In an average week in Australia, at least one woman is killed by her partner or former partner.
As part of the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, held at the beginning of December, Bonnie Support Services organised Liverpool’s first ever candlelight vigil to remember the 45 women who lost their lives by November 25 this year. The event was also a call to action for individuals to seek support and speak out against family and domestic violence.
With a list of names from Destroy the Joint, who compile the Counting Dead Women register, we were able to honour each woman’s life with a powerful ceremony in Liverpool Macquarie Mall.
Forty-five participants held the name of a deceased woman and, as these names were read out, each stepped forward to have their candle lit. When all 45 names had been read out, three minutes of silence were held.
It was an immensely powerful, visceral and emotional experience, for both witnesses and participants, one of whom said, “I’ve been through it myself and survived; that’s why I’ve come here today”.
The event included a Welcome to Country by Aunty Mae Robinson and speeches by Dixie Link-Gordon, Nancely Devi and Bonnie’s Executive Officer, Tracy Phillips. Master of Ceremonies was Carmela Ferraro from NSW Department of Family and Community Services. Marlene Cummins played moving tunes with her saxophone throughout the event.
After the candle-lighting ceremony, Bonnie’s staff distributed handmade, screen-printed tea-towels featuring a design of 45 flames, representing each deceased woman.
Thank you to all of the individuals and organisations who contributed to this event, including Mounties Group, Liverpool City Council and Deputy Mayor Tina Ayyad, Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, Liverpool Women’s Health Centre, NSW Department of Family and Community Services – Housing, Green Valley Domestic Violence Services, Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service, St Luke’s Liverpool, Glass Cicada, Femme Craft, Petty Cash Café, My Little Vegan Makeup Shop, Get Nailed AU, Kraken Creations, Maker Sydney, Sylvia from Grace Jewellery, Fairfield Police, Go Fund Me donators, including South West Sydney Family Referral Service (Uniting), Carizza Designs, Macquarie Fields TAFE and Domestic Violence Line.
We honour the lives of the 45 women listed below. We will all keep working hard to do our bit to reduce the number of names that need to be read out next year.
Written by Catherine
- January 01: Amelie Ura Tapaki (64)
- January 8: Leonie Ivanoff (74)
- January 20: An unnamed woman (33)
- January 31: Theresa Bradford (40)
- February 02: An unnamed woman (50)
- February 18: An unnamed woman (71)
- February 18: Khondkar Faihi Elahi (29)
- March 01: Tanya Burmeister (32) and her daughter (below)
- March 01: Zoe Burmeister (15)
- March 05: Donna Green (55)
- March 07: Harjit Kaur (56)
- March 20: An unnamed woman (75)
- April 5. China Crawford (32)
- April 16: The body of Helen Dansie, (67)
- April 20: An unnamed woman (38)
- April 23: Ivanka Kraisnik (78)
- April 25: Ora Holt (39)
- April 29: Mauryeen Kenny (69)
- May 15: Linda Connors (55)
- May 15: Sherril Pountney (63)
- May 15: Patricia Phillip (84)
- June 15: Margaret Mitchell (81)
- June 26: An unnamed woman (21)
- June 30: Raichele Galea (44)
- July 12: Olivia Hailstone (38)
- July 14: Ozlem Karakoc (34)
- July 14: The body of Rebecca Gascoigne (35)
- July 25: The body of Jennifer Borchardt (49)
- July 28: Margaret McCullough (76)
- August 06: The body of Donna Steele (42)
- August 08: Tanja Ebert (23)
- August 10: Allecha Boyd (27)
- August 28: Marilyn Burdon (70)
- September 04: An unnamed woman (71)
- September 07: Hoa Thi Huynh (44)
- September 18: Lanell Latta (50)
- September 29: Blair Dalton (35)
- September 29: An unnamed woman (25)
- September 30: Sarah Brown (34)
- October 09: The body of Hee Kyung Choi (34)
- November 03: Shirley Page (72)
- November 12: An unnamed woman (51)
- November 18: An unnamed woman (35)
- November 20: Georgia Karatzas (68)
- November 23: An unnamed woman (42)