Turning over a new leaf

Shanice and Vicky from the Pakenham Library are proud to be educators of family violence. 182719_02 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Casey Cardinia Libraries (CCL) has played a vital role in fostering community conversation around the impacts of family violence.

The organisation has been instrumental in supporting family violence and respectful relationships literacy and staff have been on the front line role supporting people experiencing violence.

CCL’s Erin Commerford said the library has been able to provide a helping hand to community members from all walks of life.

“I think in terms of a library we’re really lucky because we’re a really neutral space,” Erin said.

“We are able to be a safe and inviting place for anyone to come who might be experiencing trouble at home who may need help finding services, or simply somewhere quiet where they can bring the kids. We’re really quite lucky that we can play that role in the community.

“I think another really important thing that we do is provide books as a way for parents to talk to their children about all kinds of different things. Books can play a role in supporting parents, teachers and community groups when explaining a difficult or emotional topic to kids.”

CCL has hosted a number of important events in partnership with Together We Can.

In April this year the Pakenham Library held a major community summit called Together With Me @ The Library.

The purpose was to inform community, education practitioners, parents and young people about how to help prevent family violence.

There were a number of activities at the summit, including a keynote presentation from Dr Michael Carr-Gregg which was attended by 250 members of the community.

“The amount of people who turned up for Dr Michael Carr-Gregg’s presentation is a real testament to the need for these kinds of conversations in the community,” Erin continued.

“It’s really important that we continue to really push the limits and start these conversations, because we are that safe, respectful place that everyone can be part of and express their views without judgement.

“While it’s awful to be highlighting such a terrible issue, hopefully it will mean we’re not having this conversation in the future. We’ll keep flying that flag and keep doing more across Casey and Cardinia.”

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