Sarina candle lighting ceremony
The Sarina Candle Lighting Ceremony brought the community together to support those members of the community who have been affected by domestic and family violence and their families and friends. Candles were lit and a minute’s silence was observed in remembrance of those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic and family violence. The community gathering included the Mackay Regional Council Mayor and Councillors, police, services, individuals and three community choirs that came together to sing as one voice. The ceremony was held in a visible location accessible to a wide audience including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse groups.
A speaker from the Mackay Domestic Violence Service provided information and statistics on the impacts domestic and family violence has on its victims, their families, their friends and the wider community. Information was provided on opportunities for women and children affected by violence to access support and advocacy. It was recognised that there is a lack of knowledge in the community of the dynamics of domestic and family violence and the need for change of community attitudes through information and promoting ways to help and support friends and neighbours. Information delivered by speakers was reinforced by posters and printed material available at the event.