Hume Council calls time on grog-linked violence

Source: Macedonrangesweekly

Migrant women speak up on employment discrimination

The women of the forum, including Professor Santina Bertone (third from left), Cr. Helen Patsikathe.

HUME Council will introduce a liquor licensing policy aimed at minimising the adverse impact of alcohol on the community.

At their meeting last Monday, the councillors voted to support the document, the first in the council’s history.

Under the plan, council officers will have more power to reject planning applications if a venue is seen as inappropriate in an area or if it is deemed to have an adverse impact on amenity.

Cr Jack Medcraft said this was only the start of what was needed to clamp down on alcohol issues in Hume.

“There are many assaults and a number of people are in hospital or have been killed by drunks who’ve come out of venues and taken someone out.

“The other areas we are really concerned about is the deaths and injuries caused by drink-driving, and it’s a real concern.

“We need to have a proactive approach with the police and services that maintain the regulations. It’s a major problem that some people think will go away, but it won’t.”

Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou said the policy was well overdue and she hoped it would help put a stop to increasing incidents of violence against women.

“We all understand the harm caused by alcohol and I think the alcohol [abuse] among our community is rife and it’s a factor in the health of our community.”

Cr Drew Jessop said he hoped that with the policy Hume would no longer be at the top of several lists that highlighted alcohol problems.

“We see Hume compared to a number of councils, but I particularly want to compare interface areas like Hume, Whittlesea, Melton and Wyndham.

“In virtually everyone of them, Hume Council is either top or second in density wise [number of] outlets, ambulance attendances, alcohol-related [hospital] admittances, assaults, serious road injuries and alcohol-related deaths.”

The document will be on exhibition until February 28 for public comment.

A culturally diverse group of approximately 200 women of different ages met for the annual Women’s Power Forum to discuss their battles with finding work.

The discussions varied from their settlement experiences to the problems faced entering a foreign workforce and being financially independent. Many shared their views on the belief that often their “foreign” name on their CV would act as a barrier, despite having all the right qualifications.

Discrimination is still something that many younger migrant women feel, and speaker Cr Kris Pavlidis sympathised with them. “In my view the systemic barriers that many migrants and particularly women encounter, are not a new phenomenon.

“We continue to have small reminders, of significant impact, that the ‘dominant Anglo host society syndrome’ is alive within our successful multicultural Melbourne, when a second generation Greek, Australian born and educated person is referred to as a ‘migrant woman’ because her name is Kris Pavlidis,” she said.

The forum centred on a panel of ethnically diverse women elected into local government, and was hosted by Hume City Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou. It is an initiative of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition. Women still receive 70 cents to every dollar a man earns.


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