Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Lord Mayor launches 2009 CEO Challenge Race

This morning I was fortunate to attend the launch by Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman of the 2009 Australia's CEO Challenge Race. The three racers, Lance Hockridge, CEO of Queensland Rail, Deborah Wilson,CEO of Hamilton James Bruce, and Peter Hain, Manager of Marketing & Business Development at GHD, are racing to raise the profile of CEO Challenge and the issue of domestic violence, as well as raise money for CEO Challenge.

In a speech from the heart, Mr Newman related how the issue of domestic violence impacted on him. In 1976 his mother, later Senator Jocelyn Newman, co-founded the first women's shelter in Launceston. This created howls of protest by those who accused "these meddling women" of breaking up families and interfering in domestic relations, when what they were doing was pioneering the safety of women and children.

Mr Newman spoke with pride of the role that his mother, and other women, took to assist these women and these children.

Mr Newman also spoke of sadness that unfortunately that so many years after 1976, in 2009 there is still such a need and demand for women's shelters and that domestic violence is still present. He said that too often there was a link between domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse, which still remained a major problem blighting Australia.

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