Penrith Reclaimed the Night

On Friday, 31 October, Penrith Reclaimed the Night!

Reclaim the Night is a global cause that aims to promote women’s strength and make a stand against violence against women and children. The Nepean Domestic Violence Network (made up of workers from many services in the Penrith LGA) decided that it was time to bring the march to Penrith.

To make our stand, we marched the streets of Penrith, accompanied by the amazing musicians and dancers of Hands Heart and Feet. We gathered at the front of Penrith Station – and gathered – and gathered. I was blown away by the number of people that joined us in the extreme heat! Then we were off, marching, blowing whistles, dancing and drumming, all the way to the Mondo next to the Joan, picking up people as we went. We were passionate, and we were loud!

The Mondo was the home of our entertainment – we had guest speakers – Penny Gulliver and Mary Gleeson. We had dancers – Hands Hearts and Feet, and Walan Mahlee Aboriginal Girls Dance Group. And we had singers and bands from Glenmore Park High School. There was face painting, jumping castle, and showbags to give away. People were dancing, kids were singing and families were spending time together.

A big thank you must be given to Henry Lawson Sports Club, Zonta International, and Penrith Domestic Violence Services for providing financial assistance for the event – we couldn’t have done it without your support.

Thanks also to the staff and volunteers on the night, from NCNS, Penrith Community Health and Penrith Domestic Violence Services. Staff from Penrith City Council even manned our showbag table – thanks Sonia! Members of Zonta also donned the Visy Vests to be our marshals.

All in all, it was great to see the support in Penrith for such an important issue. Only by raising awareness, overcoming stigma, and speaking out are we going to make a difference, and our inaugural Reclaim the Night March was a great start!

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