The Lost Petition, March 4 Justice 2022
Parliament House, Melbourne
Following the March 4 Justice in 2021, the organisers of the M4J event requested that The Lost Petition be present at the March 4 Justice event in 2022.
The 2022 March was scaled back and largely symbolic, due the COVID pandemic and organisers aiming to keep attendees safe. Bronwyn Currie, the organiser of the Melbourne March 4 Justice, called on supporters to bear witness to the women and children who have lost their lives to gendered violence.
Wearing all black, with a teal ribbon on their wrists; attendees were asked to line Bourke Street, allow The Lost Petition to pass, and then fall in behind the artwork.
A rousing and emotional applause rippled across the growing crowd, as the petition crossed the Bourke Street Mall.
From the County Court, the sombre procession was accompanied by the Newham Drummers, providing driving beats as the soundtrack to the march up Bourke St to gather at the steps of Parliament House, Melbourne.
From this day onwards I continue to add the names of women and children who have lost their lives to gendered violence to the petition. I'd like to thank my team of volunteers for their support in carrying The Lost Petition at the M4J 2022 event.
Please note: This work is underpinned by the research by Sherele Moody of The Red Heart Campaign and the Australian Femicide and Child Death Map.
The Lost Petition, 2022
Parliament House, Canberra
In preparation to take The Lost Petition to Parliament House in Canberra, a call out seeking support to get the work to Canberra raised $2,248 on GoFundMe.
In the weeks leading up to the event numerous health organizations, charities, politicians and senate candidates were contacted; it was important that there be bipartisan support for the issue of male violence against women and children.
Greens MP Larissa Waters and Labor MP Ged Kearney were very supportive in the lead up to the event.
On March 28 2022, the day before budget day The Lost Petition was unfurled outside Parliament House.
Greens Senate candidate Dr Tjanara Goreng Goreng, Independent Senate candidate Kim Rubenstein, Labor MPs Tanya Plibersek, Ged Kearney, Libby Coker and David Smith all came out in support of The Lost Petition. Notably absent were any representatives from the Liberal National Party.
A number of individuals and organisations showed their support including The STOP Campaign, Sherele Moody from The RED HEART Campaign, Amnesty International, ANU, March 4 Justice, YWCA, John Herron (Father to Courtney Herron) and Sally Stevenson from Illawarra Women’s Health Centre.
This call to action to the Morrison Government the day before budget day signals that the government needs to make substantial changes in support of women. This includes reviewing sexual assault laws, introducing a national gender equity act and increasing funding for DV support and social housing. Also calling on more adequate funding for marginalised groups, this includes access to culturally appropriate legal services and social support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It is time for long-lasting systematic real world change in the way that we deal with male violence, and I think it starts with prevention and proper funding for services. The government needs to address gender inequality in all aspects of society.
SPECIAL THANKS TO…
Sherele Moody, Lara Bovo, John Herron, Annick Akanni, Mike Russo, Ginger Gorman, Karen Pickering, John and Cathy Bain, the Jenkins Family, Tony and Marjie Russo, Peta Swarbrick, Ian Cutmore, Tim Singleton Norton, Kate Parker (Atlas PR) and Sandra Naylor (website).
The Lost Petition (video), 2022
Burston Reserve, East Melbourne
Drone footage by Mitch Blunt (Arbee Aerials)
Video edited and music by Mike Russo (mikruzo)
As of March 1, 2022 ‘The Lost Petition’ currently lists 978 women and children who have lost their lives to male violence in Australia. This work is 30 metres and proceeds to grow in length as women and children’s lives continue to be lost to male violence.
‘The Lost Petition’ is a clear call to our Federal Government and to all Australians to change the culture. These women and children can no longer vote, they have unjustly lost their right for representation and to have their voices heard by our Government. Their right to suffrage, that was fought for and won by brave women, did not protect them from male violence.
Behind every name there was once a living, breathing women or child, someone whose death is entirely preventable, ‘The Lost Petition’ brings visibility and is a call to action to make radical and systematic change.
This work is underpinned by the research by Sherele Moody of The Red Heart Campaign and the Australian Femicide and Child Death Map.
Photo credit: Ian Cutmore