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Caption: Protesters at the march4justice national day of action in Iluka. Image: Contributed

Activists lobby politicians to take action on sexual harassment

Geoff Helisma

On March 15, 54 women and 12 men participated in the march4justice national day of action in Iluka – in support of ending gender-based violence.

Berri Brown (Iluka) and Robin Thomas (Woombah) organised the event, to say ‘Enough is Enough’.

Prue Leggoe OAM was the guest speaker at the event.

She was awarded her Order of Australia Medal on January 26, 2019, for her work in the advancement of women’s rights, support and empowerment, and her tireless service to community job readiness initiatives.

Now residing in Maclean, Ms Leggoe (formerly Sibree) was the Liberal member for Kew in Victoria from 1981 to 1986.

The three women have written a counter-signed letter to NSW Member for Clarence and federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan, “on behalf of on behalf of 66 marchers, and all the women in our region”.

“The women and men came from the villages of Iluka, Woombah, Goodwood Island, Mororo, Maclean, Yamba, Chatsworth, James Creek and Grafton,” the letter states.

“We were also joined by travellers on the road to Melbourne [and] joined with the thousands of other women and men around Australia who collectively said ‘Enough is Enough’.

“…We demand leadership from our elected representatives.”

“There is an urgent need to listen to the voices of the abused, the raped and harassed and there needs to be clearly actions and outcomes set out with measurable goals for women in our society.”

Ms Leggoe’s own experience in the Victorian Parliament is indicative of the long-festering issue.

“When I made my maiden speech in parliament, a drunken member of parliament came up behind me and put his walking stick up my skirt,” she said.

The women have requested meetings with the politicians “to hear” their “thoughts on how we move forward”.

“We understand there is a Women’s Summit being considered, but we have our own ideas for our local area,” the letter states.

“We want real reform, and we trust that in working together we can achieve the desperately needed change.”

The Independent will publish an interview with Prue Leggoe in next week’s newspaper.