From the Newsroom

Tim, Nicky, John, and Kylie wearing their Rotary Say No to Domestic Violence “Purple Friday” shirts. Image: contributed

Rotary Says NO to Domestic and Family Violence

Rodney Stevens

Businesses across the valley are embracing a new campaign by Clarence Valley Rotary Clubs “Rotary Says NO to Domestic Violence” by purchasing purple shirts to wear each Friday to show their support for the “Purple Friday” initiative.

The Rotary Say No to Domestic Violence campaign was launched at Parliament House, Canberra, last November, where Rotarians were joined by ministers, senators and the NSW Police, who have partnered with NSW Rotary districts for the campaign.

Spearheaded by District 9640 Governor Dave Harmon, of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, NSW, the campaign is backed by all 20 Rotary districts across Australia, New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific.

Yamba Rotary President, John McKenny said a key element of the campaign are purple “Rotary Says NO to Domestic Violence” shirts, which staff at local businesses wear every Friday for the “Purple Friday” initiative.

Mr McKenny said he had already visited more than 50 local businesses, explaining the program plus offering purple T-shirts for sale, and he got a wonderful response.

“Rotary Clubs started a program about domestic violence awareness,” he said.

“We are trying to get the message out to communities that domestic violence isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated in the community.”

The front of the purple T-shirts says, “Together we say NO to Domestic and Family Violence”, while on the back is printed “Yes to Respectful Relationships.”

“We just want people to wear the purple shirts every Friday to let people see that domestic and family violence is known about, and we want to cut it out,” he said.

Mr McKenny said Clarence Valley Rotary Clubs from Grafton, Maclean, Yamba, and Iluka have embraced the program.

An issue Mr McKenny said he encountered involved staff at businesses who are required to wear “corporate uniforms”.

“They said we have to wear these uniforms, but we’re prepared to support this wonderful campaign, what can we do…so between them they donated over $1000 to kick the campaign off,” he said.

“This generous donation by staff at six businesses in town has enabled us to buy the shirts for $25 and sell them for $18, as Rotary clubs don’t aim to profit from the sale of the shirts.”

Yamba Rotary Club and other Rotary Clubs across the Clarence Valley are looking for more local businesses to support the campaign and purchase a purple T-shirt.

If you are interested in purchasing a purple T-shirt, call John McKenny on 0427 323 133.