In what was the largest Reclaim the Night (RtN) rally for many years in Geelong, 150 people crammed into the Geelong Trades Hall before marching through the city on October 25.
More than 130 women and supporters marched that same day in Brisbane’s RtN rally, while a similar rally was held in Perth.
RtN rallies are traditionally held on the last Friday of October to demand an end to violence against women.
The Geelong event was jointly hosted by the Geelong Women’s Union Network (GWUN), the Reclaim the Night Collective and the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) Barwon Month of Action Project.
Participants came from all sectors of the community, including the Wadawurrung indigenous community, high school students, the Karen community (a persecuted minority from Myanmar), unions and women’s support sector workers.
GWUN co-convenor Adele Welsh welcomed rallygoers to the Trades Hall. Other speakers addressed the history of GWUN and Reclaim the Night, which has been organised for 25 years in Geelong.
The rally then took to streets, chanting and waving banners while stopping at a CoGG light show listing statistics on the high levels of violence against women in Australia.
The march culminated in a smoking ceremony led by the Wadawurrung community at Geelong City Hall.
In Perth, speakers paid tribute to the 50 women who have been killed by current or former partners in Australia and pledged to continue the fight to end violence against women in all its forms.