By Emma Sun
THE Casey Multi-faith Network celebrated White Ribbon Day with a ladies only luncheon last Friday.
More than 100 women attended, including City of Casey Mayor Shar Balmes, Councillor Judy Owen, Narre Warren South MP Judith Graley and members of the Casey Choir.
Berwick resident Judy Wardale, who runs charity organisation Sunshine Australia, sold Christmas cakes on the day and raised enough money to send two Indian girls from Gokunte in the Karnataka State to university.
“Sales were massive, and it would not have been achieved without the generosity of so many people, especially in the Casey area,” Ms Wardale said.
“It’s certainly going to be a great benefit to the next generation of children because there are too many children struggling to go to school and to be educated.
“This is going to break the cycle of illiteracy, which will also break the cycle of dependency.”
The guest speaker on the day was Senior Constable Maha Sukkar from Victoria Police’s Southern Metro Multicultural Liaison Unit, who spoke about domestic violence.
She has been a member of the police force for more than eight years, and educates people from a migrant background about Australian laws and the right way of conduct.
“Migrants come from different backgrounds and cultures, and where they come from it may be OK to hit their wife or children, but my role is to teach them what is right and what is wrong,” she said.
“My role is more proactive, I try to prevent problems from happening, so I go around and talk to people about violence.”
She spoke about how domestic violence comes in different forms, from emotional abuse such as name calling to financial abuse to restricting freedom by not allowing someone out of the house or to certain places.
She emphasised that the aim of the police was not to put people in jail, but to educate those who may not necessarily know the law.
“We can sometimes refer them to seek help from foundation houses for trauma counselling or other places to fix the problem,” Sen Const Sukkar said.
“If the problem keeps happening, then we can also issue an intervention order to give the victims a chance to move on with their lives.”
Senior Constable Maha Sukkar can be contacted through the Dandenong police station on 9767 7444.