Page 768 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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hear today that we may have seen another tragic death in our community from domestic violence.

After Tara’s death, her cousin Nathan, in a heartbreaking yet inspirational message, wrote: “One positive point, if that’s possible, is that this tragedy has again raised the issue of domestic violence and that it is very real in our community.” The Costigan family are taking a positive approach—that together we are stronger. And they are setting up a foundation in Tara’s name.

There have also been a number of fundraising initiatives to raise money for Tara’s children. Thanks so much to those involved—for example, Tara’s Angels on GoFundMe, especially Emma Luke, an appeal which has already raised over $100,000; the Fox and Bow cafe in Farrer; Little Billy’s restaurant; and Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers. I would also like to note a fundraising walk this Sunday around Lake Burley Griffin which aims to have people stand up against domestic violence. It is organised by Stevie Barrie of Canberra Mums Exercise Group, of which Tara was a member.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service here in the ACT is available for anyone who needs help. You can also call the 1800RESPECT hotline or Lifeline on 131 114. There are a number of other fantastic services here in the ACT who help women and their children leaving violent situations, such as Beryl Women Inc, Victim Support ACT and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend Wesnet, the White Ribbon campaign and Our Watch for their systemic advocacy in the domestic and family violence space.

But the message I really want everyone here to take away with them today is this: when you think of Tara Costigan, please remember her not as a victim or a statistic; she was a beautiful, funny, loving woman—a mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt, sister, friend and colleague to many—and she will be remembered with love.

Aunty Judy Harris

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (5.30): I wish to acknowledge the passing last Monday, 9 March, of Aunty Judy Harris. Aunty Judy’s funeral was held this morning at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church at Amaroo and was attended by members of the government’s Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

Aunty Judy was a great champion of Aboriginal health care in the ACT and a pioneer of important services which are provided today. Almost from its inception, through until December last year, Aunty Judy was the chair of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service. Her dedication in this role was matched by her knowledge and leadership. She saw the service grow from humble beginnings to a workforce of 60 people today, providing vital services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across our nation.

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