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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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8 June, 2020

Painting the region red for DV awareness

Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month will be given the red bench treatment this year.

By Hamish Hart

Lean on me…(from left) RESQ CEO Chris Hamilton, Project Supervisor Tim Sorensen, Domestic Violence Counsellor Marama Kani, and Longreach Mayor Tony Rayner occupy the freshly built bench.

Two local organisations, RAPAD Employment Services Queensland (RESQ) and Longreach Regional Council, have joined with local police to construct a public bench in support of the Red Rose Foundation’s Red Bench project.

Since the first red bench was unveiled at Cleveland in the bayside Redland City Council area on May 15, the State initiative has been raising public awareness and providing an opportunity for the issue of domestic violence to remain visible through the use of bright red benches.

Project supervisor, Tim Sorensen, said the recycled timber used for the red bench initiative was donated by residents of the small township of Nelia, 50kms east of Julia Ck, believing these benches could be a positive way to encourage community interaction.

“I got to supervise, draw the plans, and give direction,” Mr Sorensen said. “I’m really enjoying these community projects.

“It is fantastic for jobseekers to get involved because it brings out people’s pride and we have really enjoyed working on the project. It’s such great timber and the red grabs your attention and gets people asking the important questions.”

Domestic Violence Women’s Counsellor, Marama Kani, said relationships could be heavily affected during Covid-19 isolation and expressed the hope that this project would promote affection.

“The red bench project aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and we want to meet people and let them know there is support alongside police assistance,” Ms Kani said.

“We don’t want them to be afraid of seeking advice or asking for help. It’s a positive initiative to keep the community safe.”

Longreach Regional Mayor, Tony Rayner, believes the initiative is a wonderful addition to Duck Street and said plans were underway for benches to be built at Ilfracombe, Yaraka, and Isisford.

“The council is backing this initiative to promote domestic violence support,” Cr Rayner said. “It is great for western Queensland residents to be made aware of the impacts domestic violence causes and provides opportunities to prevent future domestic violence acts.”

The Red Bench project can be found behind the Longreach Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Duck St.

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