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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 May 2018) . . Page.. 1678 ..

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cody for the question. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day was “press for progress”, which I interpret as a way that we can keep the momentum going to drive real equality in the ACT. One way that the ACT government is committing to do that is through the women’s grants program. These grants have a specific focus on the prevention of violence against women and also on projects to increase women’s participation in our community. The total amount available is $180,000 to community not-for-profit organisations, who are able to apply for up to $20,000 each. Applications are encouraged from consortiums as well, which will increase the grant entitlement for each additional organisation.

Grants rounds such as the women’s grants program are an important opportunity to turn little ideas into real change on the ground. Every one of us has the responsibility to find ways to drive gender equality and provide opportunities to provide a safer and more inclusive community for all of us. The women’s grants program is just one way to do that.

MS CODY: Minister, how have these grants been used in previous years?

MS BERRY: Last year there were some great projects that received funding across a wide span of organisations, cultures, issues and ideas. Last year I joined with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service to launch the Aboriginal women’s safety program. Legal Aid ACT was funded to develop a suite of resources to raise awareness of the experience of older women subjected to family violence in the ACT, as well as offering practical information to women, support workers and family and friends.

The Canberra Multicultural Community Forum Inc was funded to deliver the CALD women’s consultation initiative for domestic and family violence. This project will examine the accessibility, effectiveness and cultural relevance of service delivery in relation to domestic and family violence and look at new ways to consult and engage with CALD communities on this important issue.

There were many other funded projects which included: increasing sexual health testing among young women in the ACT; development of an integrated service which includes legal advice, financial counselling and capacity building targeted to women experiencing severe financial stress as a result of domestic violence; and a program to enhance culturally and linguistically diverse women’s safety following separation due to domestic violence.

MS ORR: Why are grants such as the women’s grants important for the Canberra community, and how can the community contribute to this important work?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary. Although women have achieved many things over the last century, such as the right to vote and the right to access equal pay, we continue to face barriers and challenges to fully and equally participate in our community.

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