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Candlelight VIGIL

A candlelight vigil to remember people lost to violence will be held at Wesley Uniting Church on Showground Rd, Castle Hill on Friday, 31st May between 5pm and 8pm.

The End the Violence vigil is being held on the last day of May to bring a close to Domestic and Violence Prevention month.

Minister at Wesley Uniting Church, Carmel Ieraci said: “A lot of communities started with a candlelight ceremony and I thought we should close with a candlelight vigil.

“It’s a time of reflection where people can light a candle. Our purpose is to provide a safe space where victims of crime due to domestic violence can come and remember a loved one lost and also a place where survivors or people going through DV situations can be supported,” she said.

With its prominent position at 32 Showground Rd, Castle Hill, near the Pennant St junction, Carmel and fellow organiser Bryan Mullan thought it would be an easy place for people to stop on their way home and drop-in for 5 minutes or longer.

Bryan said: “We have people in the foyer to have a chat with people if that’s what they want and also tea or coffee. We would like people to have the opportunity to talk to people who can listen and understand.”

Page 6 Candlelight Vigil Wesley Church Candlelight Vigil

Carmel said there was a great need in the community for people to have somewhere to go to honour a loved one. “It’s a space for grief and fears to be channeled.” She said taking part in the recent March For Change in Castle Hill (see page 5 and 17) people spoke to her about their story.

“For women knowing there is a female minister in the Hills is a big deal. Wesley is the only church in the Hills that has a woman in pastoral charge of a congregation.”

Carmel said all are welcome as men are also victims of crime. The vigil is for victims and survivors of domestic and gender violence and those who love them.

The vigil is supported by The Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Network. Network Coordinator, Alice Wheatley, said, “Domestic violence affects everyone. Too many are struggling under the daily pressure of living with violence and abuse in their own homes.

One woman a week is killed by an intimate partner or ex-partner. We honour them. May our voices and actions express the urgency of stopping DV.”

There will be an information table at the church with details about support groups available to help and booklets. There will also be people on hand to talk to if needed.

On Thursday, May 30th there will be a special screening of three short films addressing domestic violence. The free screening is being hosted by Powerful Empowered Women and Euphony Films, supported by NSW Police and Hills Shire Council.

It will be at the Pioneer Theatre (under Castle Hill Library) on May 30th from 6pm to 8pm. Refreshments beforehand followed by a panel discussion. Visit and search for Break the Silence: Domestic violence to register.

Bev Jordan

Bev Jordan studied journalism at Harlow College in the UK.  She achieves a Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. After migrating to Australia at the end of 1984, she took up a Senior Journalist position with Cumberland Newspapers, based on the Parramatta Advertiser. She has since worked on the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald and was a lecturer in Journalism at Macleay College in Sydney. Bev returned to Cumberland Newspapers (NewsLocal) and worked for 30 years covering all different mastheads, including Mosman Daily, Mount Druitt Standard and finally Hills Shire Times for the last 17 of those years. Bev’s passion has always been local community journalism.  She says “As a journalist, I have always seen it as my job to inform, inspire and involve.  I am a passionate advocate for organisations and people making a difference to the world around them. Connectedness is so important to the health of an individual but also to a community, no matter how small or large.

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