Small Steps 4 Hannah HALT Inaugural Launch

May 13, 2021

 

For the charity luncheons I attend, the causes are a needless sacrifice of life that should have never occurred in the first place. Innocent souls taken from this world by selfish, controlling perpetrators who systematically deceive and abuse their victims by finally executing incomprehensible acts of violence.  

Ultimately it is the wife/partner and sadly often children who have been wronged beyond belief. Their lives tragically truncated while their surviving families struggle to pick up granules of their shattered dreams.  This is why the Small Steps 4 Hannah foundation was established.

Statistics

In Australia domestic violence is one of the main reasons women and children become homeless. 17% of women (1.6 million) and 5.9% of men (528,800) have experienced physical violence from a current or former partner since they were 15.1 Around 41% of people seeking help from specialist homelessness services in 2019-20 were experiencing domestic and family violence.2 Domestic and family violence was the main reason why 82,000 people asked them for help in 2019-20.

Of the people who asked for help due to domestic and family violence related issues, more than three out of four or 79% were female.4 On average, one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner.5 On average, one male is killed every 29 days by a current or former partner.6 . 

In Queensland, since 1 May 2018 until 1 May 2019, eleven people have died as a result of domestic violence.  In 2020 according to Destroy the Joint, an online Australian feminist group founded in 2012 by Sydney Morning Herald writer Jenna Price, there were 55 women in Australia allegedly killed by a male intimate partner.

Violence against women is now recognised to be a serious and widespread problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs. Every contribution and support can make a difference and why fundraisers are needed. My recent function was the inaugural charity launch luncheon for the new foundation appropriately named Small Steps 4 Hannah.

 How could we forget, my heart breaks for Hannah’s family as I write.  Our nation was horrified by another tragic event and the circumstances in which the most beautiful souls of Hannah Clarke and her three children Aaliyah 6, Laianah 4 and Trey were destroyed. Yet again a jealous partner has performed an horrendous act of violence and in Hannah’s case her estranged husband and the father of her children committed a quadruple murder-suicide on the morning of 19 February 2020. 

On 23 February 2020, over 1,000 people gathered to celebrate and mourn the family in a public vigil held at the Bill Hewitt Reserve in Camp Hill. A small section of the same reserve was later memorialised as ‘Hannah’s Place’ with a sign, shelter and newly planted trees. 

On 8 September 2020, ‘Hannah’s Place’ was opened by Coorparoo Councillor, Cr Fiona Cunningham along with Clarke’s family, on what would’ve been Hannah’s 32nd birthday. Clarke was named one of Marie Claire Magazine‘s ‘Women of the Year’ in their December 2020 issue, for the nationwide awareness brought to the issue of coercive control in Australia. 

The murder of Hannah Clarke and her children was a ‘line in the sand’ moment in Australia; a moment when our community came together and said that ‘where domestic and family violence is concerned, enough is enough’!

Small Steps 4 Hannah Charity Inaugural Launch and Luncheon

So here we all were, 450 women and men attending the Clarke family launch of the foundation they established, Small Steps 4 Hannah, in honour of Hannah and her slain children. They are determined to make positive changes to put a HALT (Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah, Trey) to the incidences and severity of domestic and family violence of Australia”. Small steps that will eventually be giant steps forward.

Sadly, a deplorable reminder for everyone how prevalent domestic violence remains in 2021 and how little we have travelled in prevention of such crimes. I remember similar conversations in the 1980’s, where are we going wrong?  Alarmingly it seems to be getting worse in regularity and cruelty. Something is not right and the experts don’t seem to be able to get it right either.

On arrival at The Greek Club, we posed and took numerous photos for social media campaigns in the hope we will create and increase awareness to raise funds. That this determined drive for better outcomes will lessen the incidents for future victims, prevent more lives from being destroyed.

Our menu offered a delightful choice of food, with handmade ravioli and poached ocean trout for entrée and mains of beef fillet mignon with delicious accompaniments and an array of beverages to suit. 

Special guests: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner, Commissioner Katarina Carroll from Queensland Police Service, Lloyd, Sue & Nat Clarke Founders of Small Steps 4 Hannah (SS4H) and Aboriginal Elder, Deborah Sandy. 

Master of Ceremonies, Abbey Coleman, B105 Presenter an SS4H Ambassador. 

Luncheon attendees were treated to an emotional panel discussion amongst guest panel members; Francis Whiting, author & columnist (Panel Interviewer), Rowena Hardikes QPS A/Senior Sgr Project Coordinator – Domestic & Family Violence QLD Police Service, Petero Civoniceva Retired Australian and Qld Rugby League Player and SS4H Ambassador, Michael Jeh Presenter & Public Speaker from Mate Bystander Program and paralympic medallist and Australian Paralympic Team Captain Karni Liddell. 

We were entertained by our wonderful Kat Davidson  Comedian, Claire Malengret singer/songwriter, Rebecca Cassidy Opera Singer, Dean Atkinson Comedian & Ventriloquist and a number of items were auctioned by Peter Psaltis Auctioneer & Rugby League Commentator/Sports Broadcaster. 

Throughout the day there were wonderful support people from Helping Hand Group Auction Services. Not to mention of course the sponsors, Walshs financial , Westpac, INIGO and supporting sponsors Oatley, Lup, Double Dare Design and MNC Mel Noonan Creative Photography Design.

It was a huge and successful event with amazing raffle prizes. I suggest to keep an eye out for next year’s fundraiser that can promise to be as eventful as it was for this inaugural launch.  

Together we can work to HALT domestic and family violence in Australia.

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Acknowledgments: 

https://www.missionaustralia.com.au/domestic-and-family-violence-statistics

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4906.0~2016~Main%20Features~About%20the%20Personal%20Safety%20Survey%20~2  

2,3,4Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) report – release date 11 December 2020.
5,6Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019- brief 

https://www.dvconnect.org/about/domestic-violence-statistics/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/01/a-woman-is-still-being-killed-each-week-in-australia-we-need-federal-leadership

https://smallsteps4hannah.com.au/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Hannah_Clarke   

 https://www.thegreekclub.com.au/

@smallsteps4Hannah #smallsteps4Hannah   SS4H  

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