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Our Fifth Annual Gowland Awards was another successful night, despite looking a little different this year on Zoom! Although this year the night was over Zoom not in Parliament House, our message was the same.

  • To acknowledge the strength, the resilience of domestic abuse survivors victims.
  • To applaud the unsung work of the workers at the frontline of domestic abuse.
  • To appreciate the achievements of the advocates for change.
  • And, to call out the losers who deny domestic abuse.

The Awards give a voice to front-line workers who deal with the reality of domestic abuse every day. This year has been particularly tough. Front-line workers work through what’s being called the Shadow Pandemic, as COVID-19 saw an escalation in domestic abuse.

Gold Gowland Award for Act of Survivor Resistance

Each year we award the Gold Gowland to a domestic abuse service that has nominated a survivor’s Act of Client Resistance. This Award honours, recognises the strength of all survivors across Australia.

This award is given to a domestic abuse service that has nominated a domestic abuse survivor’s story as representative of the myriad acts of survivor resistance across Australia. The tragedy of domestic abuse is well known. But this Award appreciates the resilience, the strength of domestic abuse victims and survivors across Australia.

This year’s winner is Women’s Safety NSW who nominated a young Aboriginal woman for her perseverance in seeking justice against the abuser whilst protecting herself and her young child.

Gold Gowland Award for Excellence in Domestic Abuse Awareness

Normally, this award would go to a public figure who has tirelessly advocated for domestic abuse prevention and reform. This year it was not presented due to our shortened format over Zoom. Previous winners of the Excellence in Domestic Violence Awareness Award have included: Phil Cleary (2019), Jointly, Dr Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson (2018) and Rebecca Gibney (2017) .

Denounce Domestic Violence Deniers

The Awards are also an opportunity to call out those who deny, trivialise, and blame the victims of domestic abuse. There was, unfortunately, no shortage of nominations this year! The winning losers were voted on by our guests.

  1. Most Trivial or Patronising Remark about Domestic Abuse
    The Men’s Rights Agency for their following submission to the Committee on Australia’s Family Law System: “At least one in three victims of domestic/family violence are men and children are in far greater danger from their mothers.”
  2. Most Inaccurate Statement About Domestic Abuse
    The ‘42% of young Aussie men who do not think punching counts as domestic abuse’ according to a recent survey commissioned by White Ribbon Australia.
  3. Worst Survivor/Victim Blaming Statement:
    Detective Inspector Mark Thompson for his comment on Hannah Clarke and her Children’s murder, “Is this an issue of a woman suffering significant domestic abuse and her and her children perishing at the hands of the husband, or is this an instance of a husband being driven too far by issues that he’s suffered, by certain circumstances, into committing acts of this form?”

 

Gowland Legal Family Lawyers are strong advocates for women and children & are committed to ending domestic abuse.

We thank all who joined us. We can not wait to have you together again next year, with superior canapes & a glass of bubbly in Parliament House.