Gippsland’s local approach to the international 16 Days of Activism campaign

Let’s Chat Gippsland is this year’s regional approach as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender Based Violence.

Staff writers

Let’s Chat Gippsland is this year’s regional approach as part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender Based Violence.
Launched on November 25 and running until December 10, Let’s Chat Gippsland is a local approach to the international event.
For the first time ever, all communities across Gippsland have been working together on activities with one clear message; Let’s Chat about creating a Gippsland where all women and girls are respected, valued and treated as equals.
“We want to make sure that our communities are receiving a clear and critical message, that violence against women is preventable,” Gippsland Women’s Health (GWH) chief executive officer Kate Graham said.
“We want to ensure people have access to practical strategies and ideas to change attitudes and norms and to role model respectful relationships.
“The first step is having these important conversations and supporting our communities to identify ways they can contribute in their actions to reduce violence against women.”
The campaign’s central concept is ‘conversations to create change’ and aims to support people to have important conversations about gender equality and respect in relationships.
“One strategy for achieving attitude change is through awareness raising and education. Through conversations, we have the potential to influence attitudes, beliefs and behaviours,” Ms Graham said.
“With this in mind, Let’s Chat Gippsland has been designed to invite the community to be involved in conversations where they are able to learn more, challenging their existing beliefs and ask questions to better their understanding of gender inequality and violence against women.”
Gippsland Women’s Health (GWH) is the lead organisation funded to prevent violence against women in Gippsland and through this role, have been coordinating the work across the region.
More than 27 different organisations have been involved in the design and delivery of this year’s campaign including community and social support services, local shires and councils, Victorian Department of Education, Victoria Police, local media outlets, public health services and faith-based organisations.
“It has been a truly collaborative effort, with some organisations getting involved for the very first time,” Ms Graham said.
Data from the most recent National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) found that one in five Australians would not be bothered if a male friend told a sexist joke about women.
It also showed that a concerning proportion of Australian’s believe that gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem.
The campaign theme of “Let’s Chat” reminds people that social and attitude change starts with a simple conversation.
The premise of this year’s campaign is to ask Gippslanders to commit to starting a conversation, whether it be with their family, friends, colleagues, students or neighbours.
This year’s campaign will provide a diverse range of events and activities to the whole of Gippsland.
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, some events will be held in person and others will remain online.
To explore events and activities happening in your area, visit the Let’s Chat website