Adelaide Hills Council earns national recognition in combating violence against women and children

The Adelaide Hills Council received an Honourable Mention at the 2024 National Awards for their proactive measures in combating violence against women.

The Adelaide Hills Council has been recognised nationally by receiving an Honourable Mention at the 2024 National Awards for Local Government. The accolade was given in the ‘Addressing Violence against Women and their Children’ category, acknowledging local government initiatives that strive to tackle gender inequality and power imbalances as part of the broader effort to stop violence against women and children.

Since February 2023, Adelaide Hills Council has aligned its operations with Our Watch’s Prevention Toolkit for Local Government. This Toolkit is designed to assist councils in preventing violence against women within their workplaces and the wider community. Councillor Louise Pascale has led these initiatives, which feature the establishment of a dedicated Working Group to lead conversation and action throughout the organisation on preventing violence and enhancing gender equality.

In a statement regarding the award, Councillor Pascale highlighted the rife impact of domestic and family violence across Australian communities.”The journey to empowering our communities to address and prevent it is a long one. We have only been working pro-actively in this space just over a year and to receive an honorary mention at this stage is a huge endorsement of the work of our staff,” she said.

Mayor Jan-Claire Wisdom expressed her gratitude for the national recognition, pointing out its significance to the community’s progress. “Everyone should feel safe and be free from violence. We are closer to preventing gender-based, and improving gender equality,” stated Mayor Wisdom.

The CEO of Adelaide Hills Council, Greg Georgopoulos, also praised the commendation from the Awards, crediting it to the persistent efforts of the Working Group over the past eighteen months.”Council will continue to work with its partners to address and increase workforce and community awareness of the underlying drivers of domestic and family violence. This was initiated by Cr Pascale via a motion and fully endorsed by Council,” explained CEO Georgopoulos.

The award represents efforts to address the root causes of violence, advocate for women and children experiencing violence, and persistent cultures of respect and equality. Successful initiatives are expected to contribute to their communities by promoting sustainable changes in public awareness, attitudes, and behaviours towards gender-based violence, and by supporting women and children who are experiencing or are at risk of violence.

This recognition not only highlights the Adelaide Hills Council’s dedication to social change and community well-being but also serves as an encouragement for other councils and organisations to strengthen their policies and actions against gender-based violence. The Council’s initiative and the recognition it has received, represent crucial steps towards a safer, more respectful society, reinforcing the notion that action at the local government level is pivotal in driving social change.

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