.
If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, support and information can be accessed by phoning 1800 RESPECT or through the local Domestic Violence Action Centre on (07) 3816 3000 or via www.dvac.org.au